Course: Frontiers and Controversies in Astrophysics with Charles Bailyn Dnatube

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Lec 1- Introduction to Frontiers Controv ...

"Lec 1- Introduction" Frontiers/Controversies in Astrophysics (ASTR 160) Professor Bailyn introduces the course and discusses the course material and requirements. The three major topics that the course will cover are (1) exoplanets--planets around stars other than the Sun, (2) black holes--stars whose gravitational pull is so strong that even their own light rays cannot escape, and (3)...
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Lec 2 - Planetary Orbits

"Lec 2 - Planetary Orbits" Frontiers/Controversies in Astrophysics (ASTR 160) Exoplanets are introduced and students learn how astronomers detect their presence as well as the challenges associated with it. Physics equations are explained as well as their importance in the context of the course. A number of problems are worked out to get students used to dealing with large numbers in...
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Lec 3 - Our Solar System and the Pluto P ...

"Lec 3 - Our Solar System and the Pluto Problem" Frontiers/Controversies in Astrophysics (ASTR 160) Class begins with a review of the first problem set. Newton's Third Law is applied in explaining how exoplanets are found. An overview of the Solar System is given; each planet is presented individually and its special features are highlighted. Astronomy is discussed as an observational...
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Lec 4 - Discovering Exoplanets: Hot Jupiters

"Lec 4 - Discovering Exoplanets: Hot Jupiters" Frontiers/Controversies in Astrophysics (ASTR 160) The formation of planets is discussed with a special emphasis on the bodies in the Solar System. Planetary differences between the celestial bodies in the Inner and Outer Solar System are observed. Professor Bailyn explains how the outlook of our Solar System can predict what other star systems...
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Lec 5 - Planetary Transits

"Lec 5 - Planetary Transits" Frontiers/Controversies in Astrophysics (ASTR 160) Professor Bailyn talks about student responses for a paper assignment on the controversy over Pluto. The central question is whether the popular debate is indeed a "scientific controversy." A number of scientific "fables" are discussed and a moral is associated with each: the demotion of Pluto (moral: science can...
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Lec 6 - Microlensing, Astrometry and Oth ...

"Lec 6 - Microlensing, Astrometry and Other Methods" Frontiers/Controversies in Astrophysics (ASTR 160) The class begins with a discussion on transits important astronomical events that help astronomers to find new planets. The event occurs when a celestial body moves across the face of the star it revolves around and blocks some of its light. By calculating the amount of light that is...
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Lec 7 - Direct Imaging of Exoplanets

"Lec 7 - Direct Imaging of Exoplanets" Frontiers/Controversies in Astrophysics (ASTR 160) Class begins with a problem on transits and learning what information astronomers obtain through observing them. For example, radii of stars can be estimated. Furthermore, applying the Doppler shift method, one can find the mass of a star. Finally, a star's density can be calculated. A second method for...
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Lec 8 - Introduction to Black Holes

"Lec 8 - Introduction to Black Holes" 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...
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Lec 9 - Special and General Relativity

"Lec 9 - Special and General Relativity" Frontiers/Controversies in Astrophysics (ASTR 160) The discussion of black holes continues with an introduction of the concept of event horizon. A number of problems are worked out to familiarize students with mathematics related to black hole event horizons. In a longer question and answer session, Professor Bailyn discusses the more mystifying...
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Lec 10 - Tests of Relativity

"Lec 10 - Tests of Relativity" Frontiers/Controversies in Astrophysics (ASTR 160) The lecture begins with the development of post-Newtonian approximations from Newtonian terms. Several problems are worked out in calculating mass, force and energy. A discussion follows about how concepts like mass and velocity are approached differently in Newtonian physics and Relativity. Attention then...
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Lec 11 - Special and General Relativity ...

"Lec 11 - Special and General Relativity (cont.)" Frontiers/Controversies in Astrophysics (ASTR 160) The lecture begins with a comprehensive overview of the historical conditions under which Einstein developed his theories. Of particular impact were the urgent need at the turn of the 19th century to synchronize clocks around the world; Einstein's position at a patent office; and a series of...
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Lec 12 - Stellar Mass Black Holes

"Lec 12 - Stellar Mass Black Holes" 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...
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Lec 13 - Stellar Mass Black Holes (cont.)

