Spring 2018 - PHYS 390 D100

Introduction to Astrophysics (3)

Class Number: 1617

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Tu 2:30 PM – 4:20 PM
    AQ 5030, Burnaby

    Th 2:30 PM – 3:20 PM
    SECB 1011, Burnaby

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Apr 17, 2018
    3:30 PM – 6:30 PM
    Location: TBA

  • Prerequisites:

    PHYS 211 and either CHEM 120 or 121, with a minimum grade of C-.



Characteristics of stars and their evolution, thermodynamics of stellar interior, origin of the elements, galaxies, cosmology, and origin of the planets. Quantitative.


This course is a quantitative introduction to the astrophysics of stars, galaxies, and the universe as a whole, emphasizing the physics of these systems as opposed to the tech- niques of astronomical observation. Topics include the tools of astronomy, stellar struc- ture and evolution, planetary system dynamics, binary stars, star clusters, end states of stellar evolution (white dwarfs, neutron stars, and black holes), galactic structure and evolution, quasars, galaxy clusters, and cosmology.
More advanced topics if time permits.



Your progress will be marked on absolute scale. At the end of the course, assignment and exam marks will be combined in a weighted average, from which the final grade will be derived (with thresholds to be determined by me). The relative weights are:
Assignments (every other week) 35%
Journal club (peer review) 25%
Final exam (open-book) 40%



Required Text:
Introduction to Cosmology by Ryden

Recommended Text:
Extragalactic Astronomy & Cosmology: An Introduction by Schneider

Department Undergraduate Notes:

Students who cannot write their exam during the course's scheduled exam time must request accommodation from their instructor in writing, clearly stating the reason for this request, before the end of the first week of classes.

Registrar Notes:

SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://students.sfu.ca/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html