# Lectures and courses of the IMPRS for gravitational-wave astronomy

**The GW-IMPRS in Potsdam offers four regular courses, planned for a two-year cycle: gravitational waves, astrophysics of compact objects, computational physics, and statistics and Bayesian methods. Usually, all courses are designed for remote participation.**

**An overview of all the courses, lecture notes and recordings, and problem sets can be found on the website of the courses of the IMPRS.**

**Below you will find an overview of the latest and previous lectures organized by the IMPRS in Potsdam. **

## Gravitational Waves

This online course is part of the course catalogue of the Humboldt University of Berlin and the University of Maryland and is taking place in winter 2022.

**Synopsis**:

In early 2016, one hundred years after Einstein predicted the existence of gravitational waves on the basis of his theory of General Relativity, the LIGO Scientific Collaboration and the Virgo Collaboration announced the first observation of gravitational waves passing through the Earth emitted by the merger of two black holes one billion four-hundred million light years away. Since then, about one hundred gravitational-wave signals have been observed by LIGO and Virgo detectors, including the coalescence of binary neutron stars, and mixed binaries composed of a neutron star and a black hole.

In this course we will review what gravitational waves are, how they are produced, what are the main astrophysical and cosmological sources and how we model them, using analytical and numerical relativity. We will also review the quest for gravitational waves, which culminated with the discovery by LIGO and Virgo, and discuss how those new astronomical messengers are detected and how they can probe strong gravity and unveil the properties of the most extreme astrophysical objects in the universe.

**The course website can be found here.**

## Computational Physics

Online and in-person course in March and April of 2022.

The course “Computational Physics” aims to introduce numerical methods of computational physics of relevance to the research performed in the IMPRS. The course splits in two parts: The first half discusses numerical solutions of linear systems, of ordinary differential equations, and of partial differential equations. The second half of the course lays the foundations for numerical relativity.

**The course website can be found here.**

## Making sense of data: introduction to statistics for gravitational-wave astronomy

Online and in-person course in November and December of 2021.

This is a repeat of the statistics course in 2019 (see below) with some modifications. There will be four weeks of lectures. The first three weeks will be lectured by Prof. Dr. Jonathan Gair, group leader in the Astrophysical and Cosmological Relativity department at the AEI and Director of Research at DAMTP. The final week will be lectured by Dr. Stephen Green, postdoc in the Astrophysical and Cosmological Relativity department at the AEI.

Once available, the lecture notes and lecture recordings can be found under “Course Materials” on the course website.

**Synopsis:** Measurements of the properties of gravitational wave sources are imperfect due to the presence of noise in the gravitational wave interferometers used to detect them. Extracting useful scientific information from these observations therefore requires careful statistical analysis of the data in order to understand the significance of the observed events, the level of uncertainty in the parameter estimates and the implications of the observations for the population from which the sources are drawn. This lecture course gives an overview of some key statistical ideas and techniques that are essential for interpreting current and future gravitational wave observations.

**The course website can be found here.**

## Astrophysics of Compact Objects

This online course took place in May and June, 2021

**Synopsis**: This is a two-part course, given by two lecturers: The first part will be given Prof. Dr. Thomas Tauris, professor at Aarhus University, and the second part by Prof. Dr. Alberto Sesana, professor at the University of Milano Bicocca.

The first part of the course will review the formation and evolution of binary-star systems with compact objects (BHs: black holes, NSs: neutron stars, and WDs: white dwarfs). The course will provide an introduction to the following topics: binary star interactions, mass transfer, supernovae, X-ray binaries, common envelopes, radio pulsars, pulsar spin and B-field evolution, magnetars, recycling, millisecond pulsars, gravitational waves (GWs), population synthesis and modelling of GW sources, GW merger rates, masses and spins of NSs and BHs, LISA sources, and dual-line GW sources.

The second part of the course will focus on the astrophysics of supermassive black holes and supermassive black hole (MBH) binaries (MBHBs). After a brief historical introduction and a review of the observational evidence of MBH existence, the lectures will describe proposed formation channels and the physical mechanisms that grow their masses over cosmic history. The course will then focus on the formation of MBHBs following galaxy mergers and on their subsequent dynamical evolution. The final part of the course will discuss the merger rates of MBHBs over cosmic history and the relevance of these sources for LISA and PTA experiments.

**The course website can be found here.**

## Gravitational Waves

This online course was part of the course catalogue of the Humboldt University of Berlin and took place in Winter 2020.

**Synopsis**: In early 2016, one hundred years after Einstein predicted the existence of gravitational waves on the basis of his theory of General Relativity, LIGO announced the first observation of gravitational waves passing through the Earth emitted by the collision of two black holes one billion four-hundred million light years away. Since then, tens of binary black holes and two neutron stars have been observed by LIGO and Virgo detectors.

In this course we will review what gravitational waves are, how they are produced, what are the main astrophysical and cosmological sources and how we model them, using analytical and numerical relativity. We will also review the quest for gravitational waves, which culminated with the recent discovery by LIGO, and discuss how those new astronomical messengers are detected and how they can unveil the properties of the most extreme astrophysical objects in the universe.

**The course website can be found here.**

## Making sense of data: introduction to statistics for gravitational-wave astronomy

This IMPRS course at AEI Potsdam took place in Fall/Winter 2019/2020.

**Synopsis:** Measurements of the properties of gravitational wave sources are imperfect due to the presence of noise in the gravitational wave interferometers used to detect them. Extracting useful scientific information from these observations therefore requires careful statistical analysis of the data in order to understand the significance of the observed events, the level of uncertainty in the parameter estimates and the implications of the observations for the population from which the sources are drawn. This lecture course gives an overview of some key statistical ideas and techniques that are essential for interpreting current and future gravitational wave observations.

**The course website can be found here**