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Module Specifications

Archived Version 2021 - 2022

Module Title
Module Code

Online Module Resources

NFQ level 9 Credit Rating 7.5
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None

This module develops the physics of gravitational waves in general relativity, from their generation and propagation to their observable consequences.

Learning Outcomes

1. Predict gravitational waveforms in novel physical systems using the quadrupole formula and identify when such results are reliable.
2. Predict the physical effects of gravitational waves in novel situations, using this to analyze and propose potential detection strategies.
3. Compute and contrast the effects of different background geometries on the propagation of gravitational waves.
4. Translate between exact, linearized, and high-frequency models of gravitational waves, identifying their limitations and applying them to make predictions about novel physical systems.

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Lecture24No Description
Tutorial12No Description
Independent Study89No Description
Total Workload: 125

All module information is indicative and subject to change. For further information,students are advised to refer to the University's Marks and Standards and Programme Specific Regulations at: http://www.dcu.ie/registry/examinations/index.shtml

Indicative Content and Learning Activities

Gravitational waves as linear perturbations
Linearized Einstein equation in flat and curved backgrounds, TT gauge, quadrupole formula, Green functions and tails

Geometric optics for gravitational waves
High-frequency limits as tools to convert PDEs to ODEs, separating gravitational waves and backgrounds, effective stress-energy tensors

Exact models for gravitational waves
Exact plane wave solutions, relation with TT-gauge perturbation theory, features not captured by linearized theory, wave-wave interaction

Gravitational wave observables
Connection with geodesic deviation, effects on pulsar timing, interferometers, and star positions, memory effects

Gravitational wave sources and their detection
Sources, frequency bands, implications for detection. Ground and space-based gravitational wave detectors.

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment% Examination Weight%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
Reassessment Requirement
Resit arrangements are explained by the following categories;
1 = A resit is available for all components of the module
2 = No resit is available for 100% continuous assessment module
3 = No resit is available for the continuous assessment component
Indicative Reading List

  • KS Thorne and RD Blandford: 0, Modern classical physics,
  • M Maggiore: 0, Gravitational waves volume I,
Other Resources

Programme or List of Programmes