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2005/06 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

PHYS1180 Galaxies and the Universe

10 creditsClass Size: 90

Module manager: Professor J E Dyson
Email: j.e.dyson@leeds.ac.uk

Taught: Semester 2 (Jan to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2005/06

Pre-requisite qualifications

A-Level Mathematics and Physics or equivalent

This module is approved as an Elective

Module summary

This is an introduction to all the different types of galaxies in the Universe and our own Milky Way. The expansion, large scale structure and fate of the Universe is described. The properties of 'active' galaxies, which have relativistic jets powered by supermassive black holes, are discussed.This module is for students with a Mathematics and Physics background.

Objectives

By the end of the module you should be able to:
- describe the different types of galaxy in the Universe;
- be familiar with the structure of the Milky Way Galaxy and our position in it;
- describe how and why galaxies appear different at wavelengths ranging from the radio to the x-ray;
- describe the characteristics of active galaxies and discuss a Unified Model to describe them;
- discuss how distances to galaxies are determined and the expansion of the Universe;
- describe the large-scale structure of the Universe;
- discuss the concept of the big bang and the ultimate fate of the Universe.

Skills outcomes
To broaden students' appreciation of the importance of wavelength regions and their association with physical processes. To understand that astronomy is quantatitive as well as qualitative.To broaden students' appreciation of the importance of wavelength regions and their association with physical processes. To understand that astronomy is quantatitive as well as qualitative.


Syllabus

Galaxies:
Types of galaxies, spirals, ellipticals, irregulars. Hubble's classification scheme. Interstellar gas and dust.
The Milky Way:
Our own galaxy and our location in it.
Galaxies at other wavebands:
Infrared view - warm dust and star formation. Ultraviolet view - young hot stars. Active galaxies.
Radio view - radio lobes, relativistic jets. X-ray view - supermassive black holes. Seyfert galaxies and quasars.
The Universe:
The distance scale, standard candles: Cepheids and supernovae. The expansion of the universe, Hubble's Law.
Large scale structure of the universe, clusters of galaxies, superclusters, voids.
The Big Bang:
Concept of the big bang, the fireball and the microwave background radiation. The ultimate fate of the Universe - expansion forever or the Big Crunch? The concept of dark matter.

Teaching methods

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information

Lectures: 20 x 1 hour.

Private study

Examples: 20 hours;
Reading: 60 hours.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

5 x homework sheets.

Methods of assessment

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information

1 x 2 hour written exam at end of semester: 70%;
5 x marked homework sheets: 30%.

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 31/03/2006

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