Harvard University

*Astronomy 208. The Physics of the Interstellar Medium

Catalog Number: 4842
Alyssa A. Goodman

The Interstellar Medium [ISM] of our own and other galaxies, as well as the Intergalactic Medium will be discussed, with the greatest emphasis on the Milky Way's ISM. Various physically distinct regions will be investigated, including cold neutral gas, hot ionized gas, photon-dominated regions, high-velocity clouds, and galactic nuclei. Star-forming clouds and supernova remnants will be addressed in detail, as will the interaction of stellar winds with the ISM. The goal of the course willbe an understanding of how to measure, understand, and predict the conditions (i.e., temperature, density, chemical composition, ionization state, magnetic field, velocity distribution) of the gas and dust in interstellar material, and to understand the role of the interstellar material in galaxies and the universe.

The syllabus for this course, including a course outline, is available in html or PDF format.

Click here for the list of journal articles to be discussed in class.

There is no single source book for this course, but a good list of possible reference books can be found here. Here are some lists of: Good Reference Readings, and Journal articles for the course.

Schedule of Lectures, Journal Article Discussions and Guest Lectures

Class Notes

Problem sets and solutions are on-line here.

Click here to see a list of all people currently attending AY208 (You can also send email from that link).

Special Links:

  1. Web site for 1st day of class, introductory lecture -- Supplemental links for 1st day
  2. Many of the images from 2nd day of class can be found here
  3. Special Page on HII regions.
  4. Special Page on ISM in External Galaxies..
Questions or Comments? Click here. 
This page last updated on 10/4/00, by AAG.