**Why does xkcd.com find this funny? Take Space Physics and/or Physics of Planets and find out!** 


Courses Currently Offered: 

4360/6360: Introduction to Space Physics and Instrumentation  

(Spring Term 2017)

Course Summary --

This course will explore the interaction of the solar wind with the Earth's magnetosphere using a combination spacecraft observations and fundamental plasma physics. Students will gain an understanding of the physics governing the interaction of the solar wind and the Earth’s magnetosphere building from single particle plasma motion to specific observation supported examples. We will also discuss the evolution of space instrumentation and its role in shaping our understanding of the Earth's magnetosphere. Take a look at the course website from previous years if you are interested in Space Plasma Physics, Magnetospheric Science, Solar Activity, etc. and check out the course syllabus, assignments, class notes, textbook, and references.

For fun, see how to build your own Electric Motor from random stuff around the office here... and see  below for Dilbert's take on generating electricity via induced currents:

Dilbert comic

4801/8001 - CP: Planetary Science Seminar  

Now Offered Fall & Spring Term!

Course Summary --

This seminar course meets one day a week (Tuesdays, 4:30-5:30pm, ES&T L1205) and is open to undergraduates, graduate students, postdocs and interested faculty. We will have a mixture of internal and external speakers covering a variety of planetary research topics, and will incorporate scientific journal articles when relevant to support discussions on these topics. This seminar should provide a forum for discussing planetary research, and also serve as a means for bringing together the students located in various departments across campus with interests in planetary science. Please check out the course website for a list of speakers and topics and feel free to drop by to see a seminar even if you're not registered this semester.

8001: Introduction to Research  

(Offered Every Fall Term)

Course Summary (Note: Prof. Bracco is leading this seminar for Fall 2016) --

This mandatory one-hour seminar course is intended to give incoming graduate students and overview of the breadth and depth of research in the School of Earth & Atmospheric Sciences, as well as a general discussion of expectations for graduate students. This discussion will include several sessions related to ethics in scientific research as well as a short exercise in effective science communication. Throughout the semester there will be opportunities to inform students of relevant fellowship deadlines and application procedures. 

Courses Previously Offered: 

4803 - HP/CP: History of Space Exploration 

Fall 2016

Course Summary --

In this course we will examine the history of space exploration, paying specific attention to the societal influences on, and impact of, these exciting accomplishments. We will cover many topics in this course, with attention given to the timescales of technological advancement, the differing trajectories of the early U.S. and Soviet Union space programs, the role of gender stereotypes in shaping perception and selection of astronauts,  and  the impact of robotic vs. manned exploration.  The goal of this course is to expose students to the complex environment that fostered some of the most inspiring achievements in exploration in the last century. This will also provide a context for launching discussion on the future of space exploration. Please check out the course website for more details.

4370/8370: Physics of Planets

(Fall 2016 by Prof. James Wray)

Course Summary (Note: Prof. Wray also taught this course for Fall 2014) --

In this course we will study of the forces and influences that determine the composition, structure and evolution of the planets in our systems. The keys to understanding solar system formation and evolution reside in observable planetary characteristics and those inferred from theory and indirect observation. Therefore, this understanding has evolved over the last several hundred years as telescope technology and space travel have enhanced our ability to make sophisticated measurements of much of the solar system. Students will gain an overall understanding of the physics governing the orbits, surfaces, subsurfaces, atmospheres and magnetospheres of the planets and planetary systems (moons and rings). These concepts will be placed in the context of current formation/evolution theories, and related open science question will be discussed in terms of potential spacecraft missions. Please take a look at the course website from last year if you are interested in Physics of Planets where you can see the course syllabus, assignments, class notes, textbook, and references.

2655: Quantitative Methods  

(Previously Offered: Spring Term 2016)

Course Summary --

In this course we will cover a wide range of useful quantitative methods with applications to Earth & Atmospheric Sciences. Specifically the course will cover concepts in basic statistics and probability, differential equations, and data processing. Lectures will be accompanied by sections including Matlab computing and plotting techniques that apply to specific topics covered. Various examples of Matlab applications will be provided throughout the course.