First cycle
degree courses
Second cycle
degree courses
Single cycle
degree courses
School of Science
Course unit
SCP7081738, A.A. 2019/20

Information concerning the students who enrolled in A.Y. 2019/20

Information on the course unit
Degree course Second cycle degree in
SC2443, Degree course structure A.Y. 2018/19, A.Y. 2019/20
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Number of ECTS credits allocated 6.0
Type of assessment Mark
Course unit English denomination RELATIVISTIC ASTROPHYSICS
Website of the academic structure
Department of reference Department of Physics and Astronomy
Mandatory attendance No
Language of instruction English
Single Course unit The Course unit can be attended under the option Single Course unit attendance
Optional Course unit The Course unit can be chosen as Optional Course unit

Teacher in charge GIACOMO CIANI FIS/01

Course unit code Course unit name Teacher in charge Degree course code

ECTS: details
Type Scientific-Disciplinary Sector Credits allocated
Educational activities in elective or integrative disciplines FIS/05 Astronomy and Astrophysics 6.0

Course unit organization
Period Second semester
Year 1st Year
Teaching method frontal

Type of hours Credits Teaching
Hours of
Individual study
Lecture 6.0 48 102.0 No turn

Start of activities 02/03/2020
End of activities 12/06/2020
Show course schedule 2019/20 Reg.2018 course timetable

Examination board
Board From To Members of the board
1 Commissione Gravitational Physics 2019/2020 01/10/2019 30/11/2020 CIANI GIACOMO (Presidente)
TUROLLA ROBERTO (Membro Effettivo)

Prerequisites: Basic knowledge of general relativity is suggested, but not mandatory.
Target skills and knowledge: Fundamentals of general relativity; linearized theory and gravitational waves (GW).
GW generation mechanisms and astrophysical sources.
Understanding of the working principles, main limitations and future prospects of GW detectors.
Elements of gravitational signal analysis.
Overview of the current state of the field of GW astronomy.
Examination methods: Oral examination aimed at verifying the conceptual understanding of the topics presented and the ability to correctly approach and analyze specific problems related to GW theory and detection.
Assessment criteria: The students must demonstrate the comprehension and the ability to critically evaluate the concepts, mechanisms and problems related to the generation and detection of gravitational radiation.
Course unit contents: Elements of general relativity. Gravitational waves (GW) in linearized theory; TT-gauge and detector frame; interaction with free falling masses and rigid bodies.

Generation of GW. Quadrupole and post-newtonian approximations. Energy and momentum loss by gravitational wave emission. Examples of GW sources: stable and coalescing binary systems, rotating rigid bodies, extreme mass-ratio inspirals.

GW detection. Hulse-Taylor system. Fundamentals of stochastic signals and noise theory. Resonant bars detectors. Modern GW interferometers: basic principle, noise sources, fundamental and technical limitations. Future GW experiments. Elements of data analysis.

Astronomy and science with gravitational waves. Current observations of black hole and neutron star mergers. Tests of general relativity. Astrophysical implications. Multi-messenger astronomy.
Planned learning activities and teaching methods: Frontal lessons with theory and examples
Additional notes about suggested reading: Lessons will be based on slides prepared by the teacher, which will be made available in advance to the students.

Excerpts from other written resources will be indicated as they become useful for specific sections of the course.
Textbooks (and optional supplementary readings)
  • Maggiore, Michele, Gravitational wavesMichele Maggiore. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008. Cerca nel catalogo
  • Hobson, M. P.; Efstathiou, George Petros, General relativity an introduction for physicists. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006. Cerca nel catalogo

Innovative teaching methods: Teaching and learning strategies
  • Lecturing
  • Case study

Innovative teaching methods: Software or applications used
  • Moodle (files, quizzes, workshops, ...)
  • Mathematica
  • Python code