ASTR 2030-001: BLACK HOLES

Course Timetable: Fall 2010



Reading: Be = Begelman and Rees; Th = Thorne
 
 
 

1

Aug. 24

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

2

Aug. 26

Background material: Scientific Notation – Unit conversion – The electromagnetic spectrum.
Newtonian Gravity – The Michelson-Morley experiment.
Lecture notes for the class: Basics.pdf
Reading: Th: Prologue

3

Aug. 31

Video from “The Mechanical Universe”: Lecture 1 on the Michelson-Morley experiment.
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. 2

Special Relativity: Lorentz Contraction – Relativity of Mass – Mass-Energy Equivalence – Relativistic Velocity Addition – Concept of Spacetime – Light Aberration.
Lecture notes on Special Relativity: Special Relativity.pdf
Reading: Th: Chapter 1

5

Sep. 7

Video from “The Mechanical Universe”: Lectures 2 and 3 on Special Relativity.
Practice problems on Special Relativity.
Reading: remains on Special Relativity: Th Chapter 1 and lecture notes from 09/02.

6

Sep. 9

General Relativity: The Equivalence Principle – Gravitational Time Dilation.
Practice problems on Special Relativity.
Lecture notes for this class and for the one on 09/16 will be posted on 09/16.
Reading: Th: Ch.2, pages 87-104.

7

Sep. 14

 Project I

8

Sep. 16

General Relativity: Gravitational Deflection of Light – Curvature – Tides.
Clicker questions.
Lecture notes on General Relativity: General Relativity.pdf
Reading: Th: Ch.2 (all)

9

Sep. 21

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: Ch. 10; Be: pag. 89-91 and pag. 235-243. Lecture notes.

10

Sep. 23

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

Sep. 28

Kerr Black Holes – No Hair Theorem.
Practice problem.
Lecture notes: Kerr Black Holes.pdf
Reading: Th: Ch. 7; Be: Ch.10, box pag. 232.

12

Sep. 30

Quantum Mechanics: Wave-Particle Duality – The Uncertainty Principle – Boson and Fermions – Pauli Principle and Degeneracy Pressure.
Clicker questions.
Lecture notes: Quantum Mechanics.pdf
Reading: Th: box pag.147; lecture notes.

13

Oct.  5

Project II

14

Oct. 7

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. 12

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

16

Oct. 14

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.

17

Oct. 19

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. 21

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.

19

Oct. 26

 Project III

20

Oct. 28

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. 2

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. 4

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

23

Nov. 9

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

24

Nov. 11

Project IV

25

Nov. 16

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

26

Nov. 18

MAXIM: guest lecture by Prof. Webster Cash

Nov. 23

Fall Break

Nov. 25

Thanksgiving

27

Nov.30

The Universe, cont. : The Inflation Theory – Dark Energy and the fate of the Universe.
FCQs.

28

Dec. 2

Course REVIEW / Practice exam questions

29

Dec. 7

Fiske Planetarium: show on Black Holes hosted by Prof. A. Hamilton

30

Dec. 9

FINAL EXAM – Early date if preferred


 

  FINAL EXAM: Mon, Dec 13, 4:30pm,  in HALE 230

 
 


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