PHYS2082 – Space Science & Stellar Astrophysics50.0
The three words i'd decribe it with are "easy", "palatable" and "interesting".
Easy: The main difficulty is time, since there's a fair bit of reading, but it's not particular hard. If you come from a maths background, it's a nice taste of engineering with approximations, approximations and approximations. The hardest part, aside from lengthy but chill assignments, is just knowing which equation to use on the generous formula sheet, and how a derivation goes.
Palatable and Interesting: Who doesn't like space? They really try to make the assignments interesting, and for the most part it succeeds. A regular question would be "Your spaceship has detected an object radiating light at these particular wavelengths. Estimate the temperature using Black Body Radiation, and then use this to work out the albido of the object. If the planet had a clear atmosphere, what would you be able to deduce about it's surface".
The tougher questions are asking stuff like "calculate the energy released from the outer third of a red giant's gas accreting as it falls into a blackhole, and compare it with the energy released if the gas remained in the star for nuclear fusion".
Assignments: They lead on from one to another, so it would be nice if they gave you a little more results from the previous assignment if you burnt it like an albino at the beach. I wasn't that good with writing scripts, and some assignment questions would be prime for it... but pen and paper and wolfram alpha works enough.
Exams: Throughout the sem there were three, 40-60min exams, and it was a great opportunity to learn. The lecturers got you to talk to other people afterwards, to get extra marks if you were to understand their solution. This helps boost your grade and learn at the same time. Open Book final, wasn't punishing, but I wish there were more practice tests available... thankfully there was one test with solutions unlike other courses.
1. Hurdles on reading questions... bit rough, since there's not a lot of guidance on what's an acceptable response, especially since some questions are worded like an ESL student's instagram bio.
2. Group work for the assignments: The groups are fun and all but the sessions don't exactly help with the assignments
Semester 2 - 2016
BSc, Math and Physics Major
Is lecture attendance necessary?
Not at all but read the slides = absolutely
Is the textbook necessary?
I wish I had the textbook: Easy to find an online version of dubious legality