Updated: 6 March 2011

AY5: Introductory Astronomy−
The Formation and Evolution of the Universe

Kathy Cooksey, Instructor
June 23−July 25, 2008, Summer Session I, UCSC
MWF 10:00 AM−12:45 PM, Nat. Sci. Annex 102

Course Description

"The universe explained. Fundamental concepts of modern cosmology (Big Bang, dark matter, curved space, black holes, star and galaxy formation), the basic physics underlying them, and their scientific development. Intended for non-science majors. Courses 3, 4, and 5 are independent and may be taken separately." (UCSC Astronomy & Astrophysics Department Undergraduate Course Descriptions)

General Course Material

Lectures

  1. Overview of Cosmology (PDF)
  2. Post-Inquiry Random Walk (PDF)
  3. Light: Properties and Information (PDF)
  4. Early History of the Universe (Part I) (PDF ERRATUM)
  5. Early History of the Universe (Part II) (PDF)
  6. Objects in the Universe: Stars (Part I) (PDF)
  7. Objects in the Universe: Stars (Part II) (PDF)
  8. Objects in the Universe: Galaxies (Part I) (Discussion)
  9. Objects in the Universe: Galaxies (Part II) (PDF)
  10. Future of the Universe (Part I) (PDF)
  11. Future of the Universe (Part II) (DNE)

Readings

  1. "The Secret to Raising Smart Kids," Scientific American, C. S. Dwek, 11-28-2007 (PDF; Online)
  2. Optional: "The Threat of Stereotypes," J. Aronson, Educational Leadership, 63:14−19, 2004 (PDF Online)
  3. "Misconceptions about the Big Bang," C. H. Lineweaver and T. M. Davis, Scientific American, 02-21-2005 (PDF; Online, including some figures not in the PDF, though try this PDF.)
  4. "The Lives of Stars: From Birth to Death and Beyond (Part I)," I. Iben, Jr. and A. V. Tutukov, Sky & Telescope, Dec. 1997(PDF; Online PDF)
  5. Optional: "The Lives of Stars: From Birth to Death and Beyond (Part II)," I. Iben, Jr. and A. V. Tutukov, Sky & Telescope, Jan. 1998 (PDF; Online PDF)
  6. "The Life Cicle of Galaxies" G. Kauffmann, F. van den Bosch, Scientific American, Jun. 2002 (PDF)
  7. "Dark Energy & the Preposterous Universe," S. Carroll, Sky & Telescope, Mar. 2005 (PDF; Online PDF)
  8. Optional: "Dark Energy & the Preposterous Universe," S. Carroll, astro-ph, Jul 2001− the technical version (Online PDF; Website)

Assignments

Solutions available upon request.
  1. Scale Models in Astronomy (PDF)
  2. Quiz #1: "Misconceptions" reading+ (PDF)
  3. (Energy) History of the Universe (PDF)
  4. Quiz #2: "Stars" reading+ (PDF)
  5. Quiz #3: Math #1 (PDF)
  6. Measuring the Universe (PDF)
  7. Quiz #4a: Student Presentations 1 (PDF)
  8. Quiz #4b: Math #2 (PDF)
  9. Quiz #5a: Student Presentations 2 (PDF)
  10. Quiz #5b: Math #3 (PDF)

Web Resources