SCI 67 — The Energetic Universe: An Introduction to Astrophysics and Cosmology
Day(s): Saturday and Sunday
Course Format: Live Online (About Formats)
Duration: 4 days
Date(s): Jul 31—Aug 8
Time: 9:00 am—12:00 pm (PT)
Refund Deadline: Jul 31
Grade Restriction: No letter grade
Instructor(s): Elena Orlando, Eugenio Bottacini
Class Recording Available: No
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, and 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’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 200 peer-reviewed publications and has been involved in NASA and ESA space missions. Orlando received a PhD in physics from the Technical University of Munich and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics.
Senior Research Scientist in Astrophysics, HEPL and KIPAC, Stanford
Eugenio Bottacini researches the physics that governs supermassive black holes in the center of galaxies and how it can be used to understand the universe. He observes the sky at high energies, and has discovered a number of 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.
Associate Professor in Astrophysics, Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Padua
Textbooks for this course:
There are no required textbooks; however, some fee-based online readings may be assigned.