Astronomy 25 - Frontiers in Astronomy

Course Description: Topics at the forefront of astronomical research including an in-depth look beyond introductory astronomy. Emphasis on theoretical principles and supporting observational data. Includes relativity and warped spacetime, black holes, dark matter, dark energy, quasars, gravitational waves, grand unified and supersymmetry theories, and other recent developments in cosmology.   [Units: 3; Transfer: CSU/UC]

Course Prerequisites: Completion of either Astronomy 5, 10, or equivalent. 

Fall 2018 Semester

Class Handouts/Resources

To be posted prior to class

  • Syllabus ( PDF)
  • General Schedule of Activities (pdf)
  • Class presentation (pdf)
  • Extra credit opportunities (pdf)
  • Sierra College Honesty Policy/Class Emergency (pdf)
  • Newtonian equations [pdf] [doc]
  • Useful equations: 1st half of semester [pdf] [doc]
  • Useful equations: 2nd half of semester [pdf] [doc]
  • Standard model [pdf] [doc]
  • Universe eras [pdf] [doc]
  • Test Bank: 1st half of semester [pdf] [doc]
  • Test Bank: 2nd half of semester [pdf] [doc]
  • Astro 25 Reading Room (cool papers and videos)
  • Student Presentation Schedule

Homework Assignments

To be posted prior to class

  • Week 1a: ---
  • Week 1b: (HW #01) [pdf]
  • Week 2a: ---
  • Week 2b: (HW #02) [pdf]
  • Week 3a: (Reading) [pdf]
  • Week 3b: (HW #03) [pdf]
  • Week 4a: (HW #04) [pdf]
  • Week 4b: (HW #05) [pdf]
  • Week 5a: (HW #06) [pdf]
  • Week 5b: (HW #07) [pdf]
  • Week 6a: ---
  • Week 6b: (HW#08) [pdf]
  • Week 7a: ---
  • Week 7b: (HW #09) [pdf]
  • Week 8a: ---
  • Week 8b: ---
  • Week 9a: (HW #10) [pdf]
  • Week 9b: (HW #11) [pdf]
  • Week 10a: (Reading) [pdf]
  • Week 10b: (Reading) [pdf]
  • Week 11a: (HW #12) [pdf]
  • Week 11b: (HW #13) [pdf]
  • Week 12a: ---
  • Week 12b: (Reading) [pdf]
  • Week 13a: (HW #14) [pdf]
  • Week 13b: ---
  • Week 14a: (HW #15) [pdf]
  • Week 14b: (Reading) [pdf]
  • Week 15a: (Readings--2 Docs) [pdf] [pdf]
  • Week 15b: ---
  • Week 16a: (Reading): see lecture

Lecture Presentations

To be posted prior to class

  • Week 1a: Course orientation
  • Week 1b: Newtonian kinematics
  • Week 2a: Newton in application--examples
  • Week 2b: Light as a tool
  • Week 3a: Particle-wave duality
  • Week 3b: Stellar astronomy
  • Week 4a: Galactic astronomy
  • Week 4b: Active galactic nuclei
  • Week 5b: The Distance Ladder I
  • Week 6a: The Distance Scale II: In-class activity
  • Weeks 6b-8a: Two weeks of Special Relativity
  • Week 8b: Midterm
  • Week 9a: Particle physics and cosmic forces
  • Week 9b: The Big Bang
  • Week 10a: Inflation
  • Week 10b-11a: Dark Matter
  • Week 11b: General Relativity
  • Week 12a: Cosmic acceleration
  • Week 12b: Dark energy
  • Week 13: String Theory; presentations 1-7
  • Week 14a: Black holes; presentations 8-11
  • Week 14b: Warps in spacetime and entanglement; presentations 12-15
  • Week 15a: Time; presentations 16-18
  • Week 15b: Planetarium adventure
  • Week 16a: Presentations 19-20; Flatland
  • Week 16b: Final

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This web page was last updated May 2018
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