Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Laboratorium Astrofisika

Astrophysics Laboratory

Apa gunanya tangan kalau tidak dipergunakan, apa juga manfaat tangan kalau dipergunakan untuk kemaksiatan,

Mata itu umpama satelit, sekali-kali jangan salah dipergunakan

 Mujahid Cinta

Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
60 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA 02138




Professor John M. Kovac, Dr. Thomas Dame, and members of the Department. 



Harvard College/GSAS: 3615
Spring 2011; limited to 16

First meeting: Wednesday, Jan 26, 2 PM *
Observatory Pratt Conference Room


Charles R. Alcock

Charles Roger Alcock

England Windsor, England
Education California Institute of Technology
Occupation Astrophysicist
Years active 1977 – present
Known for
Center for Astrophysics

Prof. Dr. Charles Roger Alcock, Ph.D. (born 1951 in Windsor, Berkshire, England)

Laboratory and observational projects in astrophysics, carried out with the research facilities of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. Teams of two students perform two research projects during the course. Telescopes that may be used include the Submillimeter Array, the CfA millimeter-wave telescope, the Clay Telescope, and the heliostat at the Science Center. Laboratory projects include development of hard X-ray imaging detectors, testing of superconducting submillimeter detectors, and millimeter-wave laboratory spectroscopy.

Intended primarily for concentrators in Astronomy and Astrophysics or combined concentrators with Physics. Students with Physics as their primary concentration, but with a serious interest in astrophysics, may take this to satisfy their laboratory requirement (in lieu of Physics 191) upon petition to the Head Tutor in Physics.

Prerequisite: Astronomy 16 or 17, or Physics 15c or equivalent.

*NOTE: Only the first meeting is on Wednesday at 2 PM. Most subsequent meetings are arranged by the 2-student teams and their instructors, so course conflicts are rarely an issue. See the General Information page for the times and dates of the other group meetings.

Astronomy 16 or 17, or Physics 15c or equivalent. The course is intended primarily for concentrators in Astronomy and Astrophysics or combined concentrators with Physics.


Students work on an experiment in pairs but must submit individual written reports on each of two experiments performed during the term. Students must also give presentations on their experiments on March 9 and April 27.

The report (20 pages or less) should be modeled after a scientific journal article. It should contain an introduction which reviews the basic scientific principles behind the experiment and its astrophysical relevance, a section describing your preparation for and execution of the experiment, a section on your analysis and interpretation of the data, including a discussion of instrumental and possible systematic errors, and a conclusion discussing what was learned and how the experiment might be improved or followed up on. Figure captions and a reference list should also be included.

Presentations (15 minutes for a team of two students) should basically follow the same organization as the paper, with one student perhaps giving an introduction and description of the experiment, and the other describing the data analysis and results. A progress report on your analysis will be acceptable if the experiment was performed just a few days before. Proper timing of the presentation is very important since they will be strictly limited to 15 minutes.

Hours will vary with the experiment; some will require one or two late-night or overnight observing sessions.
The first experiment should be completed by the day of the first presentations, March 9, and the first report is due on March 28. The second experiment should be completed by April 27, the last day of classes, and its report is due on May 5. 

Required Textbook

Data Reduction and Error Analysis for the Physical Sciences
Third Edition, 2003
Philip R. Bevington & D. Keith Robinson
Boston : McGraw-Hill.
Available from the Harvard Coop

General Meetings

All general meetings are held in the Pratt Conference Room at the Center for Astrophysics.
Wednesday, Jan. 26, 2-4 PM: Organizational meeting
Wednesday, Mar.  9, 1-4 PM: Student presentations
Wednesday, April 27, 1-4 PM: Student presentations
All other meetings are arranged by the 2-student teams and their instructors. 

Course grade will be based on lab work (30%), oral presentations (20%), and the written reports (50%).

Useful Link