Gravitational-Wave Astronomy

In 2016, the LIGO-Virgo collaboration announced the first direct observation of gravitational waves (GW150914).  This discovery marks the beginning of gravitational-wave astronomy and is a milestone for both theoretical and experimental physics.  It occurred one hundred years after Einstein predicted the existence of gravitational waves in 1916, and fifty years after the first experimental efforts to detect them.

In 2017, the first joint observation of gravitational waves (GW170817) and electromagnetic radiation from the same astrophysical event was accomplished, an achievement that sparks the beginning of multi-messenger astronomy with gravitational waves.

Gravitational waves carry precious and otherwise inaccessible information about their emitting sources. By ~2025 a worldwide network of detectors will perform observations on a regular basis, resulting in notable impacts on fundamental physics, astrophysics, astronomy, and cosmology.

This course is a first introduction to gravitational-wave astronomy.  It aims at providing a basic knowledge of the subject and its principles, as well as an overview of the first observations.


  • Introduction to the course, General Relativity, gravitational waves and detection principles (May 2, 2019 14:00-16:00 AM, VEF, Aula Persico)
  • Recap of the Fourier transform and waveform phenomenology (May 9, 2019 14:00-16:00 AM, VEF, Aula Persico)
  • Gravitational-wave searches and the case of GW150914 (May 16, 2019 14:00-16:00 AM, VEF, Aula Persico)
  • Gravitational-wave inference and the case of GW150914 (May 23, 2019 14:00-16:00 AM, VEF, Aula Persico)
  • Multimessenger astronomy and the case of GW170817 (May 30, 2019 14:00-16:00 AM, VEF, Aula Persico)