The 73rd Scottish Universities Summer Schools in Physics (SUSSP) was held in St Andrews from 23rd July to the 5th August. The School was titled “Gravitational Wave Astronomy” – the first SUSSP dedicated to this topic, and a very timely addition given the excitement as we enter the era of observational gravitational wave astronomy.
SUSSP was established in 1960 to "contribute to the dissemination of advanced knowledge (in Physics) and the formation of contacts among scientists from different countries" through annual summer schools of the highest international standard.
In addition to being informative and an excellent learning experience, the School was enjoyed by all – as can be seen by looking back on the Twitter feed at #SUSSP73.
The School covered five themes: General Relativity and gravitational waves; astrophysical sources; gravitational wave detection; data analysis; and multi-messenger astronomy. In addition there were broad interest talks on industry, policy and outreach, all with a physics perspective. As well as hearing from 15 excellent international lecturers, the delegates also had – and vigorously took – the opportunity to question the speakers during panel sessions and informally outside of lectures.
The 36 delegates who attended the School were international in make-up, from Bulgaria, China, Germany, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Lithuania, Spain, the UK and the USA.
A public lecture was organised as part School, entitled “The New Astronomy of Gravitational Waves”. This was given by Dr. Joan Centrella, Director, Astrophysics Science Division, NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. This was an excellent and accessible overview of the science and technology of this remarkable field of physics.
A busy social schedule was provided with delegates enjoying a ceilidh, whisky tasting, pub quiz, excursions around St Andrews, and the School Banquet.
The SUSSP73 organising committee would like to thank St Andrews Physics & Astronomy for hosting us, and our major sponsors for making the School possible: SUPA, SUSSP, STFC, IOP and IMPP. The slides and videos of the talks will be made available to the SUPA Graduate School in due course.
The School web page can be found at the following address, and will be updated as slides and videos become available: