This course describes the properties of gravity, light, stars and galaxies, and the past, present and future of the Universe. There are no collegelevel prerequisites, but typical high school algebra and science preparation are assumed. The companion course, PHY109, covers the historical foundations of astronomy, the tools and techniques used by modern astronomers, the planets, moons, and minor bodies of our solar system, and the processes by which they formed. The two courses are independent; if you wish to take both, they can be taken in either order or concurrently.
Note that this course is intended for nonscience majors. Students with two semesters each of physics and calculus should consider taking PHY341 and/or PHY342, instead. Those courses cover much of the same material as PHY110 and PHY109, but at a more advanced level.
More information about this course is available in our tab on Sakai (PHY 110 F17 Jha).
Interactive demos I show in lecture (based on the book) can be found here.
Public observing nights at the Schommer Observatory (on the roof of Serin) take place on the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th Thursdays of each month, weather permitting.
Prof. Saurabh W Jha
Room 315, Serin Physics Building, Busch campus
Email: saurabh[at]physics.rutgers.edu
Phone: 8484458962 (email is preferred)
Office hours: Wednesday 34pm, or by appointment
The textbook we will use is The Cosmic Perspective: Fundamentals (2nd edition, 2015, Pearson) by Bennett, Donahue, Schneider, and Voit. The course is tightly integrated with this textbook, including lectures, reading assignments, and inclass quizzes, so the textbook is required. This is the same textbook currently used in PHY109. The first edition of the book (from 2009) is also acceptable.
We will also be doing inclass quizzes using the iClicker classroom response system. You may use either the original iClicker, iClicker+, or the second generation iClicker 2; we will not use any of the new features. You may also use the REEF Polling app with your mobile device. Once you acquire your iClicker, you should register it on Sakai.
Homework will be assigned for each lecture, in the form of reading ahead of the lecture and answering several homework questions. Homework will not be collected or graded, but reading and homework quizzes will be given at the beginning of each lecture. If you do the reading and homework problems, you should find these quizzes easy. The quiz problems will be similar  but not identical  to the assigned homework problems, so memorizing the answer will not help you, but understanding the problems will!
Completing the homework assignments is essential if you wish to get a good grade in the course, for three reasons:
We will also have inclass conceptual quizzes throughout the lecture, so attendance at lectures is required. I will drop the equivalent of three lectures' points in determining your inclass quiz grade. Any absences beyond three must be excused, via a dean's note.
On Friday, November 17th we will have an inclass workshop. Attendance is required, but you can see me about an excused absence and a makeup assignment before the workshop date.
There will be a midterm exam, held on Tuesday, October 31 during the regular class period. The final exam covers the second half of the course and is scheduled (by the University) for the morning of Thursday, December 21 (exact time and place to be determined).
There will be makeup exams for those who have an excused absence for either the midterm exam or the final exam. Only those people who are unable to attend the regular exams because of a class conflict, a medical/family emergency (which must be documented with a dean's note), or other serious and unforeseen event (which must be documented with a dean's note) will be allowed to take the makeup exam. To take the makeup exam, you must have a valid conflict and get permission from me the week before the exam.
All exams will be multiple choice, computer graded, and closed book. Calculators are not required, though I will provide one if you need it.
Important: During the midterm and final exams, you will be asked to present the appropriate identification: i.e., a valid Rutgers student ID card. Students lacking the appropriate identification may not be allowed to take the exam!
Your final grade will be calculated from the midterm exam (1/3), final exam (1/3), and inclass quizzes/workshop (1/3). A final grade of 90% or higher will guarantee you an A for the class.
Note that the maximum score you can get from the exams alone is 67%. Therefore it is impossible to get a good final grade without attending lectures and taking the inclass quizzes. Moreover, there will be some opportunities for extra credit throughout the semester, but these will only be available for students with good attendance at the lectures.
This syllabus may be modified as the semester progresses. The assignments are listed on the date they are due.
Lecture 
Date 
Topics 
Chapter 
Assignment 
1 
Sep 5 (Tue) 
course introduction 

2 
Sep 8 (Fri) 
astronomy basics; algebra recap iClicker practice 
1, Appendix C 
read: 1.1, 1.2, Appx C do: Q111, 19 
3 
Sep 12 (Tue) 
seasons and constellations 
2 
do: Chapter 1 Q18 read: 2.1, do: Q15 introduce yourself on Sakai 
4 
Sep 15 (Fri) 
phases of the moon; eclipses 
2 
read: 2.2, 2.3 do: Q612 
5 
Sep 19 (Tue) 
planetary motion 
3 
read: 3.1 do Q: 18 
6 
Sep 22 (Fri) 
theory of gravity 
3 
read: 3.2, 3.3 read: Tools of Science p.97 do Chapter 3: Q912, 22 
7 
Sep 26 (Tue) 
the nature of light 
read: Tools of Science p. 43, 80, 184, 132, 116 memorize: EM spectrum in wavelength order 

8 
Sep 29 (Fri) 
the Sun, our Star 
8 
read: 8.1 do Q: 16, 21 
9 
Oct 3 (Tue) 
telescopes, stars, and starlight 
8 
read: 8.2, 8.3 do Q: 712, 22 
10 
Oct 6 (Fri) 
classification of stars; the HR diagram 
8 
reread: 8.2, 8.3 study HR diagram 
11 
Oct 10 (Tue) 
star lives 
9 
read: 9.1, 9.2 do Q: 16 
12 
Oct 13 (Fri) 
star deaths 
9 
read: 9.2, 9.3 do Q: 712 
13 
Oct 17 (Tue) 
white dwarfs and neutron stars 
10 
read: 10.1 do Q: 1, 2, 5, 6 
14 
Oct 20 (Fri) 
neutron stars and black holes 
10 
read: 10.2 do Q: 3, 4, 7, 10 
15 
Oct 24 (Tue) 
relativity and black holes

10 
read: 10.3 do Q: 8, 9, 11, 12, 18 
16  Oct 27 (Fri)  midterm review  come with questions  
exam 
Oct 31 (Tue) 
midterm exam 
covers Ch. 13, 810 

17 
Nov 3 (Fri) 
the Milky Way 
11 
read: 11.1 do Q: 16 
18 
Nov 7 (Tue) 
galaxies 
11 
read: 11.2, 11.3 do Q: 712 
19 
Nov 10 (Fri) 
cosmic distances 
12 
read: 12.1 do Q: 17 
20 
Nov 14 (Tue) 
the expanding Universe; galaxy evolution 
12 
read: 12.2, 12.3 do Q: 812 
workshop 
Nov 17 (Fri) 
the age of the Universe 
inclass workshop
bring laptop if you can 

Nov 22 (Wed)  no class; happy Thanksgiving!  
22 
Nov 28 (Tue) 
the Big Bang 
13 
read: 13.1 do Q: 2, 3, 58 
23 
Dec 1 (Fri) 
the cosmic microwave background; inflation 
13 
read: 13.2, 13.3 do Q: 1, 4, 912 memorize eras of the Universe in order 
24 
Dec 5 (Tue) 
dark matter; largescale structure 
14 
read: 14.1, 14.2 do Q: 18 
25 
Dec 8 (Fri) 
dark energy; the accelerating Universe 
14 
read: 14.3 do Q: 912 
26 
Dec 12 (Tue) 
life in the Universe; final exam review 
15 
read: 15 do Q: 112 
Dec 21 (Thu)

final exam 
covers Ch. 1115 
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Astrophysics at Rutgers • Department of Physics and Astronomy • Rutgers University
Last updated: November 9, 2017 swj