Lecturer: Andrew Cameron and Keith Horne

Institution: St Andrews

Hours Equivalent Credit: 27

Assessment: Any 3 of 2 Homework sets and 2 Data Analysis Projects.

This is a final year undergraduate course organised by the University of St Andrews

Course Summary

This module develops an understanding of basic concepts and offers practical experience with the techniques of quantitative data analysis. Beginning with fundamental concepts of probability theory and random variables, practical techniques are developed for using quantitative observational data to answer questions and test hypotheses about models of the physical world. The methods are illustrated by applications to the analysis of time series, imaging, spectroscopy, and tomography data sets. Students develop their computer programming skills, acquire a data analysis toolkit, and gain practical experience by analysing real data sets.

Lecturer: Multiple, organised by Siong Heng

Institution: Glasgow

Hours Equivalent Credit: 16

Assessment: Assignment Questions and Oral Examination

Course Summary

This course is for students interested in the physics of gravitational wave detection. Starting from the fundamentals of Einstein's General Theory of Relativity, the wave nature of weak field spacetime curvature perturbations will be derived in the transverse traceless gauge. Interactions of gravitational radiation with matter will be explored, leading to the basic principles of gravitational wave detectors.

A full description of currently operating detectors will include instrumental noise sources, such as thermal, seismic, optical, and the standard quantum limit. Current topics discussed will include squeezing, and other non-classical light techniques for reducing optical noise in interferometric systems.

Astrophysical sources of gravitational waves will be discussed, including expectations for source strengths from coalescing compact binary systems, pulsars, etc. together with a  discussion of the data analysis techniques that are required for signal extraction and parameter estimation.

An update will be given on the new astrophysics that has been deduced from the gravitational wave signals so far observed, and the promise of future "multi-messenger astronomy" will be explored.

Plans for future detectors on the ground and in space will also be presented.