ASTR 2030-001: BLACK HOLES

Course Timetable: Fall 2012



Reading: Be = Begelman and Rees; Th = Thorne
 
 
 

1

Aug. 28

Overview/preview of the course and goals. You can find the preview here if you missed the class.

2

Aug. 30

Background material: Scientific notation - Unit conversion - The electromagnetic spectrum.
Newtonian Gravity - The Michelson-Morley Experiment
Lectures notes for the class: Basics.pdf
Reading: Th: Prologue

3

Sep. 4

Video from "The Mechanical Universe": Lecture 1.
Special relativity: Postulates and consequences: Relativity of Simultaneity - Time dilation.
Lecture notes for this and next class will be posted at the end of next class.
Reading: Th: Chapter 1.

4

Sep. 6

Special Relativity: Lorentz contraction - Relativity of Mass - Mass-Energy equivalence - Relativistic Light Aberration. Concept of Spacetime. Relativistic addition of velocities.
Lecture notes on Special Relativity: Special Relativity.pdf
Reading: Th: Chapter 1

5

Sep. 11

General Relativity: The Equivalence Principle - Gravitational Time Dilation.
Practice problems on Special Relativity.
Lecture notes for this and for the class on 09/20 will be posted on 09/20.
Reading: Th: Chapter 2

6

Sep. 13

Video from "The Mechanical Universe": Lectures 2 and 3.
Clicker questions.
Reading for Project I remains on Special Relativity: Th: Chapter 1 and lecture notes.

7

Sep. 18

Project I

8

Sep. 20

General Relativity: Gravitational deflection of light - Curvature - Tides  - Geodesics.
Clicker questions.
Lecture notes on General Relativity: General Relativity.pdf
Reading: Th: Chapter 2 and lecture notes

9

Sep. 25

Experimental tests of General Relativity: Mercury's Precession - Gravitational Lensing and
Microlensing - Gravitational Redshift of atomic lines - Gravitational Waves and gravitational
wave detectors (LIGO) - Hulse-Taylor binary pulsar.
Clicker questions.
Lecture notes: General Relativity tests.pdf
Reading: Th: Chapter 10; Be: pag.89-91 and pag.235-243; lecture notes

10

Sep. 27

Black Holes: The Schwarzschild's solution – Voyage to a Black Hole.
Clicker questions.
Lecture notes: Black Holes.pdf
Reading: Th: Ch.3 and Prologue; Be: Ch. 1

11

Oct. 2

Orbits in strongly curved spacetime - Kerr Black Holes - No Hair Theorem – Price's Theorem.
Practice problem.
Lecture notes: Kerr Black Holes.pdf
Reading: Th: Ch. 7; Be: pag. 231-235.

12

Oct. 4

Quantum Mechanics: Wave-particle duality - Uncertainty Principle - Bosons and Fermions - Pauli Principle and Degeneracy Pressure.
Clicker questions.
Lecture notes: Quantum Mechanics.pdf
Reading: Th: box pag. 147 and 373-374.; lecture notes.

13

Oct. 9

 Project II

14

Oct. 11

Thermodynamics of Black Holes: Area Theorem and Entropy of Black Holes – Vacuum fluctuations and Hawking radiation – BH evaporation.
Lecture notes: BH Thermodynamics.pdf
Reading: Th: Ch. 12; Be: pag. 259-268.

15

Oct. 16

Inside Black Holes – Various types of singularities – Penrose's theorem – Quantum foam – Wormholes and Time Machines.
Lecture notes: Inside BHs and Wormholes.pdf
Reading: Th: Ch. 13 and Ch. 14.

16

Oct. 18

How stars are born, live, and die: White Dwarfs – Neutron Stars – Black Holes.
Lecture notes: Stars and their remnants.pdf
Reading: Be: Ch. 2, Th: Ch.4.

17

Oct. 23

Black Holes in popular movies: video clips from the movies :”Andromeda: Under the Night”, “The Black Hole”, and “Contact”, followed by discussion and clicker questions.

18

Oct. 25

 Project III

19

Oct. 30

 Fiske Planetarium: show on “The Milky Way: a City of Stars”. Hosted by Tito Salas.

20

Nov. 1

Hunting for Black Holes in our Galaxy: Black Holes in X-ray Binaries – Accretion Disks.
Lecture notes: Binaries.pdf
Reading: Be: Ch.3. Th: Ch.8.

21

Nov. 6

Supermassive Black Holes: Quasars – Jets - quiescent black holes at the center of the Milky Way and nearby galaxies.
Lecture notes: Supermassive Black Holes.pdf
Reading: Be: Ch. 5,6,8; Th: Ch.8.

22

Nov. 8

Witnessing the birth of a new Black Hole in the Universe: Gamma-Ray Bursts.
Clicker Questions.
Lecture notes: Gamma-Ray Bursts.pdf
Reading: Be: Ch.7.

23

Nov. 13

Fiske Planetarium: show on Supernovae hosted by Prof. D. McCray

24

Nov. 15

The Universe: solutions to Einstein's equations for a homogeneous and isotropic Universe – the Big Bang Theory.
Lecture notes: Universe.pdf
Reading: lecture notes

Nov. 20

  Fall Break

Nov. 22

 Thanksgiving

25

Nov. 27

Guest lecture by Prof. Web Cash on “MAXIM”

26

Nov. 29

 Project IV

27

Dec. 4

Guest lecture by Prof. Andrew Hamilton on Schwarzschild's black holes with visualization tools.

28

Dec. 6

General Course Review.
Lecture notes: FinalReview.pdf

29

Dec. 11


30

Dec. 13



 

  FINAL EXAM: Sat, Dec 15, 4:30-7pm,  in G1B30

 
 


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