Cosimo Bambi Gravity Group

This message and any attachments are intended for the use of visit and class arrangements only. The unauthorised edit, disclosure, use, dissemination or copying (either in whole or in part) of its content is not permitted.

Edited by Jiachen Jiang (mini J.)

Board Bulletin

Tips updated! (Jul 1, 2016) Link

Summer School Lecture Updated (Jul 1, 2016) Link

Cluster account: summer@ portal: -122

Lecture 0 (Jun 29, 2016)

  1. Basic Unix Commands
  2. Basic Xspec Commands
  3. Lamp-post Geometry

HW: Assignment 1 (for astro) Link

Lecture 1 (Jul 1, 2016) note1.txt

  1. Relativistic Effects, Relativistic Broad Line and RELLINE
  2. Lamp-post Geometry Review
  3. Walk Through Xspec (jj_test_ass1.fak)

HW: Analyze jj_test_ass2.fak

  • The commands you need are all in either assignment 2 or Xspec manual, which you may find here Link
  • Please save your work by doing “save all your_name.xcm” and copy and paste this log file to /home/summer/main .

Instructor: Andrea Marinucci (Rome 3)

Location: Physics Building 恒隆物理楼

Question and Answer board Q&A is available now. Please feel free to ask or answer any questions on it. Most frequently asked questions will be noticed and may be answered by our lecturer during the class. Make full use of it 8-) If you have trouble editing the page, please refer to this brief instruction

mini J's Bulletin

Lectures updated! (Jun 24, 2016)

Lectures updated! (Jun 20, 2016)

XMM command note updated! (Jun 17, 2016)

Lectures and references updated! (Jun 16, 2016)

Lectures updated! (Jun 14, 2016)

Q&A board is available now. (Jun 10, 2016)

To be confirmed on Jun 21. (Jun 8, 2016)



June 13 (Monday), 15:30-17:30 (Room 216) lect1.pdf

  1. General introduction on Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN)
  2. Definition and classification: Spectral Energy Distribution (SED), Unification Model
  3. AGN observations in the X-rays: variability, emission models

June 14 (Tuesday), 15:30-17:30 (Room 216) lect2.pdf

  1. X-ray telescopes and detectors
  2. Wolter optics, Charged-coupled device (CCD) detectors and dispersion gratings
  3. Efficiency, sensitivity, spectral and angular resolution
  4. XMM-Newton, Chandra, Suzaku and NuSTAR

June 15 (Wednesday), 16:30-18:00 (Room 403)lec3.pdf

  1. CCD spectral analysis: background, S/N ratio, goodness-of-fit tests
  2. Calibration uncertainties
  3. Introduction on Xspec
  4. Basic spectral models

References Fabian+2009:


Reynolds 2013:

June 16 (Thursday), 15:30-17:30 (Room 403)

  1. Data reduction: on-line archives, SAS and CIAO software
  2. XMM data-reduction: SAS usage, RGS and EPIC-pn/MOS xmm_data_reduction.txt
  3. Specgroup SAStool

June 17 (Friday), 15:30-17:30 (Room 216) lect5.pdf

  1. XMM-Newton light curve
  2. NuSTAR data analysis
  3. XSELECT event filter
  1. Chandra data reduction: CIAO usage, ACIS-S for imaging
  2. Chandra ACIS-S Subpixel Event Repositioning (SER)
  3. Grppha ftool

June 20 (Monday), 15:30-17:30 (Room 216) basic_spectral_fitting.txt basic_spectral_fitting_2.txt

  1. Xspec: fitting a simple spectrum and retrieving best-fit parameters with error bars
  2. IPL: plotting results

June 21 (Tuesday), 15:30-17:30 (Room 216)

To be confirmed

June 22 (Wednesday), 16:30-18:00 (Room 216) spectral_fitting_relxill.txt

  1. Relativistic reflection models in Xspec: KYreflionx, relxill, relxill_LP
  2. Working the parameters of a super-massive black hole (when possible)

June 23 (Thursday), 15:30-17:30 (Room 216) fakeit_commands.txt

  1. Xspec: simulating an observation (fakeit)
  2. How to write a (successful) proposal

June 24 (Friday), 15:30-17:30 (Room 216)

  1. General review and open questions


For the lectures, you need to bring your laptop with you and have already installed Xspec and DS9. Please do it as soon as possible, because the download and the installation may take time.

* For Xspec, you may download heasoft here:

  1. Step 1: select “Source code” and then your favorite platform.
  2. Step 2: select “all”. Click “Submit”.

* For DS9, you can download the software from this link:

 (For Ubuntu users, you may find DS9 in Ubuntu Application Store.)

* SAS (software for data reduction of XMM-Newton observations) and Ciao (for Chandra) may also be necessary.

 (Ubuntu users (Ubuntu14.0) or Mac users may contact with current group member to retrieve already available installation packages.)

