Introduction to Astrophysics

Yale , Prof.Charles Bailyn




Lecture Description

Frontiers/Controversies in Astrophysics (ASTR 160) Professor Bailyn introduces the course and discusses the course material and requirements. The three major topics that the course will cover are (1) exoplanets--planets around stars other than the Sun, (2) black holes--stars whose gravitational pull is so strong that even their own light rays cannot escape, and (3) cosmology--the study of the Universe as a whole. Class proper begins with a discussion on planetary orbits. A brief history of astronomy is also given and its major contributors over the centuries are introduced: Ptolemy, Galileo, Copernicus, Kepler, and Newton. 00:00 - Chapter 1. Introduction 05:38 - Chapter 2. Topics of the Course 12:57 - Chapter 3. Course Requirements 21:03 - Chapter 4. Planetary Orbits 31:32 - Chapter 5. From Newton's Laws of Motion to the Theory of Everything 38:10 - Chapter 6. The Newtonian Modification of Kepler's Third Law Complete course materials are available at the Open Yale Courses website: This course was recorded in Spring 2007.

Course Description

Planetary Orbits – Our Solar System and the Pluto Problem – Discovering Exoplanets: Hot Jupiters – Planetary Transits – Microlensing, Astrometry and Other Methods – Direct Imaging of Exoplanets – Introduction to Black Holes – Special and General Relativity – Tests of Relativity – Special and General Relativity – Stellar Mass Black Holes – Pulsars – Supermassive Black Holes – Hubbles Law and the Big Bang – Omega and the End of the Universe – Dark Matter – Dark Energy and the Accelerating Universe and the Big Rip – Supernovae – Other Constraints: The Cosmic Microwave Background – The Multiverse and Theories of Everything

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