Lecture 12 - Stellar Mass Black Holes

author: Charles Bailyn, Department of Astronomy, Yale University
recorded by: Yale University
published: Nov. 24, 2009,   recorded: February 2007,   views: 3842
released under terms of: Creative Commons Attribution No Derivatives (CC-BY-ND)

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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.

Reading assignment:

Sheehan, William and Richard Baum. "Neptune's Discovery." Astronomy (September 1996) : 43-49. Fernie, J. Donald. "In Pursuit of Vulcan." American Scientist (82) : 412-415.


Class Notes - Lecture 12 [PDF]
Step by Step into a Black Hole
Courtesy of Ute Kraus, Max-Planck-Institut für Gravitationsphysik, ;Golm,
and Theoretische Astrophysik, Universität Tübingen
Black Holes and Neutron Stars
"Written Description of Visible Distortion Effects"
Courtesy of Robert Nemiroff, Michigan Technological University

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