Course Description

Introduction to Astronomy, PHYSICS 20A

History of astronomy. Underlying physics. Objects in the solar system and how they are studied. Properties of stars: their formation, structure, and evolution. Pulsars and black holes. Galaxies and quasars.

Key Information

Credit: 4 quarter units / 2.67 semester units credit
UC Irvine, Physics

Course Credit:

Upon successful completion, all online courses offered through cross-enrollment provide UC unit credit. Some courses are approved for GE, major preparation and/or, major credit or can be used as a substitute for a course at your campus.

If "unit credit" is listed by your campus, consult your department, academic adviser or Student Affairs division to inquire about the petition process for more than unit credit for the course.

UC Berkeley:
Unit Credit

UC Davis:
General Education: SE, SL, VL.

UC Irvine:
General Education: II - Science and Technology, Va - Quantitative Literacy 
Major Requirement: required for Physics - Education concentration & Earth System Science - Geociences Education concentration with Secondary Teaching Certification

UC Los Angeles:
General Education: Physical Sciences (No Lab)
Course Equivalence: Astronomy 3

UC Merced:
Units toward degree (see your advisor)

UC Riverside:
General Education: PHYS Elective Units

UC San Diego:
General Education: Revelle - Physics or one course towards Natural Science; Warren - May be counted depending on major/PofC; TMC: 1 course toward Physics or 1 course toward lower division disciplinary breadth if noncontiguous to major; Sixth -1 course towards Analytic Methodologies; ERC - 1 Natural Science; Muir: 1 course in a Natural Sciences theme in "Chemistry, Physics, and the Environment"; Seventh - 1 course towards Alternatives - Natural Sciences and Engineering
Course Equivalence: Possible UCSD PHYS 5

UC San Francisco:
Unit Credit

UC Santa Barbara:
General Education: Area C - Science, Mathematics, and Technology, Quantitative Relationships
Course Equivalence: UCSB ASTRO 1

UC Santa Cruz:
General Education: SI

Prerequisites

None

Course Fees

Required Textbook: “21st Century Astronomy (4th edition”, L. Kay, S. Palen, B. Smith & G. Blumenthal (2013), WW Norton, Inc.

More About The Course

For detailed information, please see the Syllabus. There are 26 pre-recorded lectures in this course that students will view online. An online homework assignment and quiz are due each week, and there are two 1-hour long, multiple-choice exams and a 2-hour long, multiple-choice final exam in the course.

Course Creator

Tammy Smecker-Hane
Tammy Smecker-Hane (Associate Professor, Dept. of Physics & Astronomy, UCI)

Professor Smecker-Hane is an astrophysicist whose research focuses on using telescopes like the Hubble Space Telescope and Keck telescopes to measure the ages and chemical compositions of stars in nearby galaxies to determine how the galaxies have evolved over age of the Universe. She is also the director of the UCI Observatory and the Astronomy Outreach Program. She teaches a wide variety of physics and astronomy courses to undergraduate as well as graduate students. She has taught the Physics 20A online course five times in the last four years, and her studies of student outcomes show that there is no statistical difference between how students perform in the regular lecture class verses the online class.

 
Tammy Smecker-Hane (Associate Professor, Dept. of Physics & Astronomy, UCI) Professor Smecker-Hane is an astrophysicist whose research focuses on using telescopes like the Hubble Space Telescope and Keck telescopes to measure the ages and chemical compositions of stars in nearby galaxies to determine how the galaxies have evolved over age of the Universe. She is also the director of the ...

Tammy Smecker-Hane (Associate Professor, Dept. of Physics & Astronomy, UCI)

Professor Smecker-Hane is an astrophysicist whose research focuses on using telescopes like the Hubble Space Telescope and Keck telescopes to measure the ages and chemical compositions of stars in nearby galaxies to determine how the galaxies have evolved over age of the Universe. She is also the director of the UCI Observatory and the Astronomy Outreach Program. She teaches a wide variety of physics and astronomy courses to undergraduate as well as graduate students. She has taught the Physics 20A online course five times in the last four years, and her studies of student outcomes show that there is no statistical difference between how students perform in the regular lecture class verses the online class.

 

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