Hyperphysics Astrophysics is a collection of topic modules covering astrophysics, cosmology, and astronomy. It is a subset of the full Hyperphysics site that includes 10 sections covering major subdivisions of physics. Modules include extensive hyperlinks to facilitate navigation between topics; and hyperlinked graphical concept maps are used to show the overall relationships between topics.
Covers most of the topics found in survey courses in astronomy.
Target Student Population:
High School and lower division undergraduate.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
A general high school level background is more than adequate. Advanced middle school students may also be able to use some of the material.
Type of Material:
Supporting material in an introductory astronomy course.
Evaluation and Observation
The material is detailed and carefully presented. Overall, the topics selected are well chosen and include most that might be covered in a survey course in astronomy.
The level of detail is not as detailed as some of the other modules in Hyperphysics. There are several modules that could be improved with additional layers covering the topic at a higher level. Some modules also appear to be unfinshed. For example, the module on spectral categories has links to additional information for spectral categories O and A only, and the Planetary Nebulae module in the distance measurement section has no content.
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
Overall, this is a very fine reference source, at least at the introductory level.
A minor point is that there is a lot of current progress being reported on some topics covered in the module (eg. the Mars rover information). It would be interesting to explore linking the more advanced parts of this module to NASA and related sites reference sites to connect to updates and latest images.
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
The user interface is excellent. The concept maps are highly effective aids for finding topics quickly.