* Interested students, who intend to join our gravity group, may have access to our computer cluster by sharing the same group account and may not have to download packages/softwares mentioned above. However we do not guarantee perfect Internet connection to our cluster during the lectures. An ideal connection to the cluster is through Ethernet inside student residence.

References, Contacts and Registration


- AGN Physics Reviews:

* Netzer et al., 2015 (in particolare la parte sui raggi X) *

- X-ray satellites:

* XMM-newton - (in particolare la parte sull'EPIC-pn)

- Spectral fitting:

* Xspec -

- Relativistic reflection models:

* relxill -

Target Student and Registration

- X-ray astronomy beginners. No specific astronomy background required.

- To register

* First, please click here.register

* Second, please email either Jiachen or Prof Bambi through emails for further confirmation. See contacts below.


  • Jiachen Jiang Email:
  • Cosimo Bambi Email:

Tips from Jiachen

Jiachen Here are some tips, useful online resources or additional materials for X-ray astronomy beginners, especially sophomore and junior undergraduate students.

For further information, please click here. tips

Final examination

Time: June 2, 2016 15:25–17:05

Location: 3205

Schedule Changed. No oral test but PAPER TEST now (like your mid-term).

Please come on time. Otherwise you wouldn't have enough time to finish before the end of the test.

Course syllabus (tbf)

lecture 1 Introduction to basic concepts
lecture 2 Nuclear fusion inside stars and stellar evolution
lecture 3 Introduction to black holes
lecture 4 Black hole binaries
lecture 5 Measurement of the spin of black holes
lecture 6 Gravitational waves
lecture 7 [Yu Wang]
lecture 8 mid-term test
lecture 9 [Shangyu Sun]
lecture 10 Neutrinos in astrophysics
lecture 11 Cosmology
lecture 12 [Jiachen Jiang] introduction_to_astrophysics.pdf
lecture 13 Cosmic rays

Lectures given by instructors other than Prof Bambi will not be covered in the final examination.


Prof Bambi and mini J. are both available through email. Just feel free to email either of us when you meet any problem.

* Prof Cosimo Bambi

* Jiachen Jiang

Others The oral test will be entirely in English.

Mid term test Questions: 1) What are the apparent magnitude and the absolute magnitude of a star? 2) What can you say about the Hertzsprung–Russell diagram? 3) What is the Eddington Luminosity? 4) Describe the typical outburst of a black hole in an X-ray binary. 5) Describe one or more techniques to measure the spin of a black hole. 6) What can you say about gravitational waves?

Dr Matteo Guainazzi ( is visiting us from May 30(Mon) to June 3(Fri).

NoDateStart TimeEnd TimeNameSubjectLocationOthers
*Feb 31,2022(Thu)30:00am31:00amBitty Boopy BettyCyg X-1SUBChat
1May 31,2016(Tue)9:00am11:00amShangyu & his groupNGC 2210 & 5506East tower 2314Blackboard needed
2May 31,2016(Tue)11:00am13:00pmCosimo & Jiachen Lunch & Meeting
3May 31,2016(Tue)13:15pm15:00pmGroup meetingOverview of pulsar timing and applicationPhysics Building room 216
4May 31,2016(Tue)15:00pm17:00pmJiachen3C 273Stars' Coffee Shop
5May 31,2016(Tue)17:00am18:00pmFree hours :-) & dinner with Matteo 8-) Student canteen
6May 31,2016(Tue)18:00pmFree hours :-o
7Jun 1,2016(Wed)9:00am11:00amShangyu & his groupNGC 2210 & 5506East tower 2314Blackboard needed
8Jun 1,2016(Wed)11:00am13:00pmCosimo
9Jun 1,2016(Wed)13:00pmYu & MasoumehMCG-5-23-16East tower 2314
10Jun 1, 2016(Wed)18:00pmFree hours :-o
11Jun 2,2016(Thu)9:00am10:30amShangyu & his group(Qingling)NGC 2210 & 5506East tower 2314Blackboard needed
12Jun 2,2016(Thu)10:30am13:30pmCosimo & JiachenEast tower 2315Blackboard needed
13Jun 2,2016(Thu)13:30am14:30pmYu & MasoumehMCG-5-23-16Stars' Coffee Shop
14Jun 2,2016(Thu)14:30pm16:30pmFree hours :-) Stars' Coffee Shop

:-) Everyone is free to come during free hours. Especially, new students who have specific related physics questions are welcome to come. Anyone however with romantic relationship issue is welcome to come to speak with Jiachen instead.

8-) Lunch/Dinner with Matteo will be in the student canteen near the twin towers. We will always gather at Cosimo's office and then go together.

:-o Free hours in the evening are flexible.

Edited by Jiachen Jiang (mini J.)

This message and any attachments are intended for the use of visit and class arrangements only. The unauthorised edit, disclosure, use, dissemination or copying (either in whole or in part) of its content is not permitted.

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