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High Energy Astrophysics

Throughout this course you will get an overview over a number of high-energy processes and phenomena in the Universe.

If our eyes could see gravitational waves....
If our eyes could see gravitational waves.... Image credit: NASA/C. Henze

In this course we will discuss a variety of “high-energy” phenomena that range from processes in compact binary systems over accretion onto black holes to the sources and detection of gravitational waves. Each time we begin by introducing (in some cases refreshing) the basic theoretical concepts, building a theoretical model and then confront the theoretical expectations with observations. The theoretical concepts contain elements from basic physics courses (e.g. classical mechanics or electrodynamics), gas dynamics and radiative processes. Knowledge in General Relativity is of course welcome, but not strictly needed for this course. The gravitational wave sources will be described by means of classical mechanics enhanced by additional effects. This course will allow you to apply fundamental physics concepts to understand some of the most violent events in the Universe.


  • Course structure

    The course is given during day time, and is part of the Master’s programme in Astronomy. The course is normally given in English.


    Evan O'Connor and Stephan Rosswog.

    Correspondence via the course page in Athena.

    Teaching format

    Instructions are given in the form of lectures (some on site, others via Zoom) and exercises. Participation in both lectures and exercises is mandatory.



    Assessment will be carried out during the course through exercises and a final, written exam. All exams and exercises are given in English.



    Evan O'Connor


  • Schedule

    The schedule will be available no later than one month before the start of the course. We do not recommend print-outs as changes can occur. At the start of the course, your department will advise where you can find your schedule during the course.
  • Course literature

    Note that the course literature can be changed up to two months before the start of the course.

    Introduction to High-Energy Astrophysics av Rosswog and Brüggen, Cambridge University Press (2007).

    Additional sources may be used for specific topics.

  • Contact

    The academic advisor and student office can be contacted via