Introduction to Astrophysics

Yale Course , Spring 2007 , Prof. Charles Bailyn

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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

Lecture 15: Supermassive Black Holes

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        Lecture Details

        FrontiersControversies in Astrophysics (ASTR 160) The lecture begins with a question-and-answer session about black holes. Topics include the extent to which we are sure black holes exist in the center of all galaxies, how massive they are, and how we can observe them. The lecture then turns to strong-field relativity relativistic effects that are unrelated to Newtonian theory. The possibility of testing predictions of the existence of black holes is discussed in the context of strong-field relativity. One way we might learn about black holes is through observation of the orbit of the companion star in an X-ray binary star system. Through this we can estimate the mass of the compact object. The lecture ends with an explanation of how astronomers find black holes, and how Professor Bailyn was able to discover one himself. 0000 - Chapter 1. Supermassive Black Holes and Gravitational Waves 0715 - Chapter 2. Strong-Field Relativity 1701 - Chapter 3. X-Rays of Binary Stars 3008 - Chapter 4. Finding Black Holes with X-Rays 4643 - Chapter 5. Conclusion Complete course materials are available at the Open Yale Courses website httpopen.yale.educourses This course was recorded in Spring 2007.




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