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 orbital plane, in response to changing gravitational forces exerted by other planets. Secondly, deflection of light is described as the curving of light as it passes near a large mass. Gravitational redshift is explained as a frequency effect that occurs as light moves away from a massive body such as a star or black hole. Finally, the existence and effects of gravitational waves are discussed. The lecture closes with a brief history of the 1919 eclipse expedition that made Einstein famous.
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.
As one of the world's great universities, Yale traces its roots back to the early 1640s when colonial clergyman sought to establish a school in order to continue the tradition of European education within the Americas. Yale has now grown to educate over 11,000 students from over 100 countries on a 310-acre campus in New Haven, Connecticut. Within the school's 260 buildings are over 2,000 undergraduate programs in 65 departments taught by a distinguished faculty. As Academic Earth's first partner school, Yale has been a leader within the space of OpenCourseWare by consistently delivering on its esteemed mission to expand access to educational materials for all who wish to learn.