Gravitational Waves 2018

Les Houches, France, July 2nd-27th 2018

organized by Bruce Allen, Marie-Anne Bizouard, Nelson Christensen and Pierre-François Cohadon


The school will cover the emerging field of gravitational and multi-messenger astronomy,  following the discovery of GW150914 and GW170817. Within a few years, with the expected improvement of the Advanced LIGO and Advanced Virgo detectors, we can expect many other detections, which will open up a new window on astrophysical objects such as black holes, binary systems of stars neutrons or even totally unexpected objects.

This very wide area involves a large number of theoretical, experimental and information systems: from modeling and simulation of gravitational systems to control of a satellite in terrestrial orbit, through design and operation of laser interferometers of  kilometric size, quantum optics, data analysis …

The objective of this summer school is to provide a large number of students and post-docs with a solid corpus in most aspects of the field, to help and strengthen the collaboration between the different communities.

List of topics

    • General Relativity and gravitational waves
    • Black Hole Physics
    • Gravitational-wave detection: early history and fundamentals
    • Advanced quantum techniques for detection
    • Third Generation GW Interferometers
    • GW data analysis: techniques and results
    • Numerical Relativity: introduction, black holes
    • Astrophysical Sources of Gravitational Waves
    • Testing General Relativity
    • Pulsar Timing
    • Stochastic Gravitational Wave Background
    • Cosmological Sources of Gravitational Waves
    • Electromagnetic Follow-Up: Techniques and results
    • LISA Science
    • Numerical Relativity: Binaries With Neutron Stars
    • Binary Systems: Parameter Estimation
    • GW and Binary Systems: Formation and Astrophysics
    • Continuous wave GW searches
    • Gravitational wave burst searches


Confirmed speakers for courses :

Pr. Thomas Moore, Pomona College
Dr. Eric Gourgoulhon, Observatoire de Paris
Pr. Peter Saulson, Syracuse University
Pr. David McClelland, Australian National University
Pr. Alan Weinstein, Caltech
Pr. Ilya Mandel, University of Birmingham
Pr. Clifford Will, University of Florida
Dr. Martin Hewitson Martin, Albert Einstein Institut Hannover
Pr. Neil Cornish, Montana State University
Pr. Vuk Mandic, University of Minnesota
Pr. Samaya Nissanke, Radboud University
Dr. Alberto Sesana, University of Birmingham
Pr. Harald Pfeiffer, University of Toronto
Dr. John Veitch, University of Glasgow
Pr. Chris Belczynski, Warsaw University
Dr. Maria Alessandra Papa, Albert Einstein Institut Hannover
Dr. Marie-Anne Bizouard, Université Paris-Sud


Confirmed speakers for seminars :



For information, please contact the organizers.

  • Pierre-François Cohadon, Laboratoire Kastler Brossel, Paris
  • Bruce Allen, Albert Einstein Institute, Hannover
  • Marie-Anne Bizouard, Laboratoire de l’Accélérateur Linéaire, Orsay
  • Nelson Christensen, ARTEMIS, Nice



Fees will be 1800 euros.These include  registration fees, housing, breakfasts, lunchs and dinners for the whole 4 weeks, plus the lecture notes volume from Oxford UP.



We will accept applications until the school is full. We expect to give a feedback to participant acceptance early May 2018. A waiting list will be established.



You will be housed in single rooms with your own bathroom/toilets. Towels, shampoo,  soap, shower gel and hair-dryer are provided.The school also provides you with:

  • a library with the main scientific journals (paper or online) and some reference books
  • an open space with many blackboards
  • a video projector
  • an automated video capture system
  • a photocopy machine
  • Internet (wifi + hubs to connect laptops to the local network)
  • desktop computers (5 PCs) and a B&W Laser Printer
  • 3 washing machines and 3 dryers.


Please note that pets cannot be accepted.

Meals are taken at the school dining room. Drinks are not included.
Free coffee & tea is available in the bar and in the main building.

Breakfast: 7:45 am to 8:45 am ;
Lunch: 12:30 am ;
Dinner: 7:30 pm

Accompanying persons who have registered can take their meals at the restaurant (15 euros per meal).
The cafeteria has a piano, baby-foot and table tennis.



The altitude of the school is 1150 m. Temperature may range from 5°C to 25°C in summer. Sport clothes are preferable. Warm sweater(s), rain gear, good walking shoes and home shoes are necessary.

weather forecast for the next days



By plane: Geneva Airport is 1 hour drive from les Houches.

By train: Arrival at the Les Houches station, with one change at Saint-Gervais (from France), or at Martigny (from Switzerland).
There are about 10 trains per day between St Gervais and Les Houches (20mn trip).

By road: Les Houches are easily accessible from France (A41 highway), from Switzerland (Martigny and Col des Montets) and from Italy through the Mont Blanc Tunnel.

More details can be found on the Les Houches website.



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