Courses Catalogue

Syllabus of the course: High Energy Astrophysics

In this web page we provide the syllabus of the course High Energy Astrophysics, offered by the Department of Physics.
The list of the courses offered during the current accademic year is available here.
The list of all courses offered by the Department of Physics is available here.

InstructorV. Pavlidou
ProgramMonday, 09:00-11:00, Room 4
Wednesday, 09:00-11:00, Room 4
Web page
Goal of the course

The class is an introduction to the study of high-energy astrophysical systems. It will emphasize the derivation from actual observational data of (open and answered) research questions that have been and are being actively pursued by researchers in the field. The students are expected to participate in the development, in class, of simple models that can explain such observations. Our tools in this quest will be the special and general theories of relativity, some basic knowledge of particle physics, and non-thermal emission mechanisms. The (re)familiarization with these tools will frequently alternate with astrophysical applications.

  • Active galactic nuclei and their jets: superliminal motions, emission spectrum and its production, beaming, Doppler boosting (~3 weeks)
  • Gamma-ray bursts: cosmic distribution, collimated outflow, central engine, progenitors, fireball model (~ 1 week)
  • Cosmic rays: cosmic high-energy physics laboratories. Spectrum, propagation, production (~ 2 weeks)
  • Astrophysical neutrinos: sources and production during cosmic-ray propagation (~1 week)
  • Neutron stars and black holes: Einstein equation solutions, pulsars, binary systems, accretion discs (~ 3 weeks)
  • Gravitational waves: Weak-field Einstein equations. Production and propagation of gravitational waves. Transfer of energy: the binary pulsar PSR 1913+16 (1 week)
  • Multimessenger high-energy astrophysics: detection of gamma-rays, cosmic rays, neutrinos, gravitational waves (~1.5 weeks)
Bibliography1. “Introduction to High-Energy Astrophysics,” Rosswog & Brueggen
2. “A first course in general relativity,” Schutz
3. “Radiative Processes in Astrophysics,” Rybicki & Lightman
4. “Subatomic Physics,” Frauenfelder & Henley
5. "High Energy Radiation from Black Holes: Gamma Rays, Cosmic Rays, and Neutrinos", Dermer & Menon
6. "An Introduction to the Standard Model of Particle Physics", Cottingham & Greenwood
7. "Gravitation", Misner, Thorne, & Wheeler

University of Crete - Department of Physics  - Voutes University Campus - GR-70013 Heraklion, Greece
phone: +30 2810 394300 - email: