AST 233: Astrodynamics
(Fall 2024)
Instructor: Alice Quillen, Bausch and Lomb Hall 424, Phone:2759625, Email:alice.quillen at rochester.edu
Lectures: Mondays and Wednesdays 12:30am1:45pm,
in Bausch and Lomb 480
TA/TI: Matthew Wanink
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.
Credit Hour Policy
This course follows the College credit hour policy for fourcredit courses. This course meets
twice weekly for 2.5 academic hours per week. The course also includes
some recitations and workshops and
independent outofclass assignments.
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.
Class Website
http://astro.pas.rochester.edu/~aquillen/ast233/
Course materials are posted on this website, not on blackboard.
Prerequisities:
The class is intended for undergraduate juniors and seniors with a general
physics background and some familiarity with mechanics and astronomy.
Topics

Order of Magnitude Dynamics

Newtonian Dynamics

Celestial mechanics, Orbital dynamics

Potential Theory

Resonance

The ThreeBody problem

Galactic rotation, Epicyclic motion, Dynamical friction

Chaotic Systems

Tidal Evolution and Spin Dynamics

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
 An analytical or literature focused project
 A numerical focused project
 Some form of inclass participation (black board work)
Grading: problem sets 55%, projects 35%, exams (none),
class participation 10%.
Collaboration policy: Collaboration is encouraged. However,
problem set solutions and the projects 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 reading will be uploaded in pdf form to a site that will be given in blackboard or/and class.
Actual books will be on reserve at the POA.
 Orbital Motion in Strongly Perturbed Enviroments:
Applications to Asteroid, Comet and Planetary Satellite Orbiters by Dan Scheeres

Stability and Chaos in Celestial Mechanics, by
Alessandra Celletti
(PhysicsOpticsAstronomy Library reserve
QB351 .C4414 2010)

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
(POA library) QB500.5 .M87 1999

Galactic Dynammics by J. Binney and S. Tremaine
QB857 .B524 1987 or
QB857 .B524 2008 (already on reserve in POA for other classes)
 The Three Body problem by Mauri Valtonen and Hannu Karttunen
(POA library) QB362.T5 V35 2006