H163: Readings # 1

Required Reading

The required reading assignment for the first two weeks is light: read chapters 1 and 2 of The First Three Minutes by Friday, October 11. (We will cover this material in the 3rd week of class.)

Optional Reading

The first two weeks are your main chance to review things you may have forgotten (or, if you didn't take H162 or A162, to learn things you may not have seen), by means of the optional reading in Universe (or any other astronomy textbook you happen to have).

The first chapter to read is chapter 4, more specifically 4-6 and 4-7, to remind yourself about Newton's laws of gravity and Newton's laws of motion. It is useful to read sections 1-5, 1-6, and 1-7, to remind yourself about angles and astronomical distance units. You should try to read this material by Wednesday, October 2.

The next chapter to read is chapter 5, The Nature of Light, to remind yourself about the electromagnetic spectrum, blackbody radiation, and atoms. You should also try to read this by Wednesday, October 2.

If you haven't taken H162/A162, then the most important chapter to read about stars is chapter 19, The Nature of Stars, especially sections 19-1 through 19-7, which explain how we measure basic properties of stars and the basic classification of stars on the Hertzsprung-Russell diagram. You may want to go on and read other chapters about star formation and stellar evolution, but this one covers the minimum material needed as background for this course.

If you haven't taken H162/A162, you should also read sections 26-1 through 26-4, in the Galaxies chapter; if you took H162/A162 a while ago, you may want to read this chapter as a reminder.

By the middle of week 3, I will assume that everyone is reasonably familiar with the material in these four chapters; you are of course welcome to ask me if you have questions about any of the material in these readings.

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Updated: 2002 September 24[dhw]