Offered to students admitted to Year 1 in ALL
Major/Minor ALL
Course Type
Offer in 2018 - 2019 Y N
Course Code PHYS1650
Date2019/07/23 19:15
Enquiry for Course Details
PHYS1650 Nature of the universe (6 credits) Academic Year 2018
Offering Department Physics Quota ---
Course Co-ordinator Dr K M Lee, Physics < kmlee@lily.physics.hku.hk >
Teachers Involved (Dr K M Lee,Physics)
Course Objectives This is an introductory course in astronomy for students in all disciplines and all years.  This is also the first course in our series of two compulsory courses to introduce basic astronomy knowledge, methods and recent advances for astronomy minor.  No prior knowledge in astronomy, physics, and higher mathematics is required, but will help.  After completing this course, interested students may take the second course in this series, namely, PHYS2650.
Course Contents & Topics Topics covered include the observational aspect of astronomy (including constellations and planets), the physics of our solar system, and our own Sun, stars and their evolution, galaxies, blackholes, and cosmology.  It also provides students with a basic understanding of the relationship of astronomy to life and how our nature works on the macroscopic level.  Students are expected to participate actively in the night sky observations.
Course Learning Outcomes
On successful completion of this course, students should be able to:

CLO 1 identify and describe the major objects in our Solar System and our universe (including stars and galaxies), and explain their main properties
CLO 2 use the celestial sphere model to describe the apparent trajectories of celestial objects
CLO 3 review the evolution of the world-view from the geocentric model to the heliocentric model and the discovery of the expansion of the universe on our world-view
CLO 4 apply quantitative physical laws, including Kepler's three laws of planetary motion, Newton's law of universal gravitation, Doppler shift formula and Hubble's law to calculate and solve simple astronomical problems
CLO 5 explain the evolution of stars and the evolution of the universe
CLO 6 communicate astronomical problems and solutions using appropriate astronomical terminology and good English
Pre-requisites
(and Co-requisites and
Impermissible combinations)
NIL
Course Status with Related Major/Minor /Professional Core 2U000C00 Course not offered under any Major/Minor/Professional core
2018 Minor in Astronomy ( Core/Compulsory )
2017 Major in Astronomy ( Core/Compulsory )
2017 Minor in Astronomy ( Core/Compulsory )
2016 Major in Astronomy ( Core/Compulsory )
2016 Minor in Astronomy ( Core/Compulsory )
2015 Major in Astronomy ( Core/Compulsory )
2015 Minor in Astronomy ( Core/Compulsory )
2014 Major in Astronomy ( Core/Compulsory )
2014 Minor in Astronomy ( Core/Compulsory )
Course to PLO Mapping 2017 Major in Astronomy < PLO 1,2,3,4 >
2016 Major in Astronomy < PLO 1,2,3,4 >
2015 Major in Astronomy < PLO 1,2,3,4 >
2014 Major in Astronomy < PLO 1,2,3,4 >
Offer in 2018 - 2019 Y        1st sem    2nd sem    Examination Dec    May     
Offer in 2019 - 2020 Y
Course Grade A+ to F
Grade Descriptors
A Demonstrate thorough mastery at an advanced level of extensive knowledge and skills required for attaining all the course learning outcomes. Show strong analytical and critical abilities and logical thinking, with evidence of original thought, and ability to apply knowledge to a wide range of complex, familiar and unfamiliar situations. Apply highly effective organizational and presentational skills. Apply highly effective observation skills and techniques. Critical use of data and results to draw appropriate and insightful conclusions.
B Demonstrate substantial command of a broad range of knowledge and skills required for attaining at least most of the course learning outcomes. Show evidence of analytical and critical abilities and logical thinking, and ability to apply knowledge to familiar and some unfamiliar situations. Apply effective organizational and presentational skills. Apply effective observation skills and techniques. Correct use of data of results to draw appropriate conclusions.
C Demonstrate general but incomplete command of knowledge and skills required for attaining most of the course learning outcomes. Show evidence of some analytical and critical abilities and logical thinking, and ability to apply knowledge to most familiar situations. Apply moderately effective organizational and presentational skills. Apply moderately effective observation skills and techniques. Mostly correct but some erroneous use of data and results to draw appropriate conclusions.
D Demonstrate partial but limited command of knowledge and skills required for attaining some of the course learning outcomes. Show evidence of some coherent and logical thinking, but with limited analytical and critical abilities. Show limited ability to apply knowledge to solve problems. Apply limited or barely effective organizational and presentational skills. Apply partially effective observation skills and techniques. Limited ability to use data and results to draw appropriate conclusions.
Fail Demonstrate little or no evidence of command of knowledge and skills required for attaining the course learning outcomes. Lack of analytical and critical abilities, logical and coherent thinking. Show very little or no ability to apply knowledge to solve problems. Organization and presentational skills are minimally effective or ineffective. Apply minimally effective or ineffective observation skills and techniques. Misuse of data and results and/or unable to draw appropriate conclusions.
Course Type Lecture with laboratory component course
Course Teaching
& Learning Activities
Activities Details No. of Hours
Laboratory 12
Lectures 36
Tutorials 8
Reading / Self study 64
Assessment Methods
and Weighting
Methods Details Weighting in final
course grade (%)
Assessment Methods
to CLO Mapping
Assignments 25 CLO 1,2,3,4,5,6
Examination 2-hour written exam 50 CLO 1,2,3,4,5,6
Test 25 CLO 1,2,3,4,5,6
Required/recommended reading
and online materials
E. Chaisson and S. McMillan: Astronomy Today (Pearson, 2011)
Course Website http://moodle.hku.hk
Additional Course Information NIL
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