Astronomy Immersion

Overview for Astronomy Immersion

The astronomy immersion provides students with the opportunity for additional study in astronomy in order to build a secondary area of expertise in support of their major or other areas of interest. The immersion offers a broad background in astronomy with courses providing a broad survey of modern astrophysics and the techniques and technologies used to investigate astronomical phenomena.

Notes about this immersion:

  • This immersion is closed to students majoring inĀ physics.

The plan code for Astronomy Immersion is ASTRO-IM.

Curriculum Update in Process for 2024-2025 for Astronomy Immersion

Current Students: See Curriculum Requirements

Course
Prerequisites
MATH-181
Calculus I
This is the first in a two-course sequence intended for students majoring in mathematics, science, or engineering. It emphasizes the understanding of concepts, and using them to solve physical problems. The course covers functions, limits, continuity, the derivative, rules of differentiation, applications of the derivative, Riemann sums, definite integrals, and indefinite integrals. (Prerequisites: MATH-111 or (NMTH-220 and NMTH-260 or NMTH-272 or NMTH-275) or equivalent courses with a minimum grade of B-, or a score of at least 60% on the RIT Mathematics Placement Exam. Co-requisites: MATH-181R or equivalent course.) Lecture 6 (Fall, Spring).
MATH-182
Calculus II
This is the second in a two-course sequence. It emphasizes the understanding of concepts, and using them to solve physical problems. The course covers techniques of integration including integration by parts, partial fractions, improper integrals, applications of integration, representing functions by infinite series, convergence and divergence of series, parametric curves, and polar coordinates. (Prerequisites: C- or better in MATH-181 or MATH-181A or equivalent course. Co-requisites: MATH-182R or equivalent course.) Lecture 6 (Fall, Spring).
PHYS-211
University Physics I
This is a course in calculus-based physics for science and engineering majors. Topics include kinematics, planar motion, Newton's Laws, gravitation, work and energy, momentum and impulse, conservation laws, systems of particles, rotational motion, static equilibrium, mechanical oscillations and waves, and data presentation/analysis. The course is taught in a workshop format that integrates the material traditionally found in separate lecture and laboratory courses. (Prerequisites: C- or better in MATH-181 or equivalent course. Co-requisites: MATH-182 or equivalent course.) Lec/Lab 6 (Fall, Spring).
PHYS-212
University Physics II
This course is a continuation of PHYS-211, University Physics I. Topics include electrostatics, Gauss' law, electric field and potential, capacitance, resistance, DC circuits, magnetic field, Ampere's law, inductance, and geometrical and physical optics. The course is taught in a lecture/workshop format that integrates the material traditionally found in separate lecture and laboratory courses. (Prerequisites: (PHYS-211 or PHYS-211A or PHYS-206 or PHYS-216) or (MECE-102, MECE-103 and MECE-205) and (MATH-182 or MATH-172 or MATH-182A) or equivalent courses. Grades of C- or better are required in all prerequisite courses.) Lec/Lab 6 (Fall, Spring).
Required course
PHYS-220
University Astronomy
This course is an introduction to the basic concepts of astronomy and astrophysics for scientists and engineers. Topics include the celestial sphere, celestial mechanics, methods of data acquisition, planetary systems, stars and stellar systems, cosmology, and life in the universe. (Prerequisites: PHYS-211 or PHYS-211A or PHYS-207 or PHYS-216 or (MECE-102 and MECE-103 and MECE-205) or equivalent courses.) Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring).
Electives
Choose two of the following:
   PHYS-370
Stellar Astrophysics*
This course presents concepts of stars and stellar systems at an intermediate level. Topics include the observed characteristics of stars, stellar atmospheres, stellar structure and evolution, interaction of stars with the interstellar medium, and the populations of stars within the Milky Way Galaxy. (Prerequisites: PHYS-213 and PHYS-220 or equivalent courses. Students in the PHYS-BS program are also required to complete PHYS-275 prior to taking this course.) Lecture 3 .
   PHYS-371
Galactic Astrophysics*
This course describes the structure and dynamics of the Milky Way galaxy. It provides an overview of the major constituents of the Milky Way, their interactions, and the methods by which astronomers study them. (Prerequisites: PHYS-213 and PHYS-220 or equivalent courses. Students in the PHYS-BS program are also required to complete PHYS-275 prior to taking this course.) Lecture 3 (Fall).
   PHYS-372
Extragalactic Astrophysics and Cosmology*
This course provides a survey of the structure of the universe on the largest scales, including galaxies and clusters of galaxies. The course also provides an overview of the history of the universe from the Big Bang to the current day, and describes the observational evidence for our current values of the cosmological parameters. (Prerequisites: PHYS-213 and PHYS-220 or equivalent courses. Students in the PHYS-BS program are also required to complete PHYS-275 prior to taking this course.) Lecture 3 (Fall).
   PHYS-373
Observational Astronomy
This course provides a practical, hands-on introduction to optical astronomy. Students will use the RIT Observatory's telescopes and CCD cameras to take images of celestial objects, reduce the data, and analyze the results. The course will emphasize the details of image processing required to remove instrumental effects from CCD images. (Prerequisites: PHYS-220 or equivalent course. Students in the PHYS-BS program are also required to complete PHYS-275 prior to taking this course.) Lab 2, Lecture 2 (Spring).

* PHYS-213 (Modern Physics I) is a prerequisite for PHYS-370 (Stellar Astrophysics), PHYS-371 (Galactic Astrophysics), and PHYS-372 (Extragalactic Astrophysics and Cosmology).

NOTE: PHYS-370, PHYS-371, PHYS-372, and PHYS-373 are offered in alternate years. Contact the Astronomy Minor Advisor for the schedule.