| Physics 015 - Parallel Readings.
Note: this summmary was most recently revised on 2 Dec 2004
Textbook: General Remarks.
The textbook in this course is The Cosmic Perspective (Third edition), by Bennett, Donahue, Schneider and Voit. It is published by Pearson: Addison Wesley and is available in the Campus Bookstore. I would encourage you to buy a copy if you can, since it contains a couple of shrink-wrapped CDs which are very helpful. They have exercises, links to the publisher's website, self-test modules, beautiful and informative simulations and figures, and so on.
As we progress, I will be advising you what you should be reading. One point I want to emphasise is that my course notes, which should also be read, do not parallel the discussion in the text, and I may from time to time be advising you to read a section in an unexpected location (like in a Chapter very near the end of the text). Such instructions are not mistakes!
Finally, I should note that there are some topics which are covered very nicely in the text and which I will therefore not spend a lot of time rehashing in the lectures or in my course notes. The general rule is this: if I advise you to be familiar with a particular section of the text, you should take that not merely as a suggestion but rather as an assigned reading for which you are responsible. You may expect to be asked questions on that material on the tests and examinations.
The Course Textbook: Specific Readings.As noted in the section below, the final exam will be strongly weighted towards material which we covered in the last few weeks of the term, since we have had a couple of mid-terms in which your understanding of the earlier material was tested. In the list below, I have indicated the most recent material -- the stuff you should focus on first -- by highlighting it in a bold red font. You should read: Chapter 1: all Chapter 2: all Chapter 3: pages 56-58; pages 65-82. Section S1: pages 98-107. Chapter 4: all; but don't worry about the Mathematical Insights, here or in later sections. Chapter 5: all. Chapter 6: all. Chapter 7: all. Chapter 8: all. Chapter 9: all. Chapter 10: all. Chapter 11: pages 294-307, pages 319-325. Chapter 9: all. Chapter 10: all. Chapter 11: pages 294-307, pages 319-325. Chapter 12: pages 348-349, on tidal heating. Chapter 13: all. Chapter 14: pages 398-414; pages 422-427. Chapter 13: all. Chapter 14: pages 398-414; pages 422-427. Section S2: can be skipped. Section S3: pages 454-455 and 463-469 (on Einstein's description of gravity). Section S4: can be skipped. Chapter 15: can be skipped. Chapter 16: pages 524-525 will remind you about the way in which we use parallax to work out distances in astronomy; the figure on pages 528-529 will remind you about the importance of absorption lines in stellar spectra as diagnostics of the composition of the stars; and pages 529-532 will remind you about the importance of binary stars in determining stellar masses. Chapter 17: can be skipped. Chapter 18: can be skipped. Chapter 19: pages 619-621 remind you of the evidence for a massive black hole at the center of the Milky Way galaxy. This was discussed in class as one of the exciting successes of adaptive optics -- the ability to study the detailed motions of stars in the very center of our galaxy. Chapter 20: can be skipped. Chapter 21: can be skipped. Chapter 22: the images on pages 685-687 remind you of the phenomenon of gravitational lensing, showing how light follows the dictates of gravity. Chapter 23: can be skipped. Chapter 24: all. Chapter 24: all. Appendix C, pages A-4 to A6, will remind you how we use powers of ten notation to handle large numbers. Previous chapter:
0: Physics 015: The Course Notes, Fall 2004 1: Opening Remarks: Setting the Scene. 2: The Science of Astronomy: 3: The Importance of Scale: A First Conservation Law. 4: The Dominance of Gravity. 5: Looking Up: 6: The Seasons: 7: The Spin of the Earth: Another Conservation Law. 8: The Earth: Shape, Size, and State of Rotation. 9: The Moon: Shape, Size, Nature. 10: The Relative Distances and Sizes of the Sun and Moon: 11: Further Considerations: Planets and Stars. 12: The Moving Earth: 13: Stellar Parallax: The Astronomical Chicken 14: Greek Cosmology: 15: Stonehenge: 16: The Pyramids: 17: Copernicus Suggests a Heliocentric Cosmology: 18: Tycho Brahe, the Master Observer: 19: Kepler the Mystic. 20: Galileo Provides the Proof: 21: Light: Introductory Remarks. 22: Light as a Wave: 23: Light as Particles. 24: Full Spectrum of Light: 25: Interpreting the Emitted Light: 26: Kirchhoff's Laws and Stellar Spectra. 27: Understanding Kirchhoff's Laws. 28: The Doppler Effect: 29: Astronomical Telescopes: 30: The Great Observatories: 31: Making the Most of Optical Astronomy: 32: Adaptive Optics: Beating the Sky. 33: Radio Astronomy: 34: Observing at Other Wavelengths: 35: Isaac Newton's Physics: 36: Newtonian Gravity Explains It All: 37: Weight: 38: The Success of Newtonian Gravity: 39: The Ultimate Failure of Newtonian Gravity: 40: Tsunamis and Tides: 41: The Organization of the Solar System: 42: Solar System Formation: 43: The Age of the Solar System: 44: Planetary Structure: The Earth. 45: Solar System Leftovers: 46: The Vulnerability of the Earth: 47: Venus: 48: Mars: 49: The Search for Martian Life: 50: Physics 015 - Parallel Readings.
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(Friday, 15 January, 2021.)