102 (section 002) Introduction to Physics
This course is about the most
important and most accessible ideas of astronomy and physics with some
coverage also of chemistry and biology.
My e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Information about the final exam is near the bottom of this
There are three textbooks.
The first is Steven Weinberg's book The
First Three Minutes available from Amazon
for $12.20 plus shipping. The second book is Physics
for Future Presidents: The Science Behind the Headlines
(Paperback - Sep 21, 2009, available at
Costco for $10.99). The third book is Israel
Rosenfield's DNA for Beginners available
(used) from sellers affiliated with Amazon.
Some websites hubblesite.org, nrao.edu, map.gsfc.nasa.gov, www.spitzer.caltech.edu,
the class notes, which are a work in progress.
cool movie of stars orbiting a super-massive black hole (Sgr A*) at
the center of our galaxy. This black hole has a mass about
4.3 million times that of the Sun. It is about 25,900 light-years
away. ESO astronomers used a SHARP
camera mounted on the NTT telescope in Chile to photograph these
stars in near-infrared light and made the movie from those
pictures. At the center of the
galaxy NGC 4258, there also is a super-massive
black hole; its mass is about 39 million times that of the Sun, and it
is 23.5 million light-years
One light-year is the distance
light goes in one year moving at the speed of light, c = 300,000
km/s. So one light-year is the distance d = 365*24*60*60s*300,000
km/s = 9.5 x 10^12 km, that is, 9.5 trillion km. The term parsec
means 3.26 light-years.
Richardson-McDaniel's lecture on dark matter.
Here is Steven Strogatz's discussion
of complex numbers. Here he talks about calculus.
Here is the mid-term take-home exam. Here are the answers.
Here is a link to Professor Nate
He points out that the planet-wide energy requirements of the world's
population are some 15 TW = 15,000,000,000,000 Watts and in forty years
will be about 45 TW. Only two sources of energy can satisfy
this need: coal and solar. To use coal is to gamble with
the planet. So we should develop solar technology to the point
where it can supply 45 TW in 50 years.
Here is the take-home final exam. You must put your answers on
one of the multiple-choice sheets which I handed out in class on 3 May
or on an identical form. You may turn in your multiple-choice
sheet during class on
May, or at 5:30 pm on 10 May, which is the date of the final exam, or
just put it in my mailbox in the Department of Physics & Astronomy
on Lomas at Yale.
Here are the answers.