Are you an undergraduate student majoring in physics, engineering or math? Would you like some suggestions of books to learn about black holes and general relativity (GR) in more details, including the math involved? This blog post gives a couple of suggestions of textbooks to learn GR at different levels.
Gravity’s fatal attraction: Black holes in the universe. Mitchell Begelman & Martin Rees. For the undergrads that come to me interested in doing a undergraduate research project on black holes, I always recommend to read a couple of chapters from this book. Clear, non-technical description of black hole astrophysics, getting into a bit more detail than other expositions on the subject.
Black holes and time warps. Kip Thorne. A classic, must-read book for anybody wanting an in-depth account of the history of black holes and the main discoveries until the mid-nineties. Written by one of the leaders in the field and one of the pioneers of the LIGO observatories (he eventually got a Nobel prize for LIGO). Thorne gives a lot of historical details about the development of the theory of black holes and their observations.
Soft math, for physics, math or engineering students in the first or second year
This a standard introduction to general relativity for physics undergrads. It explores the effects of black hole spacetimes on particle orbits and light rays and has an emphasis on modern applications of the theory.
Suggested background: vector calculus, classical mechanics (at the level of Thornton & Marion).
Another classic textbook which uses the more classic approach of first introducing and motivating Einstein’s equation, then solving it for a couple of basic spacetimes (Schwarzschild, Friedmann-Robertson-Walker).
Procuro aluno(a)s interessado(a)s em Iniciação Científica em computação de alto desempenho aplicada à astrofísica. O projeto consiste em acelerar ray tracing ao redor de buracos negros—a la Interestelar—usando GPUs.
Cursar ciência da computação, engenharia elétrica ou matemática aplicada
Conforto com a linguagem C
Conhecimentos básicos–ou forte interesse–em otimização e paralelização
Pontos extras: noções de programação em GPUs (OpenCL ou CUDA)
My name is Fabio Cafardo and I just started my PhD in Astrophysics at IAG-USP under the supervision of Prof. Rodrigo Nemmen. I’m really happy and motivated by this new challenge in my life.
Astronomy has always been one of my passions. But, before getting my Astrophysics degree, I worked 10 years as a Business Administrator. This experience proved to me that it is very important to work with something which you really like. That’s what I am doing now!
The topic of my research project is the high-energy emission of the supermassive black hole in the center of Our Galaxy, called Sagittarius A*. It is a fascinating topic and I really hope to provide new insights into the high energy processes occurring there.
Welcome aboard, Fabio! We are happy you switched gears and are working with us.
This semester, we are welcoming a new member to the group: Ivan Almeida. Ivan just graduated with stellar grades at Physics USP and will begin his work as a grad student in the group. Below are a few words from him:
Hi all, my name is Ivan Carlos de Almeida, and I’m beginning my masters degree at IAG-USP under the supervision of professor Rodrigo Nemmen. I’m a physicist recently graduated at IF-USP.
While I were an undergrad student I’ve entered the “Black Hole group” as a student of “Iniciação Científica”. This was my first effective contact with astrophysics and it was really interesting!
Since childhood I’m curious about the night sky, stars and all the cosmos. Some years later I have developed interest in General Relativity. So Black Hole physics attracted me greatly.
In the current project I’ll do HD and MHD simulations of accretion around black holes. I’ll investigate the existence of winds and if these winds provide efficient feedback inside the galaxy.
Ivan was quite successful during his undergraduate research project: we are anticipating 2 papers resulting from his work. He got the prestigious FAPESP scholarship that will fund his graduate studies. A very small fraction of students obtain this scholarship.
This is a late post, but I would like to congratulate Raniere Menezes who obtained his MsC on September. Raniere is the first graduate student who got his degree in the Black Hole Group. His master’s dissertation was on analyzing the gamma-ray variability of nearby AGNs observed with Fermi LAT.
Raniere’s work was very successful: we are writing a paper reporting the results of his analysis. Stay tuned!
Let’s give a warm welcome to Henrique Gubolin, my new graduate student. Let’s hear from Henrique himself:
Hi! I’m Henrique Gubolin Torres, and I’m starting my masters degree under the supervision of Rodrigo Nemmen; I just graduated in physics at IF-USP and I already worked with galaxy clusters and simulations before.
In this new project, I’ll be doing black hole simulations with the help of some well known magnetohydrodynamic codes, of course. We will simulate gas around a non-spinning black hole (Schwarzschild) using a semi-Newtonian approach and Magnetohydrodynamic (MHD). I’m looking forward to this project and to my new graduate student life, so… here we go!