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Astrophysics: Frontiers and Controversies - Video

By Charles Bailyn

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(ASTR 160) 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. This course was recorded in Spring 2007.

Customer Reviews

Astrophysics for poets but with production problems

On the whole, a thorough and well taught introduction for those with limited mathematics. Others have commented on content but a few words about production are in order. First, the professor uses an overhead projector which severely restricts the volume of information the student can see at any time compared to the (more normal) use of a blackboard. Second, while the professor patiently and fully answers questions from students in the classroom we, the listeners, cannot hear these questions and are left to deduce what he is responding to. And, finally, on the rare occasions when the professor displays slides the camera remains on the professor and, frustratingly, does not show us the slide material.

Highly Recommended

I am a high school physics teacher, and my students are absolutely fascinated with these topics. I have also been inspired by his method of simplifying the calculations. The “fables” are fantastic. I love it.


The way the professor teaches and carry the subject is simply amazing! He can keep your attention for the entire class and thats hard to see nowadays. The course is easy to understand without knowing too much of math,so for all those who thinks this class is difficult,you can simply go through it without a problem.
Anyway, fascinating subject and a fantastic course for sure.