Course Meeting Times

Lectures: 3 sessions / week, 1 hour / session


The subject covers the physics of galaxies, active galactic nuclei, clusters of galaxies, and the Universe. Topics include X-ray and Sunyaev-Zeldovich observations of clusters of galaxies, the cosmic microwave background radiation and big bang nucleosynthesis.


  1. Galaxies: dynamics, potential theory, equilibria
  2. Groups and clusters of galaxies; X-ray emission and dark matter
  3. Active galactic nuclei; black hole accretion and jets
  4. Phenomenological cosmology
  5. Newtonian and Friedman-Robertson-Walker models
  6. Cosmic microwave background
  7. Primordial nucleosynthesis
  8. Formation of galaxies and large scale structure

Required Texts

Binney, James, and Scott Tremaine. Galactic Dynamics. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1 January 1988. ISBN: 9780691084459.

Longair, Malcolm S. Galaxy Formation. New York: Springer-Verlag, 1 December 1998. ISBN: 9783540637851.


8.901 (Astrophysics I)


The basis for the course grade is listed below.

Assignments 40%
Midterm 20%
Final Exam 40%

Course Info

Learning Resource Types

notes Lecture Notes