STEM Lessons for College Students

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 aspects of the nature of black holes and the possibility of time travel. Finally, the issues of reconciling Newton’s laws of motion with Special Relativity, and Newton’s law of gravity with General Relativity, are addressed.

00:00 – Chapter 1. Event Horizon
11:47 – Chapter 2. Singularity and Clarifications on Black Holes
27:46 – Chapter 3. Locating Black Holes
37:51 – Chapter 4. Introduction to Special and General Relativity

Complete course materials are available at the Open Yale Courses website:

This course was recorded in Spring 2007.

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