ASTR421: Galaxies

Room: CSS 2428 Time: WF 12:30 to 1:45 pm, Fall 2004

Course Description:

ASTR 421 is designed to give students a broad yet detailed introduction into the structure, kinematics and dynamics of normal and peculiar galaxies. This course will begin with a quantitative description of normal spiral galaxies (including our own Galaxy) and elliptical galaxies, and then proceed to discuss more exotic objects such as interacting galaxies, mergers, and active galactic nuclei. Topics to be covered include:

Morphology of galaxies: classification, surface-brightness profiles, fine structures, bulge-disk decomposition, metallicity gradients, bars, rings, warps

Insterstellar medium and its distribution: phases of the ISM, ISM in external galaxies, theories for the phase of the ISM

Kinematics & dynamics of disk galaxies: differential rotation, asymmetrical drift, disk heating, spiral density wave theory, bars, warps

Kinematics & dynamics of elliptical galaxies: stellar relaxation, stellar hydrodynamics, velocity ellipsoids, triaxiality, mass profiles

Galactic nuclei: survey of the Galactic center, search for dormant black holes, processes in active galactic nuclei and starbursts

Galaxy formation and evolution: chemical evolution, formation models of our Galaxy, tidal interaction and mergers, dynamical friction, cannibalism, ram-pressure stripping

Prerequisites: MATH 241, ASTR 121 and either PHYS 260 or PHYS 273, or permission of department

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Last modified: Mon Aug 30 15:44:54 2004