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Physics of Stars: An Introduction

Program(s): Immersion

Understanding how stars work - what makes them shine - is one of the great accomplishments of 20th-century science. The theory of stellar structure allows us to investigate the interiors of stars, even though what we observe is radiation from their outer atmospheres. This theory also helps us determine how old stars are, how they create heavier nuclei from lighter nuclei in their centers, and how they evolve from birth to death, ending as a white dwarf, a neutron star, or a black hole.

This course introduces you to the concepts behind and applications of this crucial breakthrough. We will review the physical principles - gravity, pressure, radiation, and how radiation interacts with matter - and apply these principles to further our understanding of stellar structure. We will collect our own measurements of stellar properties, such as the temperatures and luminosities of stars, using robotic telescopes controlled via the internet.

We will analyze these images and other existing astronomical data sets using the Python programming language, assisted by coding assignments. No prior coding experience is necessary, and a walkthrough of the basics of Python will be provided before the course.

See sample syllabus here.

Remote or Residential

✓ Residential (On-Campus)

 

Course Considerations

This course includes a field trip to the historic Yerkes Observatory in Wisconsin.

Discussion Intensive
Math Intensive

Course Overview

Start Date

July 10

End Date

July 26

Current Grade / Education Level

9th Grade
10th Grade
11th Grade

Program

Immersion

Class Details

Course Code

ASTR 11901 94

Class Day(s)

Mon Tues Wed Thurs Fri

Class Duration (CST)

9:00

3:00 P.M.

Session

Session II

Course Length

3 weeks

HS Orientation Date

July 08
July 09

Primary Instructor

Emily Simon

Secondary Instructor

Kayla Owens

Academic Interest

Math and Computer Science
Physical Sciences (e.g., astronomy, physics)