TU Delft
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2013/2014 Applied Sciences Bachelor Applied Physics
Introduction to Astronomy
Responsible Instructor
Name E-mail
Prof.dr. B.R. Brandl    B.R.Brandl@tudelft.nl
Name E-mail
Drs.ing. R.M.J. Janssen    R.M.J.Janssen@tudelft.nl
Contact Hours / Week x/x/x/x
Education Period
Start Education
Exam Period
Course Language
Expected prior knowledge
Modern Physics (TN1311)
Course Contents
Astronomy is a fascinating part of modern sciences based on physical principles, combining basic physics, photonics, bio-chemistry and state-of-the-art engineering. This course will provide an overview of stars, planets, galaxies and cosmology, as well as a basic introduction to telescopes and photon detectors.

Course Outline:
Lecture 1 (17 dec): Introduction & Properties of Radiation
Lecture 2 (20 dec): Observational Basics: Telescopes, Instruments, Adaptive Optics & Detectors
Lecture 3 (7 jan): Our Atmosphere, Planetary Orbits, & our Solar System
Lecture 4 (10 jan): Physics of Stars
Lecture 5 (14 jan): Star Formation and Star Clusters
Lecture 6 (17 jan): Stellar Evolution
Lecture 7 (21 jan): Exoplanets
Lecture 8 (24 jan): Galaxies
Lecture 9 (28 jan): Cosmology
Study Goals
1. Learning about the main ingredients of our Universe and their basic physical properties.
2. Understanding the physical and technical concepts to observe and study these objects.
Education Method
I. Lectures: Tuesdays and Fridays, 4 hours each, following the scheme:
8:45 - 9:45 lecture (40 min lecture + 20 min interactive test)
9:45 - 10:05 break
10:05 - 11:05 lecture (40 min lecture + 20 min interactive test)
11:05 - 11:25 break
11:25 - 12:25 lecture (40 min lecture + 20 min interactive test)
12:25 - 12:30 time for questions
(note that the times on Fridays are different)
IMPORTANT: we will use TurningPoint for feedback during the lectures. Students who have a notebook, an iPad or a smartphone are kindly asked to bring them to the lectures.

II. Homework exercises will be provided at the end of the Tuesday lectures. The solutions have to be handed in before the subsequent Tuesday lecture.
The schedule includes two blocks of 4 hours each for self-study: Mondays (13:45 - 17:30) and Thursdays (8:45 - 12:30), during which the homework can be done. In addition, questions will be answered during the "office hours" on Thursdays (10:30 - 12:00, F354 @ TNW) and during the werkcollege on Mondays 13:45 - 14:30.

III. It is planned to have two excursions (field trips) as part of this course:
(i) a visit to the Oude Sterrewacht in Leiden, and
(ii) a visit to the Westerbork radio telescopes in Drenthe.
The exact dates and times of these excursions are still TBD.
Astronomy is a wide field and there is no suitable textbook which describes the topics of this course at the required level. The basis for study are the handouts (copies of the slides shown and discussed during the lectures). They also define the material to be prepared for the exam.
For further reading (strongly recommended!) the following book is recommended:
"Fundamental Astronomy" by H. Karttunen, P. Kröger, H. Oja, M. Poutanen & K.J. Donner, (Eds.), Springer, 5th ed. 2007, ISBN 978-3-540-34144-4
The final grade is determined to 2/3rd from the written exam and 1/3rd from the homeworks. The exam will be based (in difficulty and content) on the homeworks and the interactive tests during the lectures.
Exam Hours
The written exam will take place on 31 January, 2014, between 14:00-17:00
Permitted Materials during Tests
Simple handheld calculator, provided formula sheet
Tuesdays (08:45 - 12:30): Aula C
Fridays (13:45 - 17:30): Aula C