Experimental fundamentals of gravitational physics. Newton force. Principle of Equivalence of gravitation and inertia. Isotropy and homogeneity of space and time. Gravitational redshift. Principle of Equivalence in General Relativity. Lorentz invariance. Theoretical consequences and experimental verification of constancy of G in time. Classical tests of General Relativity. Theories of gravitation: predictions and experimental tests. PPN formalism. Metric and non-metric gravitational theories. Brans-Dicke theory. Parameters measured in space and ground experiments. Deviation of light. Radar echo delay. Long Baseline Interferometry. Lunar Ranging Experiment. Gravito-magnetic effect. Gravitational waves. Main methods of detection. Frontiers of gravitation. Final stages of stellar evolution. Gravitational collapse and its messengers. Predictions and experimental verification of the nature of the black holes. Detection of the stochastic background of gravitational waves. Gravity at large distances: experimental tests and theoretical interest.
The class is aimed at providing an advanced preparation on Physics, in particular in the field of experimental gravitation. The educational objectives include knowledge of relativistic physics and experimental methods for the verification of the different metric theories of gravitation.
KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING:
Students will have to demonstrate a good understanding of the most important theories of gravitation and related experimental problems. The verification of knowledge and understanding is done through an oral test.
APPLYING KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING:
Students must be able to identify the essential elements of a physical problem (even a complex one) and learn how to create an approximate model. They must be able to update these models by comparing them with existing experimental data.
Students must be able to perform bibliographic searches and to select interesting materials, particularly on the WEB.
Students must be able to work in groups (even interdisciplinary) and be able to present their research work to an audience of both specialists and outsiders.
Students must be able to learn the necessary skills in new fields independently. They must acquire the ability to continue their studies in a research doctorate or other post-graduate schools.