PHYSICS 1061 ``Stars and Galaxies''  Spring 2018

Class Home page:  (this page!)
Department: Physics and Astronomy
Class time and place:  MWF,10:00-10:50 am, Meyer 113
Section: 1 (CRN=30769)
Instructor: Dr. Jason Pinkney 
Office hours:   in 111 Science Annex at Wed 2-5 pm, Thurs 10am -12pm.
Email or call 419-772-2740. 
Instructor's Home page:
Credit hours: 3
Observatory Phone: 772-4028
     (Watch this spot for new links, outlines, solutions, etc.)

This is a nice link about solving word problems.
Astronomy Picture of the Day (APOD)
SkyMaps.pdf Color version of all 4 constellation maps.
Interactive scale of the universe.
Week 1 outline (PDF) Powers of 10 and Ch 1 material. (Update 1/24/17)
Key to Powers of 10 worksheet
Ch. 1 "clicker" questions. (PPT file)
Review questions for 1st quiz.
Week 2 outline (PDF) -- Reordered slides.
Answers to 1st homework.
Review questions for 2nd quiz.
Answers to Celestial Sphere worksheet.
Answers to 2nd homework on Ch 1.
Copernican Revolution outline (week 5).
Copernican Revolution outline (printer friendly) (week 5).
Ch. 2 practice ("clicker") questions. (PPT file)
Review Questions for Exam I. (Ignore last 3 pages on light for now.)
Answers to Ch. 2 homework.
Light (Ch. 3) notes. (PDF)
Spectroscopy (Ch. 4) notes. (PDF)
Review questions Ch 3+4 Quiz.
Answers to Ch. 3 and 4 homework
The Sun (Ch. 16) PDF
Key to Bohr Model exercise.
Review questions for quiz (Ch 16, The Sun).
Answers to Ch. 16 homework
Stellar Properties. (Ch. 17)
Review Questions on Stel. Prop.s (ignore "Quiz 5")
HR Diagram worksheet Key. Page 1. (jpg file)
HR Diagram worksheet Key. Page 2. (jpg file)
Stellar Evolution. (PDF)
Ch. 19 practice questions. (PPT file)
Ch. 20 practice questions. (PPT file)
Review Questions on Stellar Evolution
Answers to Ch. 18-20 homework (txt file)
Distance Scale (Ch.23) (PDF)
Distance Scale (Ch.24) (PDF)
Cosmology outline (Ch.26) (PDF)
Answers to Ch. 23 and 24 homework (txt file)
Review Questions for Final Exam. Ch. 23,24,26 material, plus supernovae.

Text: Astronomy Today, 8th Edition.  By Chaisson and McMillan. ISBN-10: 0321901673.  This is a 1-volume, hardcover book. (Warning: the "Stars and Galaxies" part of the 2-volume softcover version may not contain all of the chapters that we are covering.)

Course Description:
Stars and Galaxies is an introductory astronomy course.   You will learn about the nature of stars, galaxies and the universe. The details of our solar system are left to PHYS 1051.   We will begin with a survey of the naked-eye universe (mostly nearby objects) and end with cosmology (the distant universe).   In-between we will discuss such topics as the electromagnetic spectrum, the sunspot cycle, how stars are born and die, black holes, and galaxies.   A tentative calendar of topics is outlined below.

Physics 1061 fulfills a general education science requirement and so you will be encouraged to improve your science knowledge and skills. Science "skills" include critical thinking, problem solving, use of mathematics, observing, and the scientific method. I hope that it will become second nature for you to ask "how do they know that?" when presented with facts like "the age of the universe is 13.8 billion years". Another course objectives is learning how certain physics principles, like conservation of momentum, can be applied to astronomical objects like stars and galaxies. Still another is to see how our class material relates to current events in the world around us -- you will get extra credit for reporting astronomy news items in class. Since this is an introductory course, I will try to make the tests nearly math-free. But you will still be exposed to math in homework, lectures and activities.

The course fulfills the general education learning outcome called 'knowledge of the physical/natural world'.

The lab for this class, PHYS 1091 (1 hr), is intended for astronomy minors and physics majors with an astronomy core
  If you are already a physics major see me about the core concentration. You might consider being an astronomy minor if a good familiarity with astronomy would complement your current major. (There are now fields of astrobiology, archeoastronomy, and cosmochemistry.) You need my authorization to enroll in the lab. If you are enrolled, expect to hear from me within a week about choosing a meeting time.

Your attendance at the ONU Observatory  will weigh into the "Observing" portion of your grade (see below). There will be one class period which meets at the Observatory to observe the Sun. In addition, you should try to visit at least 3 more times, for "A" work. There is a legal pad in the control room that you must sign to get credit. Only about 40% of the nights are clear enough to observe, and the time of sunset gets progressively later. This is why there is no fixed time to visit. Moreover, I do not open the Observatory every night or even every clear night. Your strategy must be to watch the weather and call the Observatory on clear nights to see if it is open. The times I am most likely to be there are: 1) during Friday evenings 8-10 pm or 9-11 pm for Public Events (every 2-3 weeks), 2) during Wednesday evenings around 9:30-10:30 pm for ONU Astronomy Club (meets every other Wednesday) and 3) during Tuesday and Thursday nights for astronomy lab. When you visit, bring along your constellation sheets (see below), and try to get some views through our telescopes and binoculars. I should be able to get you started on your constellations, even though my main focus may be on others. You should bring a friend or two (not necessarily signed up in the class) for the long, dark walk to and from the Observatory.


