black hole (g)astrophysics

Graduate course

Offered at the school The Sound of Space-time: The Dawn of Gravitational Wave Science at ICTP-SAIFR

Credits: 5 h


This short course gives a general overview of black hole astrophysics. I will give a primer on the physics necessary for a broad understanding of accreting black holes and their observational manifestation—particularly in electromagnetic waves.

Topics covered will include: • general overview of the phenomenology of black holes observed in active galactic nuclei (AGN), X-ray binaries and gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) • primer on general relativity, fluid dynamics and radiative processes • accretion disks, relativistic jets and their observations • co-evolution of BHs and galaxies • massive binary BH systems.

Along the way, I will present cutting-edge results across the electromagnetic spectrum from telescopes such as Chandra, XMM-Newton, Swift, Fermi, GRAVITY and the Event Horizon Telescope, as well as new developments in numerical simulations of black hole accretion enabled through the latest supercomputers.

Slides (PDF files)

  1. Introduction to the course
  2. General relativity and black holes
  3. Accretion flows
  4. Outflows and jets
  5. Black hole phenomenology
  6. Cosmic impact of BHs

Lecture videos

  1. Introduction to the course • GR and black holes (part 1)
  2. GR and black holes (part 2) • accretion flows (part 1) 
  3. Accretion flows (part 2)
  4. Accretion flows (part 3) • Relativistic jets (part 1)
  5. Relativistic jets (part 2) • Phenomenology/observations
  6. Cosmic impact of black holes • Event Horizon Telescope (missing)

My apologies for the constant audio skips—not my fault. 

University of São Paulo / Associate Professor

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