- Professor Pete Vukusic (Professor - Exeter University)
|Assessment Type||Assessment length / details||Proportion|
|Semester Assessment||3 x 40-minute multiple choice tests||100%|
|Supplementary Exam||1.5 Hours Multiple Choice Test||100%|
On successful completion of this module students should be able to:
1. Memorise the development of ideas attempting to describe the complex observable universe in terms of underlying physical laws.
2. Demonstrate a scientific grasp of the basic ideas in our understanding of the physical Universe.
3. Describe the basic physics of the Sun and other stars.
4. Distinguish between the near and far Universe.
5. Describe the formation and the structure of solar system planets and exoplanets.
The sky at night has fascinated humankind since the beginning of history. Contemporary astronomy provides us with a comprehensive picture of the physical universe, yet one in which many questions remain unanswered. This module reviews our present understanding of the universe and highlights important gaps in our knowledge. Topics covered include : the birth, life and death of stars (white dwarfs, black holes etc.); planets, comets and asteroids; the possibility of life elsewhere in the universe; galaxies and quasars; cosmology and the big bang. The course is suitable for undergraduates of any discipline.
Stars and planets: the formation of the Solar System. The Terrestrial planets, formation, differentiation and the evolution of surfaces and atmospheres. Jovian planets: atmospheres and interiors. Minor bodies of the Solar System : comets, asteroids, Pluto-Charon, meteors. Extra-solar planets and life in the universe.
Stellar properties. The Sun. Star birth and interstellar matter. Stellar evolution. The deaths of stars : black holes, neutron stars, white dwarfs.
Types and evolution of Galaxies. Cosmology and relation to Physics.
Introductory skills for using the Internet and other electronic sources of information.
This module is at CQFW Level 4