New Astro Courses

In addition to the courses listed in the general catalog, the Department of Physics and Astronomy will be offering following new courses as part of the curriculum related to the Graduate Concentration in Astronomy and Astrophysics.
PHYSICS 223. Machine Learning and Statistics. 4 Units.
Theory and practice of machine learning and statistics for physics and astronomy.  Topics include: clustering, dimensionality reduction, Bayesian statistics, Markov-chains, variational inference, supervised and unsupervised learning, neural networks and modern deep learning architectures. Familiarity with python numerical programing assumed.
PHYSICS 240A. Galactic Astrophysics. 4 Units.
The morphology, kinematics, and evolution of our Milky Way and other galaxies. Topics include stellar formation and stellar evolution, end states of stars (supernovae, neutron stars), the distribution of stars, interstellar gas and mass in galaxies. The Local Group.
Prerequisite: PHYSICS 242
PHYSICS 240B. Cosmology. 4 Units.
An introduction to modern cosmology set within the context of general relativity. Topics include the expansion history of the Universe, inflation, the cosmic microwave background, density fluctuations, structure formation, dark matter, dark energy, and gravitational lensing.
Prerequisite: PHYSICS 242
PHYSICS 240C. Radiative Processes in Astrophysics. 4 Units.
Exploration of radiation mechanisms (electron scattering, synchrotron emission, collisional excitation, and more) and radiative transfer through matter including absorption and emission. Includes such observational astrophysics topics as spectroscopic study of atoms and nuclei, X-rays, and cosmic rays.
Prerequisite: PHYSICS 242
PHYSICS 241A. Planetary Systems. 4 Units.
Formation, evolution, and habitability of planetary systems. Including the origin and evolution of planetary atmospheres, processes governing planetary climate, and the habitability—past and future—of planets in our Solar System and orbiting other stars.
Prerequisite: PHYSICS 242
PHYSICS 241B. Stellar Astrophysics. 4 Units.
Physics of stellar interiors and equations of stellar structure. Stellar atmospheres and absorption processes. Introduction to stellar winds. Thermonuclear reactions, nucleosynthesis, and solar neutrinos. Binary stars and mass accretion. White dwarfs, supernovae, neutron stars, and black holes.
Prerequisite: PHYSICS 242
PHYSICS 241C. Extragalactic Astrophysics. 4 Units.
The physics and phenomenology of galaxies; star formation, interstellar medium, and intergalactic medium. Galaxy structure and dynamics. Galaxy evolution, stellar populations, and scaling relations; the relationship between galaxy properties and environment. Galaxy clusters and active galactic nuclei.
Prerequisite: PHYSICS 242
PHYSICS 241D. Early Universe Physics. 4 Units.
Includes a thorough quantum treatment of the generation of perturbations during inflation and various topics related to kinetic theory in an expanding Universe. Other topics include the astrophysics and cosmology of weakly interacting particles.
Prerequisite: PHYSICS 255
PHYSICS 241E. Astrophysics of the Interstellar Medium. 4 Units.
Properties and observational diagnostics of interstellar gas and ionized nebulae, and physical processes regulating the state of the interstellar medium. Extinction and emission from dust grains. Molecular gas and star formation. Supernova explosions, hydrodynamic shocks, and outflows from galaxies.
Prerequisite: PHYSICS 242
PHYSICS 242. Astrophysics Fundamentals. 4 Units.
Introduction to topics in astrophysics including measurement of stellar properties, stellar structure and evolution, stellar remnants and supernovae, the interstellar medium, exoplanets, gravitational lensing, galactic structure, extragalactic distance measurements and the expanding universe.
PHYSICS 250. Physics and Astronomy Communication Skills. 4 Units.
Fundamentals of effectively communicating research through written and oral platforms. Topics include writing compelling proposals and journal articles for peer review, and the development of engaging oral presentations of science results and significance to a wide range of audiences.
PHYSICS 276 A, B, C. Reading and Writing in Astronomy and Astrophysics. 2 Units.
Discussions of key research results and participation in summarizing research papers. 
Grading Option: Satisfactory/unsatisfactory only.