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MPA/ ESO/ MPE/ USM Joint Astronomy Conference

Open Questions in Cosmology:
the First Billion Years

August 22 - August 26, 2005
Garching, Germany

The accepted lore about the state of modern cosmology is that existing data constrain models well enough that few important questions remain to be either asked or solved. In the last year, a wealth of new data about the cosmological background radiation, early star and galaxy formation as well as cosmological evolution in general has been generated. The theoretical prejudice is that the current concordance cosmological model provides a description of our universe consistent with most of these observations. But does it provide the definitive framework against which these new observations can be tested? This meeting will present the latest data, confront them with conventional and alternative models, and review new emerging technologies and expected data for their potential to challenge our current understanding of the universe.

Invited speakers

K. Adelberger (OCIW), J. Bergeron (IAP), V. Bromm (U. Texas, Austin), P. Cox (IAS), L. Cowie (U. Hawaii),
R. Ellis (Caltech), R. Ekers (CSIRO), X. Fan (U. Arizona), A. Ferrara (SISSA), K. Gorski (JPL),
Z. Haiman (Columbia), A. Jaffe (ICL), P. Jakobsen (ESA), K. Jedamzik (U. Montpellier), C. Lawrence (JPL),
S. Malhotra (STScI), K. Olive (U. Minnesota), J.-L. Puget (IAS), S. Ryan (Open University),
A. Songaila (U. Hawaii), J. Schaye (IAS), R. Schneider (OAA), C. Steidel (Caltech), F. Walter (MPIA), S.D.M. White (MPA)

Topics covered:

Evidence for (an)isotropy and (non)gaussianity: is the cosmological principle of isotropy violated?
    - CMB, galaxy counts, radio surveys, SDSS...
Reionization history: how well do we understand it?
    - theoretical modeling: simple/complex scenarios, role of different sources...
    - observational contraints: CMB, QSOs absorption spectra, IGM temperature...
First stars: what are they?
    - theoretical modeling: what do they look like, transition to the standard stellar population, emission spectrum...
    - evidence for their existence: UV/IR background, IGM metallicity, metal poor stars...
Observing the high-z universe
    - Ly-alpha emitters, QSOs, LSS, LBGs...
    - processing heavy elements
    - structure at the end of reionization
Galactic winds: are they significant?
    - theoretical modeling, observations, connection with heavy element abundances...
Nucleosynthesis: does it fit?
    - discrepancies in estimated abundances...
The next generation of telescopes
    - Planck, JWST, LOFAR, SKA, ALMA, ELT/OWL...

Scientific Advisory Committee:

X. Fan (U. Arizona), A. Ferrara (SISSA), K. Gorski (JPL), P. Jakobsen (ESA),
B. Leibundgut (ESO), A. Loeb (Harvard), J. Silk (Oxford), A. Songaila (U. Hawaii),
M. Umemura (U. Tsukuba), S.D.M. White (MPA)

Local Organizing Committee:

A.J. Banday, B. Ciardi, S.D.M. White (MPA)
W. Freudling, B. Leibundgut, P. Shaver (ESO)
M. Lehnert (MPE)
E. D'Onghia (USM)

For further information please contact:


Last modified: 07/02/2005