Physics 313: Elements of Astrophysics - Winter/Spring 2017


Physics 313 Astrophysics (3 credit hours; prerequisite: PHYS231/232)

TR 1:30 - 2:45 p.m.  Room 205 OCNPS | Office hours: Fridays 11:00-12:00 2100J PSB2

Instructor: Dr. Sebastian Kuhn (Phone: 683-5804) Email: skuhn (at)

Course Information: Syllabus and Draft Schedule

Required text book: Astrophysics in a Nutshell, 2nd edition, by Dan Maoz, Princeton University Press, 2016; ISBN: 9781400881178. (This site also has links to e-book versions and selected chapters online). May be substituted by Carroll and Ostlie instead (see below).

The following books are recommended but not required. However, you are strongly urged to buy/borrow/rent/download at least one of them, and to peruse others on occasion (library, friends...). Here they are:

Meeting Place:  ROOM 205 of the Oceanography and Physics Building (OCNPS)
Meeting Time:  Tuesdays and Thursdays 1:30 - 2:45 p.m
Office hours:  Fridays 11:00 - 12:00 in my office (PSB2, 2100J), Tuesdays 11:00 - 12:00 (Physics Learning Center) and by appointment.
Useful formulas and relationships
Participation Credit

There are two parts to your participation score (15% of your overall grade in the class):

Important Announcements:

Our Final Exam is over!
Here are the solutions
Have a wonderful summer...

Lectures / Lecture Notes:

Interesting Links:

The whole Universe in one fell swoop

Collection of recent articles and news relevant to our class

Some interesting fellowship opportunities
For current  underrepresented minority freshmen:
For undergrad students that will be juniors or senior next year and plan to do research:
For Internship opportunities, see this interactive flyer

Some interesting Astrophysics Webpages
Cosmic Gems
(mostly eye candy - but VERY nice...)
Nice interactive intro to Cosmology - our whole course in a nutshell
Top Ten Physics Stories of 2016 - quite a few about astrophysics!
MIT Open Courseware Lectures on the Early Universe by Alan Guth (the inventor of inflation)
Lots more open online courses on cosmology and other topics from World Science University
The Glass Universe - a book about female astronomers at Harvard

The pillars of creation:

Strictly for Amusement:
Is there a wormhole at the center of our Galaxy?
Do aliens produce high-energy cosmic rays?
Did Homer Simpson discover the Higgs boson first?