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Skip to 0 minutes and 33 seconds Welcome to the MOOC Gravity, where we will study all the aspects of the gravitational force. So all of us have experienced, gravity just by letting drop the ball.

Skip to 0 minutes and 50 seconds But there is much more to it than that. For example, gravity is a force behind the evolution of the Universe, and George who is a great expert in early cosmology, in the early Universe, can certainly explain to us what is all of gravity in the Universe? Well, it turns out, even though gravity is a very weak force– the weakest we know– it turns out to have a dominant role in the history of the Universe. It helped shape the Universe, starting with simple things like the creation of space and time. And all the rapid early developments at very high energies. But it also had occasional surprises for us.

Skip to 1 minute and 26 seconds So we’re all familiar with throwing a ball in the air and having it go in a nice trajectory. But the Universe sort of starts out that way. It’s going faster it’s going fast and then slowing down like the ball is. But in this case, the Universe speeds up and goes away. Like the ball had flown from us. And so occasionally there’s surprises. But most of the time, gravity follows the simple basic rules we learned when Newton made it is first universal law that we’ve had for 300 years. But it’s still a fundamental driving force, and it’s all just different aspects. And it’s critical to our understanding of the Universe.

Skip to 2 minutes and 3 seconds Until for some places in the Universe where gravity is playing a special role. I’m thinking black holes, for example, where what’s left to really discover what is all of gravity very close to black holes? But I think we are living in a period where we are blessed with potential instruments for detecting exactly– for sort of making the travel to the horizon of a black hole that is promised in the Hollywood movies. That’s using gravitational waves. Where gravity turned into a wave, just the same way like electromagnetism is turned into light waves.

Skip to 2 minutes and 46 seconds So I guess we are in a period where we’re going not just through the type of experiment where you have been playing an important role, but also in future experiments, both in cosmology and in gravitational waves. Where we can expect many new surprises in gravity. And we were fortunate to be living in a time where science is advancing, and giving us new tools, and letting us look at things. So come with us on this trip in the MOOC, learn about gravity, learn about all the various aspects of gravity. The stuff that’s fundamental and well-understood, and the stuff that we hope to uncover in the future.


Welcome to Gravity! The Big Bang, Black Holes and Gravitational Waves

In this video Pierre Binétruy and George Smoot introduce you to the course (3:31 minutes).

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Gravity! The Big Bang, Black Holes and Gravitational Waves

Paris Diderot

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