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WSP 379 — The Energetic Universe: An Introduction to Astrophysics and Cosmology

Quarter: Winter
Day(s): Sat/Sun
Course Format: Live Online (About Formats)
Duration: 4 days
Date(s): Jan 23—Jan 31
Time: 9:00 am—12:00 pm (PT)
Drop Deadline: Jan 23
Unit: 1
Grade Restriction: No letter grade
Tuition: $400
Instructor(s): Elena Orlando, Eugenio Bottacini
Limit: 25
Status: Registration opens Nov 30, 8:30 am (PT)
Please Note: Full schedule: Saturdays and Sundays, January 23, January 24, January 30, and January 31, 9:00 am – 12:00 pm (PT). Reminder: Some of our refund deadlines have changed. See this course's drop deadline above and click here for the full policy.
Winter
Live Online(About Formats)
Sat/Sun
9:00 am—12:00 pm (PT)
Date(s)
Jan 23—Jan 31
4 days
Drop By
Jan 23
1 Unit
Fees
$400
Grade Restriction
No letter grade
Instructor(s):
Elena Orlando, Eugenio Bottacini
Limit
25
Registration opens Nov 30, 8:30 am (PT)
Please Note: Full schedule: Saturdays and Sundays, January 23, January 24, January 30, and January 31, 9:00 am – 12:00 pm (PT). Reminder: Some of our refund deadlines have changed. See this course's drop deadline above and click here for the full policy.
Stargazing on a clear night, we see a universe that appears to be quiet and calm. Only through the aid of sophisticated telescopes are we able to witness energetic and intense phenomena that carry information about its history. In this course, we will explore what astrophysicists and cosmologists are working on and what kinds of things they don’t yet know. First, we will introduce the basic concepts of astronomical observations needed to understand astrophysics and cosmology. We will learn about astronomical objects ranging from the sun to distant, massive black holes. Together, we will explore energetic phenomena such as explosions of massive stars and lightning from distant galaxies. We will also learn about pivotal astrophysical discoveries using telescopes in space and on land—including the Voyager spacecraft, the first human-built instrument to communicate from outside the solar system. Next, we will focus on the origin of the universe. We will learn how the largest structures of the universe and the first galaxies formed, and how entropy describes the evolution of the universe. Students will come away with a greater appreciation of the dynamic and ever-evolving nature of the universe, and a deeper understanding of its origin.

Elena Orlando, Senior Research Scientist in Astrophysics, HEPL and KIPAC, Stanford

Elena Orlando’s research focuses on the discovery and explanation of the origin of the gamma rays and the cosmic rays in the universe. She has authored more than two-hundred peer-reviewed publications and is involved in NASA and ESA space missions. She received a PhD in physics from the Technical University of Munich and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics.

Eugenio Bottacini, Associate Professor in Astrophysics, Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Padua

Eugenio Bottacini’s research is driven by the question: What is the physics that governs supermassive black holes in the center of galaxies, and how can it be used to understand the universe? To answer this question, he observes the sky at high energies, discovering new supermassive black holes. He received a PhD in physics from the Technical University of Munich and held postdoctoral fellowship positions at the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics and at Stanford.
DOWNLOAD THE PRELIMINARY SYLLABUS » (subject to change)