12. Stellar Mass Black Holes

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Frontiers/Controversies in Astrophysics (ASTR 160)

One last key concept in Special Relativity is introduced before discussion turns again to black celestial bodies (black holes in particular) that manifest the relativistic effects students have learned about in the previous lectures. The new concept deals with describing events in a coordinate system of space and time. A mathematical explanation is given for how space and time reverse inside the Schwarzschild radius through sign changes in the metric. Evidence for General Relativity is offered from astronomical objects. The predicted presence and subsequent discovery of Neptune as proof of General Relativity are discussed, and stellar mass black holes are introduced.

00:00 - Chapter 1. Invariance in Special Relativity
10:10 - Chapter 2. Invariant Intervals and the Schwarzschild Metric
21:01 - Chapter 3. Schwarzschild Sign Changes and Space-Time Reversals
36:27 - Chapter 4. Evidence for General Relativity in Astronomy

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

This course was recorded in Spring 2007.