Extreme Universe
Skobeltsyn Institute of Nuclear Physics of Moscow State University Skobeltsyn Institute of Nuclear Physics of Moscow State University
русский / english

Education and Outreach

Course: 2012 Internship

INSTRUCTOR: Bruce Grossan


A 2 Week Taste of Research


This is a lecture course in which topics are presented by the instructor, practice examples are explained, and students are assigned problems or questions both during lecture periods and outside of class.


  1. Learn About Gamma-Ray Instruments at MSU.
  2. Learn about space optical and X/gamma-ray instrumentation through study of the UFFO (Ultra-Fast Flash Observatory), a collaborative project of the EUL, which will fly on the Lomonosov Spacecraft.
  3. Learn to predict the performance of X/gamma-ray, optical, and IR instruments.
  4. Access Real Space Data — You could go on to do real research!
  5. Learn About Making Real Measurements.
  6. Work a little bit in a lab.


The course will cover the following topics:
  1. Introduction and Overview (download pdf)
  2. Research at the Institute for the Early Universe (IEU) (download pdf)
  3. UFFO+GRBs (Ultra-Fast Flash Observatory and Gamma Ray Bursts) (download pdf)
  4. Data and simulation project introduction (download pdf 1, download pdf 2)
  5. UFFO Burst Alert Telescope (U BAT) (download pdf)
  6. From emission to detectors (download pdf)
  7. Slewing Mirror Telescope (SMT) for interns (download pdf)
  8. Introduction to optical Measurements (download pdf)
  9. Second week BAO and MS-DESI project (download pdf)
  10. Second week lecture Comments and how to solve observational calculations (download pdf)
  11. Optical Fibers and their testing (download pdf)
  12. Second week Wednesday lecture (download pdf)


Any modern, upper-division astrophysics text which covers gamma-ray bursts, large scale structure, and possibly baryon-acoustic oscillations, and something about detectors and detector noise will be helpful. Some web-based references are given in the course presentations.

The student will require computer and web access to work on the data analysis project. While it may be possible to get some kind of results with almost any analysis program, it is best if students can run programs that read data files, run data processing algorithms, and make plots. Students commonly use programs/languages like matlab, mathmatica, or similar for this; some use professional computer languages; any of these are fine. (I would say the current experimental astrophysics standard is IDL, and if your institution can make this available, that would be ideal. Unfortunately, it is prohibitively expensive for personal use.)


The student is expected to have:
— completed a standard undergraduate physics curriculum to the junior level,
— to have some experience in simple processing and plotting of numbers with a computer,
— to have taken a modern physics course (i.e. quantization of light, atomic physics, and spectroscopy)
— to be very comfortable with basic algebra.
— some coursework or background in astrophysics is highly desirable.


Coursework will be weighted as follows:
1. Homework 25%
2. Quizzes 25%
3. Final exam 30%
4. Attendance &



25% + 55% + 20% = 100%
Extra Credit given for creative and outstanding solutions and new concepts or an oral report.
2011-2013 © Extreme Universe Laboratory
Skobeltsyn Institute of Nuclear Physics of Moscow State University
Lomonosov Moscow State University Skobeltsyn Institute of Nuclear Physics (MSU SINP),
1(2), Leninskie gory, GSP-1, Moscow 119991, Russian Federation