Black Holes and Cosmic Catastrophes

Description: Lecture, three hours; discussion, one hour. Essentially nonmathematical course for general UCLA students that discusses black holes and related cosmic catastrophes. White dwarfs, neutron stars, and black holes are compact objects formed in violent events that terminate lives of stars and are associated with some of most energetic and explosive phenomena in astronomy: planetary nebulae and novae (white dwarfs), supernovae, pulsars, galactic X-ray sources, and gamma ray bursts. Supermassive black holes form in nucleus of young galaxies, and gravitational accretion of matter onto black holes powers most energetic objects in universe--quasars. Universe was born in ultimate cosmic explosion--Big Bang--that may have derived its energy from quantum mechanical vacuum. P/NP or letter grading.

Units: 4.0
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Overall Rating 3.5
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