Introductory Courses

An astrophysics study session.

Introductory Courses

AST 1001: Exploring the Universe

4 credits — Lab and lecture

This course is a scientific exploration of the human place in the universe. We study the origin and history of the Universe and the formation of the Earth and the solar system. We compare the Earth's properties with those of the other planets and explore how the heavens have influenced human thought and action. This course includes study of the properties of light and matter and the tools astronomers use to measure radiation from celestial sources. The course also covers exciting contemporary topics such as black holes, the expansion of the universe and the search for extraterrestrial life. Although largely descriptive, the course will occasionally require the use of junior-high level mathematics. Lectures are three days a week; on a fourth day each week two hours are spent in small groups working on a lab project. This course is intended for non-science majors; no science background is necessary.


AST 1011H: Exploring the Universe, Honors

4 credits — Lab and lecture

Prerequisite: High school trigonometry, [high school physics or chemistry]

This is the honors version (more mathematical) of AST 1001, which is our introductory course in Astronomy and Astrophysics. This course is a scientific exploration of the human place in the universe. We study the origin and history of the universe and the formation of the Earth and the solar system. We compare how the study of the heavens has influence human thought and action. This course includes study of the properties of light and matter and the tools astronomers use to measure radiation from celestial sources. The course also covers exciting contemporary topics such as black holes, the expansion of the universe and the search for extraterrestrial life. Although largely descriptive, the course will occasionally require the use of junior high level mathematics. This course has both a lecture AND lab component.