ASTR 2110: Introduction to Astrophysics I

Year offered

This course provides a physics-based, mathematical introduction to the astronomy of stars, stellar remnants (white dwarfs, neutron stars, and black holes), interstellar matter, and the Milky Way (our galaxy). It is intended primarily for Astronomy, Astronomy-Physics, and Physics majors. Topics which are covered include: orbital motions; coordinate systems: telescopes; emission and absorption of radiation; the observed properties of stars; the Sun; stellar interiors; stellar spectra; binary stars; the life and death of stars; general relativity; white dwarfs, neutron stars, and black holes; interstellar matter; and the Milky Way, our galaxy.


Class Announcements:

This is the webpage is from the last time I taught this course, and will be updated before I teach it again.



Ryden and Peterson, Foundations of Astrophysics, ISBN-13: 978-1-108-83195-6, Cambridge University Press


  • Introduction [Preface]
  • Coordinates, Time, and Telescopes [Chapt. 1]
  • Motion and Gravity [Chapts. 2 & 3]
  • For a quick review of vectors, see
  • Electromagnetism and Light [Chapts. 5 & 6]
  • Basic Stellar Properties [Chapt. 13, pp. 307-321; Sect. 19.3, pp. 444-448]
  • Binary Stars [Chapt. 13, pp. 322-335]
  • The Sun [Chapt. 7]
  • Atomic Physics [Chapt. 5]
  • The material for Test 1 ends here.
  • Stellar Spectra [Chapt. 14]
  • Stellar Structure [Chapt. 15]
  • Stellar Evolution [Chapt. 17, pp. 398-408]
  • The Death of Stars [Chapt. 18, pp. 409-425]
  • General Relativity [Chapt. 23, pp. 536-539]
  • The material for Test 2 ends here.
  • Stellar Evolution in Binaries [Chapt. 18, pp. 426--432]
  • The Interstellar Medium and Star Formation [Chapt. 16, Sect. 17.1]
  • Our Galaxy, the Milky Way [Chapt. 19]