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Lecture DescriptionThe second half of the course begins, focusing on black holes and relativity. In introducing black holes, Professor Bailyn offers a definition, talks about how their existence is detected, and explains why (unlike in the case with exoplanets where Newtonian physics was applied) Einstein's Theory of Relativity is now required when studying black holes. The concepts of escape and circular velocity are introduced. A number of problems are worked out and students learn how to calculate an object's escape velocity. A historical overview is offered of our understanding and discovery of black holes in the context of stellar evolution.
Course DescriptionThis course focuses on three particularly interesting areas of astronomy that are advancing very rapidly: Extra-Solar Planets, Black Holes, and Dark Energy. Particular attention is paid to current projects that promise to improve our understanding significantly over the next few years. The course explores not just what is known, but what is currently not known, and how astronomers are going about trying to find out.
- Tests of Relativity
- Hubble's Law and the Big Bang
- Our Solar System and the Pluto Problem
- Special and General Relativity
- Supermassive Black Holes
- Planetary Orbits
- Dark Energy and the Accelerating Universe and the Big Rip
- Introduction to Black Holes
- Introduction to Introduction to Astrophysics
- Dark Matter
- Direct Imaging of Exoplanets
- Stellar Mass Black Holes (cont.)
- Omega and the End of the Universe
- Microlensing, Astrometry and Other Methods
- Stellar Mass Black Holes
- Hubble's Law and the Big Bang (cont.)
- Planetary Transits
- The Multiverse and Theories of Everything
- Special and General Relativity (cont.)
- Discovering Exoplanets: Hot Jupiters
- Other Constraints: The Cosmic Microwave Background
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