Black holes captivate everyone’s imagination. They consist of matter crushed into unimaginable densities from whose gravitational grasp nothing, not even light, can escape. Predicted by Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity, they were initially greeted with much scientific skepticism but are now firmly established aspects of our universe. We will describe what black holes are (and what they are not), how they form, where they are found, and how we have observed them. The course level will be appropriate for a general audience, and no previous scientific expertise is assumed. However, be prepared to have your (event) horizons expanded!
Instructor Ted Williams is a retired professional astronomer, professor emeritus of physics and astronomy at Rutgers University, former director of the South African Astronomical Observatory, researcher in observational extra-galactic astronomy and development of astronomical instrumentation.
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