Welcome to PHYS 454 at CCNY

This will be the course page for City College Course PHYS 454 in the Spring of 2022.

The course syllabus is here: Syllabus


This course is listed as a zero-textbook course, which means no text book purchase is necessary. That doesn't mean you don't have to read anything. The class notes, and provided readings, will largely cover the material, however, you can supplement them with a number of other books if you feel like you need more information. Some useful ones:

  1. An Introduction to Modern Astrophysics, Bradley W. Carroll, Dale A. Ostlie,

    Otherwise known as the Big Orange Book, this book covers just about everything that a full year course in intro astrophysics would cover. This is not a full year course, so there are obviously many sections we won't cover.

  2. Foundations of Astrophysics, Barbara Sue Ryden, Bradley M. Peterson

    This is a more modern, and smaller introductory book. It covers less material and is somewhat more accessible.

  3. Fundamental Astronomy , Karttunen et al. Another textbook. This one is free to access from CUNY internet (via. SpringerLink)

Other Pages:

Course Content

Course Content will be available here. Exact Dates are subject to change, but this represents the most likely dates.

Date Subject (& pdf) Slides In class HW Extras
Jan 31 Intro (pdf) Slides Python for Astro
Feb 2 Origins of Astro (pdf) Slides HW 1 (due Feb 16)
Feb 7 Origins and Python Intro Python/Queries Tutorial
Feb 9 Planetarium
Feb 14 Celestial Mechanics (pdf) Slides
Feb 16 Celestial Mechanics HW 1 due
Feb 21
Feb 23 Lagrange Points (pdf) Slides
Feb 28 Light (pdf) Slides
Mar 2 Light & Matter (pdf) Slides HW 2 (due March 21)
Mar 7 Stellar Classes(pdf) Slides Reading Quiz 1
Mar 9 Stellar Interiors(pdf) Slides
Mar 14 Stellar Interiors
Mar 16 Stellar Interiors Solar Viewing
Mar 21 Stellar Evolution(pdf) Slides HW 2 Due
Mar 23 Stellar Evolution
Mar 28 Instruments(pdf) Slides
Mar 30 Rocky Planets(pdf) Slides HW 3 (due April 13)
Apr 4 Rocky Planets(pdf) Slides
Apr 6 Planetarium
Apr 11 Gassy Planets(pdf) Slides
Apr 13 HW 3 due
Apr 18
Apr 20
Apr 25 The Milky Way(pdf) Slides
Apr 27 Galaxies(pdf) Slides
May 2 Cosmology
May 4 Cosmology(pdf) Slides
May 9 Presentations Info
May 11 Presentations
May 16 Presentations


For email communication, please include in the subject: PHYS454. (This is to make sure I see it.)

To comply with FERPA guidelines, please use your ccny email to correspond with me. Include your name and section number, and EMPLID if you need administrative actions done. If you will be missing class or other activities due to illness, state that and that only. It's inappropriate and unprofessional to share details about vomiting, migraines, etc. Keep that between you and your medical provider or family, not your physics teacher.

Some student resources you might want to use can be found here: CCNY Campus Resources