Graduate Courses

Fall 2020 CourseĀ Offerings

The following is a list of all graduate courses offered in the Astronomy Department for Fall 2020.

For more detailed information, or to search for course listings by semester, please useĀ Yale Course Search.

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 2020

ASTR 550 - Stellar Astrophysics

An introduction to the physics of stellar atmospheres and interiors. The basic equations of stellar structure, nuclear processes, stellar evolution, white dwarfs, and neutron stars.

Professor: Sarbani Basu

ASTR 580 - Research

By arrangement with faculty.

Term: Fall 2020

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 2020

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 2020

ASTR 710 - Professional Seminar

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

Professor: Gregory Laughlin
Term: Fall 2020