Courses

Undergraduate

ASTR 040 - Expanding Ideas of Time and Space

Discussions on astronomy, and the nature of time and space. Topics include the shape and contents of the universe, special and general relativity, dark and light matter, and dark energy. Observations and ideas fundamental to astronomers’ current model of an expanding and accelerating four-dimensional universe.

Enrollment limited to first-year students. Preregistration required; see under First-Year Seminar Program.

1 Yale College course credit(s)
Professor: Meg Urry
Term: Fall 2022

ASTR 110 - Planets and Stars

Astronomy introduction to stars and planetary systems. Topics include the solar system and extrasolar planets, planet and stellar formation, and the evolution of stars from birth to death.

No prerequisite other than a working knowledge of elementary algebra.

1 Yale College course credit(s)
Professor: Michael Faison
Term: Fall 2022

ASTR 155 - Introduction to Astronomical Observing

A hands-on introduction to techniques used in astronomy to observe astronomical objects. Observations of planets, stars, and galaxies using on-campus facilities and remote observing with Yale’s research telescopes. Use of electronic detectors and computer-aided data processing.

Evening laboratory hours required. One previous college-level science laboratory or astronomy course recommended.

0.5 Yale College course credit(s)
Professor: Michael Faison
Term: Fall 2022

ASTR 160 - Frontiers and Controversies in Astrophysics

A detailed study of three fundamental areas in astrophysics that are currently subjects of intense research and debate: planetary systems around stars other than the sun; pulsars, black holes, and the relativistic effects associated with them; and the age and ultimate fate of the universe.

No prerequisite other than a working knowledge of elementary algebra.

1 Yale College course credit(s)
Professor: Marla Geha
Term: Fall 2022
Day/Time: TTh 11:35am-12:50pm

ASTR 255 - Research Methods in Astrophysics

An introduction to research methods in astronomy and astrophysics. The acquisition and analysis of astrophysical data, including the design and use of ground- and space-based telescopes, computational manipulation of digitized images and spectra, and confrontation of data with theoretical models. Examples taken from current research at Yale and elsewhere. Use of the Python programming language.

Prerequisite: background in high school calculus and physics. No previous programming experience required.

1 Yale College course credit(s)
 
Same as: PHYS 295
Professor: Héctor Arce
Term: Fall 2022

ASTR 310 - Galactic and Extragalactic Astronomy

Structure of the Milky Way galaxy and other galaxies; stellar populations and star clusters in galaxies; gas and star formation in galaxies; the evolution of galaxies; galaxies and their large-scale environment; galaxy mergers and interactions; supermassive black holes and active galactic nuclei.

Prerequisites: MATH 115PHYS 201, and ASTR 210 or 220, or equivalents, or with permission of instructor.

1 Yale College course credit(s)
Professor: Jeffrey Kenney
Term: Fall 2022
Day/Time: MW 1pm-2:15pm

ASTR 343 - Gravity, Astrophysics, and Cosmology

Introduction to frontier areas of research in astrophysics and cosmology exploring ideas and methods. In­-depth discussion of the physics underlying several recent discoveries including extrasolar planets—their discovery, properties, and issues of habitability; black holes—prediction of their properties from GR, observational signatures, and detection; and the accelerating universe—introduction to cosmological models and the discovery of dark energy.

Prerequisites: PHYS 170171, or 180181, or 200201, or 260261, or permission of instructor.

1 Yale College course credit(s)

Professor: Daisuke Nagai
Term: Fall 2022
Day/Time: TTh 11:35am-12:50pm

ASTR 420 - Computational Methods for Astrophysics

The analytic, numerical, and computational tools necessary for effective research in astrophysics and related disciplines. Topics include numerical solutions to differential equations, spectral methods, and Monte Carlo simulations. Applications to common astrophysical problems including fluids and N-body simulations.

Prerequisites: ASTR 320MATH 120222 or 225, and 246.

1 Yale College course credit(s)
Professor: Paolo Coppi
Term: Fall 2022
Day/Time: MW 2:30pm-3:45pm

ASTR 471 - Independent Project in Astronomy

Independent project supervised by a member of the department with whom the student meets regularly. The project must be approved by the instructor and by the director of undergraduate studies; the student is required to submit a complete written report on the project at the end of the term.

