Currently, 37 semester hours of coursework (including at least four graduate seminars) in courses numbered 5000 or above are required for completion of a Ph.D. (We do not currently offer an M.S. program). Students who began prior to Fall 2015 must take 39 credit hours, and those who started in 2015 must take 38. Students take core courses and some electives in their first year, and then complete the required credit hours by taking special topical or elective courses. While general courses are offered every year, a given elective is usually offered every other year.
Thermal, mechanical, quantum, and radiative processes in gases and plasmas, with emphasis on spectroscopy, atomic and molecular physics, statistical mechanics, and kinetic theory, with applications in astrophysics, planetary physics, and plasmas.
An introduction to radiative and dynamical processes aimed at graduate students in astrophysics, space physics and planetary science. Covers transport phenomena, the macroscopic treatment of radiation fields, magnetohydrodynamics and dynamical processes associated with planetary orbits and N-body systems.
Covers equations of fluid motion relevant to planetary atmospheres and oceans, as well as stellar atmospheres; effects of rotation and viscosity; and vorticity dynamics, boundary layers, and wave motions. Introduces instability theory, nonlinear equilibration, and computational methods in fluid dynamics
Applied mathematics course designed to provide the necessary analytical and numerical background for courses in astrophysics, plasma physics, fluid dynamics, electromagnetism, and radiation transfer. Subjects to be covered: integration techniques, linear and nonlinear differential equations, WKB and Fourier transform methods, adiabatic invariants, partial differential equations, integral equations, and integrodifferential equations.
Introduces multi-wavelength observational techniques, basic data handling, error analysis, and statistical tests relevant to modeling.
In addition to the above required courses, the APS Planetary Core includes:
Topics include the solar nebula, condensation, accretion, formation of the jovian planets, origin of comets & asteroids, formation of other solar systems. Also, basic celestial mechanics, resonances, and planetary rings.
Courses on topics of current interest intended for all planetary students. Past courses have included Mars, Venus, Jupiter, Exobiology, and Galilean satellites, and science with the Galileo spacecraft.
Topics include planetary interiors & geophysics, planetary surfaces, geological history of the planets and satellites, surface/atmosphere interactions, geological influence on life.
Topics include atmospheric structure & composition, remote sensing methods, atmospheric circulation, atmospheric chemistry, origin & evolution of atmospheres, jovian planet atmospheres & interiors, atmosphere-magnetosphere interaction, cometary activity, habitable zones around stars.