syllabus | timetable | projects | problems | texts | images |

This course is an elective for the APS major, tracks A or B, and for the APS minor. The prerequisites are: PHYS 1110 and 1120, and either MATH 1300 and 2300, or APPM 1350 and 1360.

The course will combine visualization, physical understanding, and mathematics. I will assume that you are familiar and comfortable with matrices (necessary for understanding Lorentz transformations) and with calculus (necessary for understanding metrics). The mathematics will not be fearsome (we will not be doing tensors or anything like that), but I will assume that you are the kind of person for whom mathematics helps rather than hinders understanding. If you do not fall into this category, you should consider taking one of the lower division courses ASTR 2010 Modern Cosmology , which is being taught this semester, Spring 2007, or ASTR 2030 Black Holes which will be taught next semester, Fall 2007.

The exams will cover material discussed in class, and will consist largely of short answer or short essay questions. The two midterms will cover material covered in the previous 5 weeks, The final will cover all material covered cumulatively during the semester, with an emphasis on material covered since the Spring Break.

There will be summary sessions prior to each exam.

The projects are intended to engender thought and discussion,
and to exercise your powers of logic.
They are *not* designed to be chug-and-plug exercises.

Each project will take place during a full class period. For the project, you will assemble into groups of 3 or 4. You should immediately assign one of your group to be the "Scribe". The group should discuss and solve the project together.

It is the Scribe's responsibility to write up the results obtained by the group, and to submit them at the end of class. I will accept only one submission from each group. The write-up must include the name of the Scribe, and the names of all the other members of the group.

To simplify the logistics, the groups will be informal, probably consisting of your nearest neighbors. You do not have to stay in the same group, and indeed I encourage you to rotate into other groups.

If possible, you should rotate the role of Scribe. Make a goal that you personally should be Scribe for at least one group project during the semester.

There will be a tendency for problem sets to be more mathematical than exams or group projects.

Item | Date | Weight |
---|---|---|

Midterm | Fri 16 Feb | 1/7 |

Midterm | Fri 23 Mar | 1/7 |

Final | 1:30-4pm Wed 9 May | 2/7 |

Projects | 1/7 | |

Problem Sets | 3/7 |

syllabus | timetable | projects | problems | texts | images |

**Updated** 16 Jan 2007