Finding Galactic Black Holes

This is a short course I am offering during my stay at Tokyo Tech - SR Kulkarni

Goal: The goal of this course is to identify as many different methods by which stellar mass black holes in our Galaxy, either singly or in binaries, can be found. Below the student can find an initial list of different methods. Students are encouraged to think imaginatively and supplement the list.

In the class we will walk through each proposed method and (1) compute the expected signal strength and (2) identify which facility/dataset/mission can discover black holes. The last step will be to estimate the number of detections given a notional idea of the BH population. This last step is almost aways quite hard and can easily morph into a master's or PhD thesis. So we will consult the literature at that point.

The search for intermediate mass black holes in globular clusters is a cottage industry in itself and is not a part of this mini course.

The class notes can be found at BH Class Notes. These notes will lag the handwritten notes and homeworks. But at the end of the course we all should have a nice set of notes!