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Astronomy

Faculty List

  • P. Artymowicz, M.Sc. (Warsaw University), Ph.D. (N. Copernicus Astron. Center, Polish Academy of Sciences), Professor
  • J. Bayer Carpintero, B.Sc. (Los Andes, Bogota), M.Sc., Ph.D. (Toronto), Associate Professor, Teaching Stream
  • C.C. Dyer, B.Sc. (Bishop's), M.Sc., Ph.D. (Toronto), Professor Emeritus
  • J.P. Lowman, B.Sc. (Toronto), M.Sc., Ph.D. (York, Canada), Associate Professor
  • K. Menou, B.Sc. (Angers), M.Sc. (Toulouse), Ph.D. (Paris XI)  Associate Professor
  • H. Rein, M.A.St. (Cambridge), Ph.D (Cambridge), Assistant Professor
  • D. Valencia, B.Sc., M.Sc. (Toronto), Ph.D. (Harvard), Assistant Professor

Astronomy is at the same time one of the oldest and one of the most dynamic areas of science. It is the attempt to understand the environment in which humanity developed, from the solar system in which we find our direct and recent origins, to the largest distance scales in the universe typified by quasars and the big bang, in which we must search for the very origins of structure ranging from the solar system to the largest structures, such as large clusters of galaxies and cosmic voids. The past four decades have seen startling discoveries, such as the cosmic microwave background radiation, that have given us both new understanding of the universe and made us more aware of the problems still facing us in attaining a deeper understanding. The last decade has witnessed an explosion in the number of known planets, with more than five hundred already discovered in orbit around other stars in our Galaxy. In addition, there has recently been a significant trend towards the integration of many of the ideas of modern high energy physics into astronomy, with particularly interesting developments concerning ideas about the very first seconds in the evolution of our universe.  As more planets are discovered there promises to be an even stronger collaborative effort with disciplines such as chemistry and biology to discover the possible origins of life.

The full range of modern astronomical topics is covered in the introductory courses ASTA01H3 and ASTA02H3 at a level suitable for students without mathematical background. In addition, the course ASTB03H3 is intended for students who have taken no previous astronomy, and covers the history of modern astronomy. It is intended to provide a historical perspective on modern astronomy, and by example, an introduction to the evolution of a number of modern scientific areas. For students wishing to further their study in astronomy, there are a number of higher level courses, which are integral components of Major and Specialist programs in Physics and Astrophysics, and related areas. Refer to the Physics and Astrophysics section of this Calendar for details of these courses and these programs.

Service Learning and Outreach
For an experiential learning opportunity that also serves others, consider the course CTLB03H3 (Introduction to Service Learning), which can be found in the "Teaching and Learning” section of the Calendar.