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Gravitational Waves

by prof. Michał Bejger (CAMK)


During the last five years we have witnessed an onset of a new field of research: gravitational-wave astrophysics. Many direct detections of gravitational waves from binary systems of black holes and neutron stars with the Advanced LIGO and Advanced Virgo detectors demonstrated the viability of the detection principle using the kilometer-size laser interferometry. This state-of-the-art technology creates an unprecedented opportunity for studying the Universe through a novel channel of spacetime distortion measurements, allowing to investigate intrinsically dark processes involving black holes. In this lecture I will present several related topics: historical perspective of gravitational waves, necessities of general relativity, theory of detectors and their practical implementation, methods of data analysis, astrophysical sources of gravitational-wave radiation, their populations and applications in other branches of astronomy (e.g. in cosmology), and tests of theories of gravity. Some time will be devoted to practical experiments with the real data.  
Assessment: test

Tuesdays, 11.15 am via Zoom

First lecture: 27 Oct 2020.