Black Holes, Tides, and Curved Spacetime: Understanding Gravity
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The force of gravity rules the universe. It governs our everyday lives on Earth and it controls the motions of the heavens above. Yet it is one of the least understood of all the forces of nature. To endeavor to understand this fundamental force is to experience anew something as simple as getting out of bed, throwing a ball, or diving into a pool; and it gives deep insight into the central organizing principle of the cosmos.
Consider these crucial aspects of gravity:
Gravity governs the rising and falling of tides-not only tides in the ocean, but tides in the solid rock of Earth itself.
Gravity molds the sun and planets into spheres, and it holds celestial objects in their orbits.
Gravity ignites the nuclear fires inside each star, then fights a billion-year battle to determine its fate.
Gravity collects stars into galaxies and causes galaxies to collide in intricate mergers that we can model with supercomputers.
Without gravity, everything would dissolve into a gas of randomly interacting atoms. It is the only truly universal force, affecting not just matter but also light, time, and, at a basic level, all information. The study of gravity helped spark the Scientific Revolution in the 17th century, and it continues to be at the forefront of physics today, as scientists rely on gravity to investigate otherwise inaccessible phenomena such as dark matter and dark energy. An understanding of gravity-what it is, how it works, and why it is the most dominant and puzzling force in the universe-is both endlessly fascinating and accessible to any curious person, regardless of his or her science education.
Black Holes, Tides, and Curved Spacetime: Understanding Gravity plunges you into this compelling subject in 24 intensively illustrated half-hour lectures, presented by Professor Benjamin Schumacher of Kenyon College. Professor Schumacher is an award-winning teacher, a prominent theoretical physicist, and a protégé of John Archibald Wheeler, the distinguished gravity theorist who first coined the term "black hole."
No book or other comparable product exists that presents gravity in such comprehensible detail as this course, which covers the key ideas in gravity research over the past 400 years and gives you the background to understand today’s path-breaking theories in physics. Professor Schumacher even walks you through some of the fundamental equations in the field, such as Isaac Newton’s law of universal gravitation and Albert Einstein’s equation governing the curvature of spacetime by matter, giving you a firsthand look at the power of these mathematical expressions to explain reality-plus further opportunities to explore them with the course guidebook.
01 The Strangest Force
02 Free Fall and Inertia
03 Revolution in the Heavens
04 Universal Gravitation
05 The Art of Experiment
06 Escape Velocity, Energy, and Rotation
07 Stars in Their Courses-Orbital Mechanics
08 What Are Tides? Earth and Beyond
09 Nudge-Perturbations of Orbits
10 Resonance-Surprises in the Intricate Dance
11 The Million-Body Problem
12 The Billion-Year Battle
13 From Forces to Fields
14 The Falling Laboratory
15 Spacetime in Zero Gravity
16 Spacetime Tells Matter How to Move
17 Matter Tells Spacetime How to Curve
18 Light in Curved Spacetime
19 Gravitomagnetism and Gravitational Waves
20 Gravity’s Horizon-Anatomy of a Black Hole
21 Which Universe Is Ours?
22 Cosmic Antigravity-Inflation and Dark Energy
23 The Force of Creation
24 The Next Revolution
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