CASE STUDIES IN PHYSICS
Dr. Ray Sharples
If you have any problems with this course, please come to see me in
Room 247 or email me at R.M.Sharples@Durham.ac.uk
The search for extra-solar Earth-like planets, and possible signatures
of biological lifeforms, is one of the most exciting prospects for astronomy
in the new millenium. This course will investigate the technical challenges
to be faced and the basic physics underlying the formation of planetary
systems. Topics to be covered include: angular momentum transfer, black
body radiation, thermodynamic equilibrium and atmospheric physics.
Lecture 1: Introduction. Our solar system.
Formation of the solar system.
Lecture 2: Searches for extra-solar planets I.
Doppler method. Transit method.
Lecture 3: Searches for extra-solar planets II.
Interferometers. Gravitational lensing method.
Lecture 4: Habitable planets.
Surface temperature. Planetary atmospheres.
Lecture 5: Extraterrestrial intelligence.
Drake equation. SETI.
"The Search for Life on Other Planets" by Bruce Jakosky.
Further Information About the Course
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Last modified 15 November 2000