Fall 2015 Graduate Courses

CourseTitle/Description (Credits)
PTYS 502

Analytical and Numerical Modeling in Geosciences (3)

Analytical and numerical solutions to partial differential equations and other models widely used in disparate fields of geosciences. Equivalent to: GEOS 502, ECOL 502, MCB 502; GEOS is home department. Course Requisites: MATH 129. Open to advanced undergraduates with strong mathematical backgrounds and consent of instructor and Graduate College.

(001) Pelletier

Core Course

Principles of Planetary Physics (3)

PTYS Graduate Core Course. Introductory physics of planetary and interplanetary gases, fluids and plasmas. Thermodynamics, kinetic theory, plasma physics, hydrodynamics, and magnetohydrodynamics with solar-system applications. This includes planetary atmospheres, turbulence, solar wind, solar-system magnetic fields, dynamo theory, and planetary magnetospheres. Students will be expected to be familiar with vector calculus and both ordinary and partial differential equations.
Sample course syllabus, Giacalone (PDF)

(001) Giacalone | Course Page

Core Course

Principles of Planetary Physics (3)

PTYS Graduate Core Course. Quantitative investigation of the physical processes controlling planet formation, the orbital and rotational dynamics of planetary systems, the mechanical and thermal aspects of a planetary interior, and the dynamics of the Earth-Moon and other satellite systems. Sample course syllabus, Matsuyama (PDF)

(001) Matsuyama | Course Page


Dynamic Meteorology (3)

Thermodynamics and its application to planetary atmospheres, hydrostatics, fundamental concepts and laws of dynamic meteorology. Identical to ATMO 541A. ATMO is home department.

(001) Zeng

PTYS 545

Astrophysics of Stars and Accretion (4)

Equations of hydrodynamics; hydrodynamic equilibrium; polytropes; waves, and instabilities; convection and turbulence; radiative transfer; stellar atmospheres; stellar winds; nuclear reactions; stellar structure; helioseismology; stellar evolution; supernovae; white dwarfs, neutron stars, black holes; magnetohydrodynamics; accretion flows. Identical to: ASTR 545; ASTR is home department. Usually offered: Fall.

(001) Psaltis/Youdin

PTYS 554
Core Course

Evolution of Planetary Surfaces (3)

PTYS Graduate Core Course. The geologic processes and evolution of terrestrial planet and satellite surfaces including the Galilean and Saturnian and Uranian satellites. Course includes one or two field trips to Meteor Crater or other locales. Identical to: GEOS 554. PTYS is home department. Usually offered: Spring.
Sample course syllabus, Byrne (PDF)

(001) Byrne | Course Page

PTYS 567

Inverse Problems in Geophysics (3)

Linear and nonlinear inverse theory, including least squares, generalized and maximum likelihood methods. Identical to GEOS 567 and ATMO 567. GEOS is home department.

(001) Richardson


Planetary Geology Field Studies (1)

The acquisition of first-hand experience with geologic processes and features, focusing on how those features/processes relate to the surfaces of other planets and how accurately those features/processes can be deduced from remote sensing data. This is a three- to five-day field trip to an area of geologic interest where each student gives a short presentation to the group. This trip typically involves camping and occasional moderate hiking; students need to supply their own camping materials. Students may enroll in the course up to 10 times for credit but only three enrollments will count toward the major. Trip is led by a Planetary Sciences faculty member once per semester.

(001) Byrne | Course Page


Special Topics in Planetary Science (3)

Fall 2015: 'Nanoscale analysis of planetary materials using transmission electron microscopy'
Theory and practice of transmission electron microscopy as applied to samples that make up the planetary-materials suite. Topics include electron scattering and diffraction, image formation, energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy and electron energy-loss spectroscopy. Weekly lectures will be accompanied by  a laboratory practical session on meteoritic materials, lunar soils, and circumstellar dust grains. Emphasis will be placed on quantitative analysis of material structure and composition.

(001) Zega | Course Page