Ay 1 Sections

The class will be divided into seven discussion sections, each with about 15 students and one TA. The sections will meet every week. The purpose of these sections is to creatively discuss the section topics, while backing up your arguments with scientific reasoning — feel free to use whatever you've learned in Ph 1, Ch 1, and other courses.

The sections are listed below. You can find topics and section enrollment by clicking the section number. Please sign up for a section soon. If you are not listed in any section, you need to contact Abhilash as soon as possible

Section TA Name Location Time Email Office Phone Office Hours
01 Mislav Balokovic Hameetman Auditorium (Cahill) Friday 2:00-3:00 PM
02 Iryna Butsky Cahill 211 Friday 2:00-3:00 PM
03 Trevor David Cahill 312 Friday 2:00-3:00 PM
04 Abhilash Mishra Cahill 219 Friday 2:00-3:00 PM
05 Benjamin Montet Cahill 273 Friday 2:00-3:00 PM
06 John Pharo Cahill 219 Fridays 4:00-5:00 PM
07 Scott Yantek Cahill 219 Thursday 8:00-9:00 PM

Section details:

Section 01

TA: Mislav Balokovic

Location: Hameetman Auditorium (Cahill)

Time: Friday 2:00-3:00

Office: 264 Cahill

Contact: ,

Theme:

A Peek into the Cosmos:

Have you even seen a colorful and beautifully detailed image of a galaxy or a nebula on the Internet? Those images were made to impress, fascinate and inspire the public (and often do not correspond to what these objects would really look like)! The real data astronomers work with does not look quite as appealing to the eye because it is focused on performing scientific experiments rather than aesthetics. In this section we will look into how astronomical data is acquired and used for both research and public displays. Although human eyes are limited to just the narrow part of the optical spectrum, we will extend our discussions from the radio to the gamma-rays and touch on the possibilities that are opening up beyond the electromagnetic spectrum-- in cosmic rays, neutrinos and gravitational waves. Students will be asked to develop better visualizations (either more beautiful/spectacular or more scientifically complete) for these data.

Section Roster:


Section 02

TA: Iryna Butsky

Location: Cahill 211

Time: Friday 2:00-3:00

Office:

Contact: ,

Theme:

Things that Go Bump in the Night

In this section, we will look at the deaths of giant stars and their remnants. We will cover a variety of topics from supernovae and black holes, to their formation and structure, to different theories, including time travel. Along the way, we will consider scenarios such as the consequences of a supernova explosion in our solar system or being captured in the orbit of a black hole.

Section Roster:


Section 03

TA: Trevor David

Location: Cahill 312

Time: Friday 2:00-3:00pm

Office:

Contact: ,

Theme:

Music of the Spheres

In our lifetime, the number of planets known around other stars has gone from zero to more than 800 confirmed planets and over 3,600 planet candidates. This section will address current issues in the study of these astoundingly diverse "exoplanets" such as the birth and death of planetary systems, the state-of-the art in exoplanet discovery methods, how we study exoplanet atmospheres, and how we search for life elsewhere in the galaxy. Each class will include a case study of an individual planetary system of significant interest.Students will be aksed to speculate about how it would be to live in these other systems and how the environment might effect evolution.

Section Roster:


Section 04

TA: Abhilash Mishra

Location: Cahill 219

Time: Friday 2:00-3:00pm

Office: Cahill 355

Contact: ,

Theme:

How the Universe Got its Spots

Recent measurements have revealed the composition,evolution and geometry of the universe in exquisite detail. What are the principles involved in making such measurements? How do we determine the rate of expansion of the universe? How do we measure the matter content in the universe? What determines the size of galaxies? What mysteries remain unresolved in cosmology? In this section we will try to answer these questions using simple physical ideas and order-of-magnitude estimates.

Section Roster:


Section 05

TA: Benjamin Montet

Location: Cahill 273

Time: Friday 2:00-3:00pm

Office:

Contact: ,

Theme:

Astronomy's Great Debates

How fast is the universe really expanding? Are those canals on Mars real? In this section, we will look at the scientific debates that have shaped the face of astronomy past and present. Following the scientific method, we'll discuss the observations that motivated the thinking of scientists on each side of the debate and use order of magnitude physics calculations to determine how each theory could be tested. We'll then discuss how these theories were tested (or plans to test them) and observe how astronomers separate science fact from science fiction. Oh, and we'll look at pretty pictures too.

Section Roster:


Section 06

TA: John Pharo

Location: Cahill 219

Time: Friday 4:00-5:00pm

Office:

Contact: ,

Theme:

Dead Stars and Death Stars

What happens when a star dies? Some fade into white dwarfs, while other, more massive stars result in objects more energetic and terrifying than Darth Vader ever dreamed. This section will look at some of these objects, focusing on neutron stars and their varieties. We may also discuss some related high-energy processes, such as supernovae or gamma ray bursts.Students will evaluate the effects on terrestrial life and conditions on earth if one of these events occurred nearby.

Section Roster:


Section 07

TA: Scott Yantek

Location: Cahill 219

Time: Thursday 8:00-9:00pm

Office:

Contact: ,

Theme:

Life, the Universe and Everything

Where did life come from? Where can it survive? What happens when we launch it into space? The focus of this section is on transporting living things through space and the consequences of doing so. Many astrophysical processes must be considered to safely and effectively move through space, and we will investigate their effects on everything from panspermia to human space colonization.

Section Roster:


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