ASTRO 206 - Black Holes: The Triumph of Gravity
Fall 2014, Section 001
Instruction Mode: Section 001 is (see other Sections below)
Subject: Astronomy (ASTRO)
Department: LSA Astronomy
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Requirements & Distribution:
BS, NS, QR/1
Waitlist Capacity:
Enforced Prerequisites:
PHYSICS 140/141 OR PHYSICS 160/161.
Advisory Prerequisites:
3 credits of any Astronomy course, with the exception of ASTRO 183 and ASTRO 261.
This course counts toward the 60 credits of math/science required for a Bachelor of Science degree.
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:


Black holes are among the most fascinating concepts in Astronomy. A natural prediction of Einstein's Theory of General Relativity, they can be described as a gravitational singularity inducing infinite curvature into the fabric of space-time. Thus, the relation between time and space gets warped near these objects, generating some of the strangest phenomena in the universe. Although black holes do not emit light directly, their presence can be inferred via extreme effects on their environment. Paradoxically, black holes turn out to be the brightest sources of radiation across the entire universe. Even more surprisingly, black holes can convert infalling matter into bipolar jets that accelerate up to a substantial fraction of the speed of light. In turn, these jets can profoundly alter the properties of the black hole environment on large scales. Supermassive black holes are thought to play a crucial role regulating the evolution and overall properties of their host galaxies – akin to an object the size of a coin dictating the growth of a city the size of Detroit. This class addresses the most basic questions about the nature of black holes, their formation, observational appearance and ultimate fate.

Course Requirements:

Course grade will be determined by: Participation in class activity related to the reading assignments (20%), Homework assignments (30%), Exams: midterm (20%) and final (30%).

Intended Audience:

Astronomy Majors and Minors, and any interested students with the prerequisite background.

Class Format:

Regular lecture course.


ASTRO 206 - Black Holes: The Triumph of Gravity
Schedule Listing
001 (LEC)
 In Person
TuTh 10:00AM - 11:30AM

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