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PHYS 191: Intro to Astrophysics: Getting Started


We are living through a Renaissance in Astronomy and Astrophysics, and our understanding of the Universe has advanced at a breathtaking pace over the last fifty years. The development of our modern view of the Universe represents a truly remarkable odyssey in the history of human thought and one of humanity's greatest intellectual adventures. 

This course is detailed, largely conceptual, and roughly a chronological introduction to our understanding of the Universe and the astrophysical principles describing the formation and evolution of stars, planets, and galaxies. It is taught in two parts, each for two credits. Part I explores theories from the ancient Greeks through Isaac Newton, and Part II continues through modern cosmology. Both are designed to be interesting and accessible to a general college audience.

Part I - none;
Part II - successful completion of Part I.
Mathematics for course topics will be reviewed as needed.

Additional notes: 

  • This is a 2-credit course, so it can be taken in addition to a full set of 4-5 courses.

  • Current students (A section) can look for Part I of PHYS-191 in Winter term.

  • B section students can register for Part I of PHYS-191 in Fall term.

Kettering President Dr. Robert McMahan will be teaching both sections.


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Meagan Brown
Library: 2-202 AB

Physics Department

The Department of Physics

2nd Floor of the Academic Building

Room 2100

Phone: (810) 762-7824


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