Frontiers / Controversies in Astrophysics (ASTR 160)

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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) cosmology–the study of the Universe as a whole. Class proper begins with a discussion on planetary orbits. A brief history of astronomy is also given and its major contributors over the centuries are introduced: Ptolemy, Galileo, Copernicus, Kepler, and Newton.

00:00 – Chapter 1. Introduction
05:38 – Chapter 2. Topics of the Course
12:57 – Chapter 3. Course Requirements
21:03 – Chapter 4. Planetary Orbits
31:32 – Chapter 5. From Newton’s Laws of Motion to the Theory of Everything
38:10 – Chapter 6. The Newtonian Modification of Kepler’s Third Law

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

This course was recorded in Spring 2007.


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