You will be graded on the following:
Observing Constellation sheet, 3+ visits to Observatory  
In-class Homework, in-class activities, participation 20%
Quizzes Quizzes (drop lowest grade) 25%
Exams There will be two exams and a final. 50%


I will not grade any "harder" than the above. However, if the class mean drops below 75, I will grade more leniently.

Schedule (approximate):

Week of Topic Chapter(s) Tests
Syllabus. Powers of 10 Cosmology. 1 Survey
Naked Eye Universe - the Celestial Sphere 1
Celestial Sphere, History
1,2 quiz 1
Ptolemy, Copernican Revolution
2 quiz 2
Light / Spectroscopy
3, 4 quiz 3
Spectroscopy / Sun / Observatory 4, 16 Exam I
The Sun 16 quiz 4
Spring Break

Stellar Properties

Stellar Properties (cont.)
quiz 5
ISM,Star formation
quiz 6
Stellar Evol. - low-mass stars like Sun
Exam II
Stellar Evol. - High mass, supernovae

The Milky Way Galaxy
quiz 7
Galaxies / The Distance Ladder
quiz 8
Turn in constel. shts.
Comprehensive Final Exam on Wednesday 5/9, 9:15-11:15 am.
_ Final exam.

Other Course Policies

Attendance is important for doing well in this course.   Absenteeism can directly lower your grade if you miss an in-class activity. Note that in-class activities cannot be "made up". I will record attendance on some days and factor that information into your "In-class" grade (see above). Let me know in advance (e-mail is good) if you have to miss on a test/deadline day for a valid reason (e.g., your team or musical group is on the road) and want to schedule a make-up.  If you miss because of an emergency, let me know as soon as possible, and provide proof of the emergency. "Proof" can consist of a name and phone number of a parent or authority figure who knows your situation. Make up any missed quizzes or exams before I go over them during the next class.

Graded Homework consists primarily of answering questions and problems from the textbook.   Homework will be accepted late, but will only receive 50% credit if it has already been graded. Try to turn it in before you have an absence. Homework will be scored on completeness and correctness, but not every problem will be corrected. Look for keys on our homepage for checking your answers. I encourage you to discuss homework with your classmates, but don't copy their work verbatim.

Quizzes will be given on most non-exam weeks.  They will consist of 5-15 multiple choice/short answer questions.  They cover the assigned reading and especially the material discussed in class.  They will not always be given on the same day.   You can only make up a quiz that was missed because of a valid conflict or emergency.  Also, you can only make up the quiz before the answers are revealed (usually the next period). For this reason, I will drop your lowest quiz score.

Exams will be given roughly every 4-5 weeks. These will weigh most heavily towards your class grade. The final exam will be comprehensive, but will emphasize the last 5-6 weeks of material. The final will occur on Monday of finals week. Do not schedule anything to conflict with your final exam! Do not ask to get out of this time! Drop NOW if this will be a problem.

Review Questions will be provided to help you prepare for quizzes and exams. They will appear under "NEW STUFF". Many of these questions will appear on the quizzes and exams and so it is strongly recommended that you use them to prepare. More than half of the questions on a given test will be found in the review.

Observing consists of filling out constellation sheets and visiting the ONU Observatory. SkyMaps.pdf is a PDF file containing 2 maps for 2 dates during the spring (4 sheets total). Your job is to 1) write the names of the constellations within the constellation boundaries, and 2) put a check only in the constellations that you actually spotted in the sky. #1 can be done on your laptop using a planetarium program. #2 must be done under open skies, but not necessarily at the ONU Observatory. Try to label at least 40 unique constellations, and try to spot at least 10 constellations in the sky. For full observing credit, you must visit the observatory at least 3 times. Additional visits give you extra credit in the "Observing" portion of your grade. Visiting the Observatory and signing the log will get you credit.

Tutoring is available. You are welcome to drop by during my office hours, or you can make an appointment. Physics tutoring sessions should occur on Thursday evenings, starting at 7:00 PM.  

Disruptions: You should ask questions during class, and talk during group activities, but in general you shouldn't talk while the professor is talking. Anything that distracts your teacher or your neighbors is hindering the teaching/learning process. This includes playing with your phones, laptops or tablets, talking with neighbors, coming to class late, and leaving class early. Do NOT use your phones and laptops during class. If you have a disability that requires you to take notes using a laptop, let me know.

Academic Misconduct: The College of A&S has a Code for Academic Student Conduct and forms for reporting students. Academic integrity is one of the basic principles of a university community. Ohio Northern University encourages and expects the highest standards of academic honesty from all students. The A&S code states that cheating, plagiarism, and other forms of academic dishonesty are subject to disciplinary action. In PHYS 1061 (this class), the biggest temptation will be to look at another person's work during tests. Do not wear caps during quizzes or exams or store information on electronic devices. The penalty for cheating is a zero score for the quiz or exam.

  Cool Astro Links Pinkney's Homepage The ONU Physics Homepage Hyperphysics