"Lec 13 - Stellar Mass Black Holes (cont.)" Frontiers/Controversies in Astrophysics (ASTR 160) Class begins with clarification of equations from the previous lecture. Four post-Newtonian gravitational effects are introduced and discussed in detail. The first of these is the so-called Perihelion Precession, which occurs when the major axis of a planet's elliptical orbit precesses within its...
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Lec 14 - Pulsars

"Lec 14 - Pulsars" 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...
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Lec 15 - Supermassive Black Holes

"Lec 15 - Supermassive Black Holes" Frontiers/Controversies in Astrophysics (ASTR 160) The lecture begins with a question-and-answer session about black holes. Topics include the extent to which we are sure black holes exist in the center of all galaxies, how massive they are, and how we can observe them. The lecture then turns to strong-field relativity: relativistic effects that are...
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Lec 16 - Hubble's Law and the Big Bang

"Lec 16 - Hubble's Law and the Big Bang" Frontiers/Controversies in Astrophysics (ASTR 160) The third and final part of the course begins, consisting of a series of lectures on cosmology. A brief history of how cosmology developed into a scientific subject is offered. The discovery of dark energy, along with dark matter, played a crucial role in the development of cosmology. The lecture then...
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Lec 17 - Hubble's Law and the Big Bang ( ...

"Lec 17 - Hubble's Law and the Big Bang (cont.)" Frontiers/Controversies in Astrophysics (ASTR 160) Class begins with a review of magnitudes and the problem set involving magnitude equations. Implications of the Hubble Law and Hubble Diagram are discussed. Professor Bailyn elaborates on the Big Bang theory of cosmology and addresses controversial questions related to the age, development,...
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Lec 18- Hubble's Law and the Big Bang (c ...

"Lec 18- Hubble's Law and the Big Bang (cont.)" Frontiers/Controversies in Astrophysics (ASTR 160) Professor Bailyn returns to the subject of the expansion of the universe to offer explanations that do not require belief in the Big Bang theory. One alternative is a theory that, in the past, the entire universe was reduced to an "initial singularity," in which everything was much closer, and...
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Lec 19 - Omega and the End of the Universe

"Lec 19 - Omega and the End of the Universe" Frontiers/Controversies in Astrophysics (ASTR 160) Class begins with a review of the issues previously addressed about the origin and fate of the universe. The role of gravity in the expansion of the universe is discussed and given as the reason why the rate of expansion cannot remain constant and will eventually slow down. The actual density of...
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Lec 20 - Dark Matter

"Lec 20 - Dark Matter" Frontiers/Controversies in Astrophysics (ASTR 160) This lecture introduces an important concept related to the past and future of the universe: the Scale factor, which is a function of time. With reference to a graph whose coordinates are the Scale factor and time, the problem of dark matter is addressed again. Cosmological redshifts are measured to determine the scale...
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Lec 21 - Dark Energy and the Acceleratin ...

"Lec 21 - Dark Energy and the Accelerating Universe and the Big Rip" Frontiers/Controversies in Astrophysics (ASTR 160) Class begins with a review of the mysterious nature of dark matter, which accounts for three quarters of the universe. Different models of the universe are graphed. The nature, frequency, and duration of supernovae are then addressed. Professor Bailyn presents data from the...
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Lec 22 - Supernovae

"Lec 22 - Supernovae" Frontiers/Controversies in Astrophysics (ASTR 160) Professor Bailyn offers a review of what is known so far about the expansion of the universe from observing galaxies, supernovae, and other celestial phenomena. The rate of the expansion of the universe is discussed along with the Big Rip theory and the balance of dark energy and dark matter in the universe over time....
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Lec 23 - Other Constraints: The Cosmic M ...

"Lec 23 - Other Constraints: The Cosmic Microwave Background" Frontiers/Controversies in Astrophysics (ASTR 160) Reasons for the expansion of the universe are addressed at the start of this lecture, focusing especially on the acceleration of dark energy. Supernovae were the first evidence for the existence of dark energy. Two other proofs are presented. The first is the Cosmic Microwave...
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Lec last - The Multiverse and Theories o ...

"Lec last - The Multiverse and Theories of Everything" Frontiers/Controversies in Astrophysics (ASTR 160) Professor Bailyn begins the class with a discussion of a recent New York Times article about the discovery of a new, earth-like planet. He then discusses concepts such as epicycles, dark energy and dark matter; imaginary ideas invented to explain 96% of the universe. The Anthropic...

Frontiers and Controversies in Astrophysics with Charles Bailyn


Source of these courses is Yale 
This course focuses on three particularly interesting areas of astronomy that are advancing very rapidly: Extra-Solar Planets, Black Holes, and Dark Energy. Particular attention is paid to current projects that promise to improve our understanding significantly over the next few years. The course explores not just what is known, but what is currently not known, and how astronomers are going about trying to find out.
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COURSE NAME: Frontiers and Controversies in Astrophysics with Charles Bailyn

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