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Gravitational Wave and High Energy Astronomy

Credit 0.125 EFTSL
ICRAR Node University of Western Australia
Unit Code Enrol at UWA in PHYS4420
Offering Semester 2
UWA Handbook PHYS4420 for up-to-date information
This unit will provide students with a broad and thorough understanding of gravitational wave astronomy, including the key astrophysical processes governing the evolution and radiation of gravitational wave sources and the emission mechanisms for high energy particles and radiation. Key topics will include (1) gravitational wave physics — prediction of gravitational waves, audio-band gravitational wave sources and signal characteristics, multi-messenger signatures of binary coalescences, the principle of gravitational wave discovery and early warning, and (2) high energy astrophysics — emission mechanisms for high energy particles and radiation, the physics of x-ray and gamma-ray astronomical sources (including gamma-ray burst) and the interpretation of high-energy observations of astronomical objects using data acquired by the students. The content will be explored with reference to a range of applications and physical contexts, including a discussion of open problems in gravitational-wave astronomy.
Learning Outcomes
Students are able to (1) discuss current research in the field of gravitational wave detection and multi-messenger astronomy, using the language and reasoning at the level of a junior research scientist in the field; (2) critically interpret current state-of-the-art research on the topic; (3) explain the characteristics of gravitational wave signals and principles behind the detection methods; (4) directly analyse gravitational wave data for detection and parameter estimation; and (5) demonstrate a critical understanding of open problems in gravitational wave astronomy and future directions in the field.
Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) in-class practices and oral presentations; (2) written reports; and (3) final examination. Further information is available in the unit outline.
Unit Coordinator(s)
  1. Gravitational-Wave Astronomy: Linqing Wen
  2. High-Energy Astronomy: David Coward