CLASSES

Browse classes offered by Professor Julien de Wit - EAPS 

12.400 - Our Space Odyssey

Prereq: Physics I (GIR), Units: 3-0-9, Lecture: TR3-4:30 (Virtual), J. de Wit, R.Binzel

"We are about to stumble upon Life elsewhere in the Universe. How do we prepare ourselves and the future generations? At a time where our species and our ecosystem face profound challenges, it seems essential to seize any opportunity to reflect on where we are at and guide our next steps. This class will provide such an opportunity while studying the influence of astronomy on our species through time and cultures. Guest speakers

will share insights from fields spanning anthropology, art, astronomy, biology, history, philosophy, politics, psychology, and theology.

The first part of the class will cover fundamentals of our current worldview through an introduction to planetary sciences, the concepts of Life and Intelligence, and the processes of meaning-making. The second part will introduce some of our current challenges and the third part, case studies to gain insights into how change can be seeded. The semester will close with students integrating their reflections into a comprehensive essay, some of which will become part of a publication on space exploration as a mean for both outer and inner growth.

12.420/12.601 - Essentials of Planetary Sciences

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Prereq: 12.002 or permission of instructor, Units: 3-0-9, J. de Wit

Advanced applications of physical and chemical principles to the study of the solar system. Topics include terrestrial and giant planets, meteorites, asteroids, comets, Kuiper belt objects, rings, impact craters, interiors, surfaces, atmospheres, geomagnetism, cosmochemistry, remote sensing, formation and evolution of the solar system.

12.422 - Planetary Atmospheres

Prereq: 12.003 or permission of instructor, Units: 3-0-9, J. de Wit

Provides a basic understanding of the physics and chemistry of planetary atmospheres. Explores the formation and evolution of atmospheres, their structure and dynamics, and what is known about their chemical composition. Pays particular attention to their energy balance. Also presents the current state of understanding of exoplanet atmospheres. Students taking graduate version complete an additional research project.

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12.900 - EAPS First Year Graduate Seminar