Graduate Block Lecture Course

March 23 – 30, 2009

Lecturers: Eric Bell ( and Hans-Walter Rix ( 

Location: ARI Seminarraum


This lecture course is the compact equivalent of the semester-long course on galaxies that is established part of the Astronomy/Physics graduate curriculum. The course will convey a broad and up-to date perspective on the current state of knowledge and on the physical principles that shape the properties and evolution of the galaxy population, both at the present epoch and at high redshift. While the cosmological context will be stressed throughout, this class is not a cosmology course, nor has its main focus on modelling galaxy formation. Emphasis will be given to viewing galaxies as 'baryon condensates' in the cosmic dark matter web, to recent quantitative approaches for characterizing the galaxy population properties; there will be focus on the Milky Way and the Local Group - to understand galaxies, when resolved into individual stars; on galaxy dynamics, the role of dark matter in galaxy formation and on black holes at the center; on the various gas phases (and dust) in galaxies. To prepare students for research, the lectures will also discuss the most actively pursued open questions in this field.


Introduction to Astronomy I and II (or equivalent); basic knowledge of cosmology.


March 23

  • Introduction
  • Cosmology Primer
  • Stars and Dust

March 24

  • Diagnostics of the High-Redshift Universe
  • Chemical Evolution and Gas
  • Galaxy Dynamics


March 25

  • Supermassive black holes, AGN, and AGN feedback
  • Galaxy formation on a postcard - Cooling, star formation and feedback

March 26

  • Galaxy Merging and Environment
  • Galaxy structures and scaling relations


March 27

  • Galaxy evolution
  • The Local Group as a cosmological testbed

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