* JMU AGN-LAIR Group Members

* PhD Thesis

* Science with small telescopes: The Cat's Eye

* ChaMP



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My work in the blogs




* Astr121: Stars, Galaxies & Cosmology
* see "Stars, Galaxies & Cosmology SPXX" on Blackboard
* e.g., syllabus 2010

Astronomy 121 is an introduction to modern astronomy, with an emphasis on Things outside our Solar System. The course begins with an exploration of the historical development of astronomy, tracing the path by which we have come to our present understanding of the Universe. Along the way we will build up the basic toolkit of physical concepts that we will need for our later explorations, specifically the nature of light, matter, and gravitation. The second part of the course is devoted to an overview of modern stellar and extragalactic astronomy, with particular emphasis on the nature of stars and their evolutionary cycle, including birth and their exotic graveyards, and on galaxies and their evolution throughout the life of the universe. We will end by discussing the exciting dark matter and dark energy, and our understanding of the beginning and the fate of the Universe. The emphasis will be on a general understanding of the fundamental laws of astronomy and physics. The only mathematics used will be straightforward algebra with a whiff of trigonometry. No prerequisites.

Course Objectives:

-- understand that we live in a huge universe described by a relatively small number of rules, which we have figured out through scientific inquiry.
-- appreciate how scientific inquiry happens, particularly through the eyes of an astronomer.
-- learn how these rules can help us understand nearly everything that happens in the Universe, and of course, around us, throughout our daily routines.
-- develop a life long interest in promoting science in general, and astronomy in particular.

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