AST 308

Galaxies & Cosmology

Spring 2004

MWF 11:30-12:20, Room 1420 BPS

 

SOME MAJOR RESEARCH THEMES IN

EXTRAGALACTIC ASTRONOMY

 

o                Cosmology and dark energy.

o                Nature of dark matter.

o                Formation of structure.

o                Evolution of galaxies.

o                Production of the chemical elements.

 

Instructor: Jack Baldwin

(baldwin@pa.msu.edu), Room 3270 BPS, 355-9200 ext. 2411

Office Hours: Catch me in my office whenever you can Im usually there from 9AM 5 PM.

 

Prerequisites: (AST 307) and (PHY 184 or PHY 184B or PHY 294H) and (MTH 234 or concurrently or MTH 254H or concurrently or LBS 220 or concurrently)

 

Textbook: Carroll & Ostlie, Modern Astrophysics.

Astronomy papers on the web:

http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abstract_service.html (ADS abstract service)

http://xxx.lanl.gov/form/astro-ph?MULTI=form+interface (astro-ph eprint archive)

Grading:


Homework: 20%

2 midterms: 20% each

Final: 25%

Term paper: 15%


 

Term paper: Must specify topic by March 5. Paper due April 23. 10 double-spaced pages of text minimum, not counting figures.ApJ style (http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/ApJ/instruct.html), except no abstract. Topics (max two people per topic):


  1. QSO Accretion Disks.
  2. The Nature of Dark Matter.
  3. The Search for MACHOs.
  4. The Future of Astrometry.
  5. Structure of Dark Matter Halos.
  6. The Evidence for an Accelerating Universe.
  7. The Evidence for a Flat Universe.
  8. What is Dark Energy?
  9. Measurements of the mass of neutrinos.
  10. Abundance Gradients in Galaxies.
  11. The Tully-Fisher Relation.
  12. The Evolution of Black Holes.
  13. Measuring the Primordial 4He Abundance.
  14. The Formation of E Galaxies.
  15. The Extragalactic Distance Scale.
  16. Fitting Density Waves to Observed Spiral Galaxies.
  17. Gravitational Lenses.
  18. Measuring the equation of state of dark energy.
  19. Galaxy collisions.
  20. How are the heaviest elements produced?
  21. The source of iron in galaxies.
  22. Measuring the star formation rate in the Universe.
  23. Chemical abundances in AGN.
  24. Physics of double-lobed radio sources.
  25. The primordial D/H ratio.
  26. The First Stars
  27. Evolution of Stellar Populations.
  28. How Type Ia supernovae work.
  29. What drove inflation?
  30. The distribution of matter out to the Great Attractor

 

COURSE OUTLINE

Subject to change at any moment

 

References are given in square brackets.

  • References given as just numbers, i.e [23.1], refer to sections in Carroll & Ostlie, which you are always responsible for reading.

 

 

PRESENT-DAY GALAXIES (Astronomy in 1936)

 

Week 1 (Jan 12,14,16)

        Course description

        GALAXY TYPES [23.1]

        SPIRAL GALAXIES: Dependence of mass etc. on Hubble Type and on L [23.2]

o       Tully-Fisher relation [23.2]

o       Density Waves [23.3]

Week 2 (Jan 21, 23)

        ELLIPTICAL GALAXIES [23.4]

o       The Fundamental Plane [23.4].

o       Orbits and shapes

o       Relative numbers: spirals vs ellipticals

o       Luminosity functions

 

Week 3 (Jan. 26, 28, 30)

        COSMIC DISTANCE SCALE [25.1]

        Hubbles Law [25.2]

 

BIG-BANG COSMOLOGY (Astronomy in 1990)

Week 4. (Feb. 2, 4, 6)

        Newtonian Cosmology [27.1]

        Cosmic Background Radiation [27.2]

o       Steady state cosmology

o       Radiation & matter eras

 

Week 5 (Feb 9, 11, 13)

        Concepts of General Relativity [16.1,16.2]

        Relativistic Cosmology [27.3]

o       Geometry

o       RW metric

o       Friedmann eqn.

o       Cosmological constant

        Observational Cosmology [27.4]

o       Luminosity distance, etc.

o       Redshift-mag relation

o       Number counts

o       Angular size test

 

MIDTERM 1 ( Feb 16)

 

 

Week 6 (Feb 18, 20)

        The history of the universe [28.1]

o       Big Bang nucleosynthesis

o       Deuterium measurements [NOT IN BOOK]

 

Week 7 (Feb 23, 25, 27)

 

        Inflation [28.2]

o       Horizon, flatness, antimatter problems

o       Separation of forces

 

THE STRUCTURE OF THE UNIVERSE

        Present-day structure [25.3]

        Growth of Structure [28.1]

o       Dark Matter [BRIEFLY MENTIONED ON PG. 1278. EXTRA READING MATERIAL WILL BE ASSIGNED]

         M/L on different scales.

 

Week 8 (Mar 1, 3, 5)

         Gravitational lenses [26.4 + EXTRA MATERIAL]

         Dark Matter Candidates

        MACHOS

        CDM, HDM

o       Simulations of growth of structure

[EXTRA READING MATERIAL WILL BE ASSIGNED]]

o       Lya forest [26.4]

SPRING BREAK (Mar 812) J

 

Week 9 (Mar 15, 17, 19)

RECENT OBSERVATIONAL RESULTS IN COSMOLOGY

        CMB measurements (Boomerang, WMAP etc)

[NOT IN BOOK. EXTRA READING MATERIAL WILL BE ASSIGNED]

 

MIDTERM 2 (Mar 29)

 


 

 

 

FORMATION AND EVOLUTION OF GALAXIES [24.1,24.2]

Weeks 10+11 (Mar 31, April 2)

        Tidal stripping

        Starbursts

        Building cD galaxies, E galaxies

        ELBS top-down model

        Explanation of mass range of galaxies

        Bottom-up Galaxy formation

o       Formation of MW

o       Forming Es through spiral mergers?? (compare to HDF results)

o       HDF results, etc. [NOT IN BOOK]

 

Week 12 (April 5, 7, 9)

        AGN

o       Black Holes [16.3]

o       AGN [26.1, 26.2, 26.3]

 

 

THE SYNTHESIS OF THE CHEMICAL ELEMENTS

Weeks 13,14 (April 12, 14, 21, 23) .. I will be gone April 16, 19

        Measuring Chemical Abundances in Stars: The Curve of Growth. [9.4]

        Abundance analysis from HII regions

 

Week 15 (April 26, 28, 30)

        IMF, closed box models, chemical evolution

o       B2FH

        Spectral synthesis

        First stars

o       Gamma Ray Bursters [25.4]

 

 

FINAL EXAM Tuesday May 4, 10-12AM L