(with contributions by Ivan Almeida)
The Saas-Fee course is a yearly series of lectures usually held in the ski resort of Saas-Fee, Switzerland. This year, the 48th edition of the Saas-Fee course was held between 28th January and 3rd February, and was devoted to black holes. More specifically, the main subjects were black hole formation and growth. Four members of the group – Fábio, Gustavo, Ivan and Raniere – attended the event and presented their current work in the form of panels.
With about 130 participants coming from all over the world, the school was a valuable place to exchange experiences and ideas. The lectures, which were presented by professors Neil Cornish (Montana State University), Tiziana Di Mattteo (Carnegie Mellon University) and Andrew King (University of Leicester), focused on different aspects of black holes, including both theory and observations.
Professor Cornish covered theoretical and instrumental topics on mergers of compact objects as well as gravitational waves emerging from these events. He finished by including what we may expect in the next couple of years with the improvement of our current detectors’ capabilities and the addition of new gravitational wave detectors – both ground-based as well as the space-based LISA.
Professor Di Matteo’s lectures focused on the cosmological history of black holes, covering subjects like primordial black holes – and their possible origins -, first quasars and the current cosmological state of supermassive black holes in the center of galaxies.
Professor King presented a theoretical overview on accretion flows around black holes and black hole feedback, covering the formation and necessity for accretion flows, the black hole influence on its surroundings as well as a few open questions on the subject.
All lectures were very good, just like the chocolate and the cheese.