This school is addressed to Ph.D students and postdocs in theoretical physics, with a strong research interest in Cosmology.

The school will introduce a selection of topics which are currently the subject of very active investigation. The goal is to stimulate discussion, and to prepare young researchers to contribute to these exciting fields

The following courses will be delivered::

  • Gravitational Waves
  • Primordial Black Holes in Cosmology
  • Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) and Spectral Distortions
  • Axions

The course requires previous knowledge of basic Cosmology, High Energy and Particle Physics, Quantum Field Theory, General Relativity.


The detection of gravitational waves by LIGO opened a new window to the universe. The data LIGO will collect in the near future will provide us with a large amount of information and possibly enlighten us with signs of new physics. The goal of the “Gravitational Waves” course will be to explore the analytical understanding of the most important sources, the features of the signals and to review their importance for astrophysics and cosmology.

The GW detections have also stimulated the interest in the non-standard possibility that such events, or future events, might be due to the collision of primordial black holes. This has given impulse to study and understand their formation mechanisms and subsequent dynamics. The focus of the “Primordial Black Holes in Cosmology” course will be to review several possible observational features in the late or early Universe, which could allow us to distinguish primordial black holes from astrophysical black holes. This includes, for example, constraints from lensing observations, Cosmic Microwave Background and dynamics of bound astrophysical objects.

The Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) itself has also been another crucial source of information for the physics of the early and late universe, constituting now one of the building blocks of Cosmology. In the “CMB and Spectral Distortions” course one aspect of the CMB will be explored, namely, the possibility that it could have departures from the blackbody spectrum, since this could carry completely new cosmological information.

There are other frontiers in our current understanding of the Universe as, for example, the nature of dark matter and the strong CP problem. Interestingly, axions can be a simple explanation to these problems in cosmology and particle physics. The “Axions” course will focus on axion phenomenology and axion cosmology: the experimental paths towards a possible discovery, its cosmological history and astrophysical signals.

Credit: Pablo Carlos Budassi