Astronomy 14 – Astrophysics: Solar System and Cosmology

Prof. David Cohen

Spring 2018
Tu., Th. 2:40 to 3:55
SC 102 (behind the coffee bar!)


video Comet 67P hubble deep field





posted 11/26

This class is an introduction to astrophysics for students who already know at least a modest amount of physics and calculus. It is focused on two interesting and important topics in astrophysics, going relatively deeply into each one (see the syllabus linked on the right side of this page). Astro 14 can be taken as the first class of the major sequence in astronomy or astrophysics (by first-year students who are also taking Physics 13/15, though also by sophomores). It can be taken either before or after Astro 16, only one of which is required for the major, though taking both can be a fine idea. Astro 14 should also be accessible to students who've taken Astro 1 and want to take more astronomy, as long as they have some math and physics experience.

Our first class meeting will be on Tuesday afternoon, January 23. Students should get a copy of the textbook beforehand and read the syllabus and class information posted on the right side of this well as look at the three images above and read the descriptions linked from each one.

Students should expect both a reading assignment and a short homework assignment before the first class – posted here about a week ahead of time.

We will likely have our first lab meeting of the semester on Thursday night, January 25, at 8pm, meeting in SC 187. Stay tuned for information about that, too.


posted 11/26

The first reading and homework assignments will be posted here.

Upcoming Events

The department has regular talks – colloquia – given by visiting scientists. Check the department colloquium schedule to see the list of talks. You'll find titles and descriptions of the talks, which are generally on Fridays at lunchtime. We will have quite a few this semester, though most of them will be on physics topics, rather than astronomy. Attending these talks is a great way to find out what's going on today at the cutting edge of science and also how scientists go about defining a research question and then answering it.


Class Information

Prof. Cohen's office hours will generally be: Tuesday 4:00 to 4:30 and Thursday 4:00 to 5:30 and Friday from 1:30 to 3:00; weekly deviations from this schedule will be posted here

Prof. Cohen's office is SC 125 and his lab is SC 124, right across the hall; Ms. Klassen's office is one floor below, in SC L36

A syllabus [pdf] with information about the class as well as a schedule of topics, reading, labs, and exams (updated 11/26) is available – note that it will be periodically updated

Please also read these guidelines about the class [pdf], including rules for the classroom but also information about the growth mindset and about equity and inclusion


Astronomy Picture of the Day


observatory website

department website



This page is maintained by David Cohen
dcohen1 -at-

Last modified: November 26, 2017