8. Introduction to Black Holes

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Frontiers/Controversies in Astrophysics (ASTR 160)

The 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.

00:00 - Chapter 1. Introduction
02:38 - Chapter 2. Escape Velocity
12:12 - Chapter 3. Defining Black Holes and the Schwarzschild Radius
18:50 - Chapter 4. Gravity and Pressure in the Evolution of Stars
28:06 - Chapter 5. From Electron Degeneracy Pressure to the Chandrasekhar Limit
37:59 - Chapter 6. Neutron Stars
42:38 - Chapter 7. Conclusion

Complete course materials are available at the Open Yale Courses website: http://open.yale.edu/courses

This course was recorded in Spring 2007.