Black Holes and Gravitational Waves

Course description Black Holes and Gravitational Waves
Year: 2015-2016
Catalog number: 4403BHGW3
  • Prof.dr. A. Achúcarro
Language: English
Blackboard: Yes
EC: 3
Level: 500
Period: Semester 1
  • Yes Elective choice
  • Yes Contractonderwijs
  • Yes Exchange
  • Yes Study Abroad
  • No Evening course
  • Yes A la Carte
  • No Honours Class
  1. Admission Requirements

TGR (Theory of General Relativity)


This course provides an introduction to astrophysical black holes and compact objects, gravitational radiation and its detection, as well as more formal aspects of black hole spacetimes and thermodynamics. Some topics are covered in the homework assignments, which are an important component of the course.
Topics covered include:
Astrophysical black holes and compact objects. Gravitational collapse.
Black hole spacetimes — Schwarzschild, Reissner-Nordstrom, Kerr black holes.
Gravitational radiation, gravitational wave production, astrophysical and cosmological sources, gravitational wave detectors.
Other topics, depending on the time available: Conformal diagrams. Singularity theorems. Black hole thermodynamics. Hawking radiation and black hole evaporation. Black holes in Anti-de Sitter space and modern applications to e.g. condensed matter. No-hair theorems and hairy black holes.

Course objectives

A basic understanding of black holes and gravitational waves including the ability to do computations of the most important effects, within the framework of general relativity.


Physics Schedule

Mode of instruction

Lectures, problem sessions and tutorials. The exercises constitute an essential part of the course and of the syllabus.

Assessment method

To be discussed with the students. Most likely, a written exam supplemented by other means of evaluation.


To have access to Blackboard you need a ULCN-account.Blackboard UL

Reading list

S. Carroll Spacetime and geometry. An introduction to
General Relativity, Addison Wesley (2004)

James B Hartle Gravity – An introduction to Einstein’s General
Relativity, Addison Wesley (2003)


Contactgegevens Docent:Prof.dr.A.Achucarro (Ana)