Digital Imaging and High Resolution Spectroscopy:  An Advanced Undergraduate Laboratory Course in Astrophysics

PI: Nathan McCrady, Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Montana

We are designing, developing, and implementing an advanced undergraduate laboratory course in modern observational astrophysics for the University of Montana.  Students will gain experience working with modern astronomical instruments, including charge-coupled device (CCD) cameras, fiber-fed spectrometers and high spectral-resolution echelle spectrometers.  Students will develop skills in acquisition, calibration and analysis of digital imaging and spectral data, and gain an understanding of the statistical behavior of light through interactive experimentation.  No other advanced lab of this kind is offered to undergraduates in this state.  The proposed course will position Montana students to understand and participate in NASA observational astronomy missions, and enhance student competitiveness for graduate school and summer internship programs.  Undergraduate students will be employed during the grant period to help design, build and develop the experiments, providing experiential education.



Contact Information

Mail: Nathan McCrady
Department of Physics and Astronomy
University of Montana
Missoula, MT  59812
E-mail: Nathan McCrady
Phone: (406) 243-2041

Montana Space Grant Home
Updated March 1, 2010