Instructor/Advisor permission required. Please contact Astronomy Registrar, Robyn Lisone, for more details.

Professor: Marla Geha
Term: Fall 2022

ASTR 490 - The Two-Term Senior Project

A two-term independent research project to fulfill the senior requirement for the B.S. degree. The project must be supervised by a member of the department and approved by the director of undergraduate studies.

Professor: Marla Geha
Term: Fall 2022

ASTR 492 - The One-Term Senior Project

A one-term independent research project or essay to fulfill the senior requirement for the B.A. degree. The project must be supervised by a member of the department and approved by the director of undergraduate studies.

1 credit for Yale College students
Professor: Marla Geha
Term: Fall 2022
Graduate

ASTR 500 - The Physics of Astrophysics

Discussions on astronomy, and the nature of time and space. Topics include the shape and contents of the universe, special and general relativity, dark and light matter, and dark energy. Observations and ideas fundamental to astronomers’ current model of an expanding and accelerating four-dimensional universe.

Enrollment limited to first-year students. Preregistration required; see under First-Year Seminar Program.

1 Yale College course credit(s)

Professor: Meg Urry
Term: Fall 2022
Day/Time: TTh 1pm-2:15pm

ASTR 520 - Computational Methods in Astrophysics and Geophysics

The analytic and numerical/computational tools necessary for effective research in astronomy, geophysics, and related disciplines. Topics include numerical solutions to differential equations, spectral methods, and Monte Carlo simulations. Applications are made to common astrophysical and geophysical problems including fluids and N-body simulations.

Professor: Paolo Coppi
Term: Fall 2022

ASTR 565 - The Evolving Universe

Overview of cosmic history from the formation of the first star to the present day, focusing on direct observations of the high-redshift universe.

1 Yale College course credit(s)

Term: Fall 2022
Day/Time: TTh 9am-10:15am

ASTR 580 - Research

By arrangement with faculty.

Term: Fall 2022

ASTR 600 - Cosmology

A comprehensive introduction to cosmology at the graduate level. The standard paradigm for the formation, growth, and evolution of structure in the universe is covered in detail. Topics include the inflationary origin of density fluctuations; the thermodynamics of the early universe; assembly of structure at late times and current status of observations. The basics of general relativity required to understand essential topics in cosmology are covered.

Advanced undergraduates may register for the course with permission of the instructor.

Professor: Laura Newburgh
Term: Fall 2020

ASTR 610 - The Theory of Galaxy Formation

This astronomy course focuses on the physical processes associated with galaxy formation. Topics include Newtonian perturbation theory, the spherical collapse model, formation and structure of dark matter haloes (including Press-Schechter theory), the virial theorem, gravitational interactions, cooling processes, theory of star formation, feedback processes, and numerical simulations. The course also includes a detailed treatment of statistical tools used to describe the large-scale distribution of galaxies and introduces the student to the concepts of galaxy bias and halo occupation modeling. During the final lectures we discuss a number of outstanding issues in galaxy formation.

Term: Fall 2022
Day/Time: MW 9am-10:15am

ASTR 666 - Statistical Thermodynamics for Astrophysics and Geophysics

Classical thermodynamics is derived from statistical thermodynamics. Using the multi-particle nature of physical systems, we derive ergodicity, the central limit theorem, and the elemental description of the second law of thermodynamics. We then develop kinetics, transport theory, and reciprocity from the linear thermodynamics of irreversible processes. Topics of focus include Onsager reciprocal relations, the Fokker-Planck equation, stability in the sense of Lyapunov, and time invariance symmetry. We explore phenomena that are of direct relevance to astrophysical and geophysical settings. No quantum mechanics is necessary as a prerequisite.

Professor: John Wettlaufer
Term: Fall 2022
Day/Time: HTBA

ASTR 710 - Professional Seminar

A weekly seminar covering science and professional issues in astronomy and ethics.

Term: Fall 2022