Handouts

In addition to the descriptions of the labs, the
following
handouts provide additional background information that will be
helpful. The
handouts are listed in the approximate order that they will be used.

- Sample & parent distributions
- Quantities describing distributions: mean, median, & mode
- Measure of width
- Expectation value
- Distributions: binomial; Poisson; Gaussian
- Combining two observations, covariance, and error propagation
- Application to error of the mean

- What you should include in your lab report
- Some guidelines regarding style and content

- What you should expect and how to prepare for the "show and tell" part of class

- Computer representation of numbers & computer arithmetic
- Numerical algorithms and when they fail

- Dispersion and diffraction
- Basics spectrometer layout
- The grating equation and grating blaze
- Dispersion & spectral resolution.
- The USB 2000 Spectrometer

- Least squares to fit a straight line
- Introducing matrix arithmetic in IDL

- How to compute the weighted mean using maximum likelihood
- Error propagation to find the error in the weighted mean.
- How to fit a straight line

- The celestial sphere, observers� and celestial coordinate systems.
- Rising and setting, and sidereal time.
- How an equatorial telescope mount works and some of the elements of a Cassegrain telescope.

- Follows a photon from a distant star, throught the atmosphere, reflection at the telescope mirrors, through the filter and into the CCD.
- Discusses systematic errors: dark current and flat field errors.
- Introduces the stellar centroid and gives and example of IDL code.

- The photoelectric effect
- Charge transfer mechanism
- CCD properties and deficiencies

- A simple CCD noise model using elementary error propagation
- How to find the gain assuming Poisson statistics

- Definition of the center of light and width of a star.
- Error propagation exercise to find the error in the centroid.

- Equations of condition
- Application of least squares and the matrix norm
- Moore-Penrose pseudo inverse
- Some examples