Astronomy 301: Cosmology and Gravitational Collapse

San Diego State University

Fall 2011

The Crab Nebula

This course considers the universe on the grandest scales (cosmology) and during its most extreme moments (gravitational collapse of stars to form neutron stars and black holes through supernova explosions). Material is derived primarily from the course textbook (Your Cosmic Context: An Introduction to Modern Cosmology, by Todd Duncan & Craig Tyler). Through this work and class discussions we shall consider scientific breakthroughs with a particular emphasis on the interplay between the use of the ``scientific method'', and the (very) human process by which scientific discoveries are made. The class assumes no prior background in astronomy, although a general knowledge of science at the high-school level will be helpful. Mathematics will be limited to algebra and geometry.

Prerequisite: Completion of the General Education requirement in Foundations II. A.1. Physical Sciences.


Professor Douglas Leonard, leonard AT sciences DOT sdsu DOT edu
619-594-2215, Rm. 238 Physics building
Meeting times and locations T/Th 11:00 AM - 12:15 PM, Rm. PA-216
Office Hours Fridays 12:00 PM - 2:00 PM (just drop in, no appointment needed;
other days/times available by appointment).


Link to website (for completing weekly on-line homework) Detailed instructions on how to register at the textbook website can be found here.
Link to Astronomy Podcasts: here.
Need help with astronomy 301? Visit the TA Helproom!

Sisyphus Rolling a
BallThanks for a great semester!

...and should questions about the Universe linger, feel free to drop by my office hours in the future; just because the course is over, it doesn't mean the door is closed.
-Doug
  • Course Syllabus
  • Weekly Assignments
  • Class Handouts
  • Powerpoint slides shown in class
  • Web links shown in class
  • Last Updated 2012.01.09 by Douglas Leonard