AST 233: Astrodynamics
(Spring 2017)
Instructor: Alice Quillen, Bausch and Lomb Hall 424, Phone:2759625, Email:aquillen at pas.rochester.edu
Lectures: Tuesdays and Thursdays 11:05am12:20,
in Bausch and Lomb 203H
TA/TI: none
Office hours: None officially, however I encourage students to drop
by my office at any time.
I am usually around between 9am and 5pm.
To make sure I am available, send me a note,
suggesting some good times that you are free,
to arrange a meeting time in advance.
Overview:
We will explore topics in the dynamics of astronomical objects
such as satellites, moons, asteroids, comets, planetesimals, dust,
exoplanets, stars, star clusters and galaxies.
We will use a variety of techniques including an order of magnitude
approach, numerical integrations and nonlinear dynamics and chaos theory.
Prerequisities:
The class is intended for undergraduate juniors and seniors with a general
physics background and some familiarity with astronomy.
Topics

Order of magnitude Dynamics

Newtonian Dynamics

Celestial mechanics, Orbital dynamics

Potential Theory

Resonance

The ThreeBody problem

Galactic rotation, epicyclic motion, Dynamical friction

The Chaotic Pendulum

Tidal Evolution and Spinning Bodies

Some topics of recent interest such as stability of exoplanet
systems, dynamics and habitability, orbits near black holes,
spin dynamics, ..
Course requirements:
 About 6 problem sets
 1 project
 1 inclass midterm? (maybe none)
 Some form of inclass participation (black board work)
Grading: problem sets 50%, project 25%, exams 20%?,
class participation 25%.
Collaboration policy: Collaboration is encouraged. However,
problem set solutions and the project must be written alone by each individual
in their own words.
It is not acceptable to copy problem solutions or parts of a project.
Textbooks and Reading:
Some of these will be uploaded in pdf form to blackboard.
The actual books will be on reserve at the POA.

Stability and Chaos in Celestial Mechanics, by
Alessandra Celletti

Newtonian Dynamics,
by Richard Fitzpatrick,
Newtonian Dynamics

OrderofMagnitude Physics: Understanding the World with Dimensional Analysis, Educated Guesswork, and White Lies ,
Goldreich, Mahajan et al.

Solar System Dynamics by C. D. Murray and S. F. Dermott
QB500.5 .M87 1999

Galactic Dynammics by J. Binney and S. Tremaine
QB857 .B524 1987 or
QB857 .B524 2008