Alan Hirshfeld - College of Engineering - Physics - 2018

Alan Hirshfeld, PhD

Professor

Physics

508-999-8715

508-999-9115

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Science & Engineering 208B


Education

1973Princeton UniversityB.S. in Astrophysics
1975Yale UniversityM.S. in Astronomy
1978Yale UniversityPh.D in Astronomy

Teaching

  • Astronomy
  • Physics
  • Electronics
  • Science writing

Teaching

Programs

Teaching

Courses

Seminar on fundamental topics and new discoveries in physics. Also an introduction to the physics major program and faculty research.

Seminar on fundamental topics and new discoveries in physics. Also an introduction to the physics major program and faculty research.

An introduction to astronomy that describes the advancement of astronomical knowledge and surveys the contents, properties, and physical processes of the universe. Simple mathematics will be used. Evening observing sessions at the UMass Dartmouth Observatory will be offered. The course is designed for non-science majors.

An introduction to astronomy that describes the advancement of astronomical knowledge and surveys the contents, properties, and physical processes of the universe. Simple mathematics will be used. Evening observing sessions at the UMass Dartmouth Observatory will be offered. The course is designed for non-science majors.

An introduction to astronomy that describes the advancement of astronomical knowledge and surveys the contents, properties, and physical processes of the universe. Simple mathematics will be used. Evening observing sessions at the UMass Dartmouth Observatory will be offered. The course is designed for non-science majors.

Introduction to the science of the Sun and stars - their properties, energy-making processes, formation, and life histories - plus analysis of two societal issues: the viability of solar power (both sunlight and thermonuclear-fusion) as a means of terrestrial energy production; and the question of whether life exists on planets elsewhere in the universe.

Introduction to the science of the Sun and stars - their properties, energy-making processes, formation, and life histories - plus analysis of two societal issues: the viability of solar power (both sunlight and thermonuclear-fusion) as a means of terrestrial energy production; and the question of whether life exists on planets elsewhere in the universe.

Introduction to the science of the Sun and stars - their properties, energy-making processes, formation, and life histories - plus analysis of two societal issues: the viability of solar power (both sunlight and thermonuclear-fusion) as a means of terrestrial energy production; and the question of whether life exists on planets elsewhere in the universe.

Introduction to the science of the Sun and stars - their properties, energy-making processes, formation, and life histories - plus analysis of two societal issues: the viability of solar power (both sunlight and thermonuclear-fusion) as a means of terrestrial energy production; and the question of whether life exists on planets elsewhere in the universe.

Continuation of PHY 225 with emphasis of development of measurement skills and data analysis abilities.

Teaching

Online and Continuing Education Courses

An introduction to astronomy that describes the advancement of astronomical knowledge and surveys the contents, properties, and physical processes of the universe. Simple mathematics will be used. Evening observing sessions at the UMass Dartmouth Observatory will be offered. The course is designed for non-science majors.
Register for this course.

Research

Research Activities

  • Director of the UMass Dartmouth Observatory

Research

Research Interests

  • History of science
  • History of astronomy
  • Astronomy & astrophysics

Select publications

Alan Hirshfeld (2014).
Starlight Detectives: How Astronomers, Inventors, and Eccentrics Discovered the Modern Universe

Alan Hirshfeld (2013).
Parallax: The Race to Measure the Cosmos

Alan Hirshfeld (2009).
Astronomy Activity and Laboratory Manual

Alan Hirshfeld is Professor of Physics and Director of the UMass Dartmouth Observatory and an Associate of the Harvard College Observatory. He received his undergraduate degree in astrophysics from Princeton University in 1973 and his Ph.D. in astronomy from Yale in 1978. He teaches a variety of courses in astronomy, physics, and electronics. His widely praised book, "Parallax: The Race to Measure the Cosmos," published in 2002, chronicles the human stories involved in the centuries-long quest to measure the first distance to a star. His second book, "The Electric Life of Michael Faraday," published in 2006, describes the life and work of the 19th century scientist who developed the electric motor, electric generator, and many fundamental ideas about electricity, magnetism, and light. His 2009 book, "Eureka Man: The Life and Legacy of Archimedes," tells the tale of antiquity’s greatest scientist. Prof. Hirshfeld's "Astronomy Activity and Laboratory Manual," a collection of mathematical exercises for college astronomy courses, was published in 2009. His most recent book, "Starlight Detectives: How Astronomers, Inventors, and Eccentrics Discovered the Modern Universe," was a finalist for the Boston Author's Club's 2016 Julia Ward Howe writing award. Prof. Hirshfeld has lectured nationwide about scientific history and discovery and is Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect of the American Astronomical Society's Historical Astronomy Division. He is a regular science-book reviewer for the Wall Street Journal.

External links

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