- Total units 48 Units
- Areas of interest Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Major code ASTR-MAJ
- Academic career Undergraduate
- Academic Contact Prof Michael Ireland
The Astronomy and Astrophysics major provides a broad overview of the application of physics to understanding the physical universe. It aims to provide a balance of knowledge and skills. Central areas of knowledge include: the physics of radiation; celestial mechanics and fluid dynamics; structure and evolution of planets, stars, galaxies, black holes, and the universe; design of and analysis of data from telescopes and similar instruments. Mathematical, computational and experimental skills include: problem solving, data gathering, data analysis, and instrument design. The major will prepare students for a variety of careers in areas in which the physical sciences are important, including: research, teaching, and industry.
- describe and explain the basic properties of astrophysical objects, including planets, stars, galaxies, black holes, and the universe as a whole.
- apply the principles of physics to solve problems pertaining to the behaviour of these objects, and to make predictions about their evolution.
- describe and explain the operation of telescopes and related instruments for observing astronomical phenomena.
- use mathematical, computational and experimental skills to solve conceptual and quantitative problems in astrophysics.
- demonstrate skills including: equipment familiarity, data gathering, record keeping, data analysis, dealing with uncertainty, experiment design, and comparison with theory.
- analyse unfamiliar astrophysical systems and provide order-of-magnitude estimates of quantities. This includes a knowledge of basic physical constants and key equations.
- be both creative and rigorous in the design and construction of scientific investigations of astrophysical systems.
- effectively communicate astrophysical analyses to expert and non-expert audiences.
constructively criticise evidence, arguments and conclusions wherever they are encountered.
This major will require students to complete 24 units of MATH courses which can lead to a MATH minor or contribute towards a MATH major:
The following are pre / corequisites for the required courses listed above:
- MATH1013/ MATH1115 - Mathematics & applications 1 / Advanced mathematics & applications 1 (corequisite for PHYS1101)
- MATH1014/MATH1116 - Mathematics & applications 2 / Advanced mathematics & applications 2 (prerequisite for PHYS2013 and PHYS2020)
- MATH2305 - Applied mathematics 1 (prerequisite for ASTR2013)
- MATH2306 - Applied mathematics 2 (prerequisite for ASTR3013)
Recommended additional courses:
- ASTR1001 - Astrophysics
- COMP1730 - Programming for scientists
- STAT1003 - Statistical techniques
- PHYS2016 - Electromagnetism 1
- PHYS2201 - Classical mechanics
- MATH3511 - Scientific computing
The major in Astronomy and Astrophysics requires the completion of 48 units, which must include:
36 units from completion of the following courses:
PHYS1101 - Physics 1 (6 units)
PHYS1201 - Physics 2 (6 units)
PHYS2013 - Quantum Mechanics (6 units)
PHYS2020 - Thermal and Statistical Physics (6 units)
ASTR2013 - Foundations of Astrophysics (6 units)
ASTR3013 - Astrophysical Processes (6 units)
A minimum of 6 units from completion of one of the following courses:
ASTR3002 - Galaxies and Cosmology (6 units)
ASTR3007 - Stars (6 units)
A maximum of 6 units from completion of one of the following courses:
ASTR3005 - Astrophysics Research Topic (6 units)
EMSC3022 - Planetary Science (6 units)
PHYS3057 - Optical Physics (6 units)
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