Institute of Astronomy

Meetings

The Institute of Astronomy plans to host one large summer conference each year. Below is a list of upcoming and previous meetings at the IoA.

Upcoming & Recent Meetings

The Laws of Star Formation: From the Cosmic Dawn to the Present Universe

2 July 2018 - 6 July 2018

 

This is a conference in honour of Prof. Robert Kennicutt. It will be held at the Institute of Astronomy and the adjoining Kavli Institute for Cosmology at the University of Cambridge (UK) from Monday July 2th to Friday July 6th, 2018.

Registration is now open.

Scientific rationale:

The coming of age of many facilities and new instrumental capabilities, including ALMA, JWST, VLT/MUSE, etc., and the continuous stream of ground-breaking results from HST, Spitzer, Herschel, and others, has ushered a new era for the investigation of star formation in galaxies. As we inch our way into the formulation of a predictive theory of star formation, we are now in a position to relate the newly formed stars to their natal gas at all scales, from giant molecular clouds up to entire galaxy populations, in present-day galaxies back to the dawn of cosmic time. Observational studies linking molecular gas mass to star formation activity are crucial to shape our understanding of the physical processes that drive the conversion of gas into stars, and to identify the dominant positive/negative feedback processes that trigger and quench star formation in a wide variety of galactic environments. Balancing these physical processes over time, galactic disks self-regulate their level of star formation and become galactic ecosystems, in analogy to many other ecosystems observed on earth. This conference will bring together experts on all aspects of star formation to assess the progress made so far, compare achievements in different areas, and lay the ground for future directions. Among the goals is to bring together different communities and to discuss the role of planned and future facilities in unraveling the link between star formation and gas in galaxies.

The major themes of this meeting are:

* The star formation law in different gas phases (LSB, HSB, atomic or molecular gas). (Non-)linearity of the star formation law.

* Triggering (dynamics, environment, instabilities) and quenching mechanism of star formation  (morphology, AGN, stabilizing bulges, environment effects in gas stripping, or starvation)

*  Self-regulation of star formation through positive/negative feedback processes (SN, AGN, ...)

* Star formation at small scales: What drives the small-scale substructure of star formation in galaxies? What threshold holds for SF in different regimes?

* Cosmic evolution of star formation: starbursts census with redshifts

Confirmed invited speakers

Angela Adamo  (Stockholm University)
Joao Alves (University of Vienna)
Frédéric Bournaud (Laboratoire AIM Paris-Saclay)
Clare Dobbs (University of Exeter)
Bruce Elmegreen (IBM T.J Watson Research Center)
Neal Evans (University of Texas) 
Natasha Förster Schreiber (Max-Plank-Institut für extraterrestrische Physik)
Diederik Kruijssen (Universität Heidelberg)
Mark Krumholz (Australian National University) 
Adam Leroy (Ohio State University)
Margaret Meixner (Space Telescope Science Institute)
Sally Oey (University of Michigan)
Ying-jie Peng (Peking University)
Amelie Saintonge (University College London)
Eva Schinnerer (Max Planck Institute for Astronomy, Heidelberg)
Stefanie Walch (University of Cologne)
Fabian Walter (Max Planck Institute for Astronomy, Heidelberg)

SOC:

Daniela Calzetti (co-Chair)
Ilse De Looze (co-Chair)
Maud Galametz (co-Chair)
Monica Relaño-Pastor (co-Chair)
Gustavo Bruzual
Françoise Combes
Andy Fabian
Timothy Heckman
Linda Tacconi
Serena Viti
Anthony Whitworth

We look forward to welcoming you to Cambridge to an exciting and vibrant meeting full of discussions and new ideas.

 

 

Previous Meetings

Galaxy clusters: physics laboratories and cosmological probes

5 December 2016 - 9 December 2016

Conference Rationale
Galaxy clusters are unique astrophysical laboratories in which the powerful interaction of supermassive black holes with the surrounding intracluster medium, the complex effects of the cluster environment on galaxies, as well as a wide range of non-thermal processes like magnetic field amplification and cosmic ray acceleration can be studied. In addition, clusters form from the largest matter overdensities in the Universe that collapse under their own gravity. Due to their formation from these highest density peaks, clusters provide a large leverage to probe cosmological models. However, to make full use of this potential, the internal structure of clusters and how it affects observational signatures needs to be understood. This meeting will bring together both international experts on this subject and early career researchers to catalyse progress on puzzles like the discrepant cosmology results from galaxy clusters and the primary cosmic microwave background and to help interpretation of a wealth of upcoming, multiwavelength observational programmes, such as eROSITA, Athena, JWST, DESI, Euclid and SPTPol and Advanced ACT.

Kavli ExoFrontiers 2016 Symposium

5 September 2016 - 6 September 2016

Exoplanetary science is on the verge of an unprecedented revolution. With at least four space missions and numerous large ground-based facilities scheduled to become operational in the next decade, the new era promises unprecedented observations of exoplanets - both in their detection as well as in detailed characterization of their atmospheres, interiors, and formation conditions. Concomitant major developments are also expected in all aspects of exoplanetary theory and data interpretation.

Binary Stars in Cambridge 2016

24 July 2016 - 30 July 2016

Now that multiplicity is known to be common among stars and that half the stars in our Galaxy have been or will be altered by interaction with at least one companion, the crucial role of binary star evolution in astrophysics in general has been established. Stellar interactions lead to a veritable zoo of exotic objects, many of which play crucial roles in the Universe. However, our understanding of many of the basic properties of binary stars - how they form, evolve and interact and how they ultimately die - is still incomplete. These issues cannot be ignored in fields of astrophysics spanning stellar cluster evolution, planet formation, galactic chemical evolution, etc. We plan to discuss many of the exciting implications of duplicity among stars. 

Modelling galaxies through cosmic times

14 September 2015 - 18 September 2015

Conference rationale

Our ability to interpret the spectral energy distribution (SED) of galaxies is key to understanding how the physical processes at play in galaxies govern their evolution. Over the past decades, numerous multi-wavelength surveys have been carried out, sampling the ultraviolet to sub-millimetre SED of galaxies from the Milky Way neighbourhood to very high redshifts. To connect this treasure trove to the formation and evolution of galaxies through cosmic times, we need to derive precisely and accurately key astrophysical properties of galaxies: stellar mass, metal content, star formation history, dust mass and temperature, star formation rate, dust obscuration, heating sources, etc. At the same time, major investments have been made to build physically motivated SED models of galaxies with the aim of measuring their physical properties as reliably as possible. The aim of this workshop is to bring observers and modellers together to present their respective approaches in building and interpreting the SED of galaxies. In particular, we will discuss:

  • the observed SED and the properties of galaxies: their evolution across cosmic times from the Milky Way to the highest redshifts,
  • the building blocks of SED modelling: stellar populations, interstellar dust, young embedded star clusters, AGN,
  • retrieving galaxy properties at various scales and redshifts by modelling their SED: radiative transfer and energy balance approaches,
  • bringing models and observations together: "observing" galaxies from numerical simulations and comparing with real observations.

 

GPE@60: From Galaxies to Large Scale Structure and the CMB

1 September 2015 - 3 September 2015

The Kavli Institute for Cosmology Cambridge and Institute of Astronomy are hosting a symposium from 1–3 September 2015 to coincide with the 60th birthday of Professor George Efstathiou, Director of KICC, and to celebrate George's many significant contributions to astrophysics and cosmology.  The programme will cover many of George's scientific interests including dark matter and dark energy, galaxy surveys, galaxy formation, cosmic dawn, cosmic microwave background, and early-universe cosmology.