14. Pulsars

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Frontiers/Controversies in Astrophysics (ASTR 160)

Professor Bailyn begins with a summary of the four post-Newtonian effects of general relativity that were introduced and explained last time: precession of the perihelion, the deflection of light, the gravitational redshift, and gravitational waves. The concept of gravitational lensing is discussed as predicted by Einstein's general relativity theory. The formation of a gravitational lens can be observed when light from a bright distant source bends around a massive object between the source (such as a quasar) and the observer. Professor Bailyn then offers a slideshow of gravitational lenses. The issue of finding suitable astronomical objects that lend the opportunity to observe post-Newtonian relativistic effects is addressed. The lecture ends with Jocelyn Bell and the discovery of pulsars.

00:00 - Chapter 1. Review of Post-newtonian Effects of General Relativity
06:15 - Chapter 2. Gravitational Lensing
21:05 - Chapter 3. Jocelyn Bell, Binary Pulsars, and General Relativity
44:17 - Chapter 4. Measurement Errors and Testing Strong Field Relativity

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

This course was recorded in Spring 2007.