29:105: Special Topics in Physics: Black Holes

  Spring Semester 2003

Coordinator: Prof. Yannick Meurice



The general theme of the seminar will be these peculiar solutions of Einstein equations of general relativity called "Black Holes". Except for basic knowledge in special relativity at the Halliday and Resnick level, there is no prerequisites.


The talks will be given in part by faculty and in part by undergraduate students. Profs. Lang, Polyzou, Reno and Rodgers have accepted to give talks. Robert M. Wald, a leading authority in black hole thermodynamics and in quantum effects involving black holes, has kindly accepted to come at The University of Iowa and give a colloquium on March 10 and speak at the undergraduate seminar on March 11. Robert M. Wald is a Charles H. Swift Distinguished Service Professor in the Department of Physics of the University of Chicago and the Enrico Fermi Institute. He is the author of numerous research articles and several books including one of the textbooks used for the seminar. Some students have already accepted to make presentations. Students interested to give a talk should contact me. The schedule can be found at http://www-hep.physics.uiowa.edu/~meurice/bh/schedule.html


Main textbooks:
R. Wald, Space, Time and Gravity, The Theory of Big Bang and Black Holes, University of Chicago Press, 1992.
A. Taylor and J. Wheeler, Exploring Black Holes, Addison-Wesley, 2000.
H. Ohanian and R. Ruffini, Gravitation and Spacetime, Norton, 1994.
Additional references:
K. Thorne, Black Holes and Time Warps, Norton, 1994.
C. Misner, K. Thorne and J. Wheeler, Gravitation, Freeman, 1973.
P. A. M. Dirac, General Theory of Relativity, Princeton, 1975.
S. Weinberg, Gravitation and Cosmology, Wiley, 1972.


A reading assignment will be provided each week in order to prepare the students for the next seminar. Students should plan on spending at least two hours/week on readings. Assignments will be posted at http://www-hep.physics.uiowa.edu/~meurice/bh/todo.html


The class will be graded as S-F. Students who complete the readings, attend the seminars and become familiar with the basic material discussed will be given S. A few quizzes on elementary material will be given occasionally in order to check that everybody is keeping up with the new topics.

Complaint Procedures

You should feel free to express any dissatisfaction regarding the course to me. ``Academic Misconduct'' and ``Student Complaints Concerning Faculty Actions'' procedures are available for your review in the Schedule of Courses . The Department Chairman, Prof. T. Boggess, can be contacted through the Main Office 203 VAN.

Students with Disabilities

Any student who has a disability which may require some modification of seating, testing or other class requirements should see me after the class or at a more convenient time so that appropriate arrangements can be made.