Courses (2020-21)

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Optical Astronomy Instrumentation Lab

9 units (1-5-3)  |  third term
Prerequisites: Ay 20.
An opportunity for astronomy and physics undergraduates (juniors and seniors) to gain firsthand experience with the basic instrumentation tools of modern optical and infrared astronomy. The 10 weekly lab experiments include radiometry measurements, geometrical optics, polarization, optical aberrations, spectroscopy, CCD characterization, vacuum and cryogenic technology, infrared detector technology, adaptive optics (wavefront sensors, deformable mirrors, closed loop control) and a coronography tuturial.
Instructors: Mawet, Hillenbrand

Astronomical Measurements and Instrumentation

9 units (3-0-6)  |  first, second terms
Prerequisites: Ph 106 bc or equivalent.
Measurement and signal analysis techniques througout the electromagnetic spectrum. Courses may include lab work and field trips to Caltech observatories. Ay 122a concentrates on infrared, optical, and ultraviolet techniques: telescopes, optics, detectors, photometry, spectroscopy, active/adaptive optics, coronography. Imaging devices and image processing. Ay 122b concentrates on radio through submillimeter techniques: antennae, receivers, mixers, and amplifiers. Interferometers and aperture synthesis arrays. Signal analysis techniques and probability and statistics, as relevant to astronomical measurement. Ay 122c (not offered 2020-21) concentrates on X-ray through gamma-ray techniques.
Instructors: Martin, Mawet, Hallinan, Ravi

Structure and Evolution of Stars

9 units (3-0-6)  |  first term
Prerequisites: Ay 101; Ph 125 or equivalent (undergraduates).
Thermodynamics, equation of state, convection, opacity, radiative transfer, stellar atmospheres, nuclear reactions, and stellar models. Evolution of low- and high-mass stars, supernovae, and binary stars.
Instructors: Howard, Mawet

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