Street-Fighting Physics! - Professor Kevin Kimball, BS, U.S.N.- retired
"Flying In A Blue Dream"
Joe Satriani
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ASTR 100
Gravity, Acceleration
Background, History
  • Aristotle
  • Aristarchus
  • Ptolemy
  • Copernicus
  • Galileo
  • Brahe
  • Kepler
  • Newton
  • Earth-centrism
  • Epicycles
  • Crystal spheres
  • Heliocentrism
  • Circular orbits
  • Elliptical orbits
  • Gravity
  • Universal Gravitational Constant

Here's a fun short science fiction story regarding the "Crystal Spheres."

The Crystal Spheres.pdf (PDF — 393 KB)


Lab: Freefall tower
  • Calculate acceleration of gravity at Earth sea-level
  • Calculate Earth's mass using Universal Gravitational Constant ("G")
Newton's version of Kepler's Third Law:
  • Calculating period of Moon
  • Calculating mass of primary
  • Math review
Week 3:
Astronomic Scales
Scientific Notation/Basic Math Review
Text Chapter 1
Dark Matter - Dark Energy
Percentages in Universe
  • Dark Matter - 23%
  • Dark Energy - 73%
  • Normal Matter - 4%
Key Figures:
  • Fritz Zwicky
  • Vera Rubin
  • Albert Einstein
  • Mass Calculations vs orbital speeds
  • Gravitational lensing
  • Temps in intracluster medium
Characteristics of Dark Matter
  • Interactions
  • Emmisions
  • Laws of motion
Candidates for Dark Matter
  • MACHO's
  • WIMP's
  • Exotic Particles
Astronomic measures, astronomic scale
  • Light year
  • Speed of Light
  • Parsec
  • Astronomic Unit (AU)
UPCOMING (in no particular order):
  • Type 2 Supernovas
  • Neutron Stars
  • Escape velocity
Recap of "Star Death"
  • Star Formation
  • Open Clusters
  • Accretion
  • Protostars
  • Pre-Main Sequence stars
  • Effects of star mass on star evolution
  • Temp of Hydrogen Fusion
  • Interstellar Medium
  • Nebulae
  • Interstellar Extinction
  • Supernova Remnants
  • Gravitational Collapse
  • Bok Globules
  • Jeans Instability
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Stellar Formation: Birth of the greatest objects in the Universe
this video is partly a response to pgfracing and his video on stellar formation (lack there of), and partly to cement together everything I had learned about stars in my astronomy class. So enjoy, as ...
  • Cepheid/variable stars*
  • Standard Candles*
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Cepheid Variable in Spiral Galaxy [720p]
A Cepheid is a star that varies in light intensity over regular, measurable periods. The period of pulsation is directly related to a Cepheid's intrinsic brightness making observations of these stars ...
The Michelson-Morley Experiment 1:1
The Michelson-Morley Experiment space In 1887, Albert A. Michelson and Edward W. Morley tried to measure the speed of the ether. The concept of the ether was made in analogy with other types of media in which different types of waves are able to propagate; sound waves can, for example, propagate in air or other materials. The result of the Michelson-Morley experiment was that the speed of the Earth through the ether (or the speed of the ether wind) was zero. Therefore, this experiment also showed that there is no need for any ether at all, and it appeared that the speed of light in vacuum was independent of the speed of the observer! Michelson and Morley repeated their experiment many times up until 1929, but always with the same results and conclusions. Michelson won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1907.    The ether was a hypothetical medium in which it was believed that electromagnetic waves (visible light, infrared radiation, ultraviolet radiation, radio waves, X-rays, -rays, ...) would propagate. 
 Albert Michelson,
  First American
  to win Nobel in Physics
                                     Midshipman Albert
                                     U.S. Naval Academy
See also:

Copyright © Nobel Media AB 2011
  • General Relativity
  • Spacetime distortion
  • Sir Arthur Eddington (see pdf below)
  • Gravitational Lensing
Arthur Eddington.pdf (PDF — 170 KB)
  • Doppler Effect
  • Red Shift
  • Special Relativity
  • General Relativity
Telescope Basics:
  • Reflecting/refracting telescopes
  • Objective lens, light gathering
  • Focal length, magnification
Basic Wave Theory:
  • Velocity, frequency, wavelength
  • Role of medium in mechanical waves
  • Lab: Measuring speed of sound
  • Galileo's sketches
Math Review:
  • Scientific notation
  • Operations in scientific notation
  • Operating astronomic telescopes/inverted images
  • Solar observation
  • Lunar observation
Hubble Law:
  • Calculations using Hubble Law
  • Standard candles
  • Red Shift
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