Fall 2023 Graduate Courses

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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.

Course Level Other: PTYS Graduate Elective
(001) Pelletier

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. Course requisites: Classical and quantum mechanics at the level of PHYS 151 and PHYS 242. Sample course syllabus, Matsuyama (PDF)

Course Level Other: PTYS Graduate Core Course

Astronomical Instrumentation (2)

Radiant energy; signals and noise; detectors and techniques for imaging, photometry, polarimetry and spectroscopy. Examples from stellar and planetary astronomy in the x-ray, optical, infrared and radio. Equivalent to ASTR 518.

Course Level: PTYS Graduate Elective
(001) Marrone

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.

Course Level Other: PTYS Graduate Elective
(001) Brunke
(101) Brunke

Origin of the Solar System and Other Planetary Systems (3)

This course will review the physical processes related to the formation and evolution of the protosolar nebula and of protoplanetary disks. In doing that, we will discuss the main stages of planet formation and how different disk conditions impact planetary architectures and planet properties. We will confront the theories of disk evolution and planet formation with observations of circumstellar disks, exoplanets, and the planets and minor bodies in our Solar System. This course is cross-listed with ASTR 550 and may be co-convened with PTYS 450.

Course Level Other: PTYS Graduate Elective

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, 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)

Course Level Other: PTYS Graduate Core Course

Astrochemistry (3)

This astrochemistry course is the study of gas phase and solid state chemical processes that occur in the universe, including those leading to pre-biotic compounds. Topics include chemical processes in dying stars, circumstellar gas, planetary nebulae, diffuse clouds, star-forming regions and proto-planetary discs, as well as planets, satellites, comets and asteroids. Observational methods and theoretical concepts will be discussed. Graduate-level requirements include a project and an oral exam. Identical to ASTR 588A; may be convened with ASTR 488A. ASTR is home department.

Course Level Other: PTYS Graduate Elective
(001) Ziurys

Topics in Theoretical Astrophysics (3)

Current topics in theoretical astrophysics in depth, with emphasis on the methodology and techniques of the theorist and the cross-disciplinary nature of astrophysics theory. Example subjects are nuclear astrophysics, hydrodynamics, transient phenomena, planetary interiors and atmospheres, neutron stars, jets and the evolution of star clusters. May be repeated for credit 1 time (maximum 2 enrollments). Identical to ASTR 589 and PHYS 589.

Course Level Other: PTYS Graduate Elective
(001) TBA

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. Trip is led by a Planetary Sciences faculty member once per semester. Altnerative grading (SPF).

Course Level: PTYS Graduate Elective
Course Level Other: PTYS Graduate Elective

Special Topics in Planetary Science (1-4)

Course will emphasize emerging and current topical research in Planetary Science; course will be offered as needed or required.  Sample course topics might include an active spacecraft mission, an emerging research area, or new discoveries.  Course may be co-convened with PTYS 495B. Graduate-level requirements may include an additional project for graduate credit and extra questions on exams, depending on the course/topic taught. Course may be repeated for credit 4x (or up to 12 units). Regular grades assigned (ABC).

(001) Amy Mainzer

PTYS 595B (001) Fall 2023 is 3 units. Career Development. Class will focus on building the skills needed to find, obtain, and keep a job for degree holders in planetary science and related fields. We will explore the different types of jobs that are available, the funding mechanisms that support them, proposal and resume/CV writing, proposal reviews, and the interview process. We will additionally cover public speaking to both scientific and general audiences. Co-convened with PTYS 495B.

(002) Roger Yelle

PTYS 595B (002) Fall 2023 is 3 units. Radiative Transfer. Radiative transfer is one of the primary processes driving the thermal structure and evolution of planetary atmospheres and an integral part of atmospheric models.  The course will review the opacity of gases and aerosols in planetary atmospheres, techniques for describing these opacities in computationally efficient ways and for calculation of radiative heating/cooling rates.  The course will also describe how radiative transfer calculations are used to interpret remote sensing observations in terms of atmospheric properties.  Familiarity with a programming language such as python, matlab, or fortran is desirable. Topics include: Spectral line shape, absorption of a spectral line, molecular bands and high-frequency calculations, CIA opacity, K-coefficients, other frequency sampling techniques, emergent intensities in LTE, heating rate calculations, aerosol opacities, scattering calculations.