CompStar: The Physics and Astrophysics of Compact Stars

CompStar: The Physics and Astrophysics of Compact Stars CompStar: The Physics and Astrophysics of Compact Stars
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    Jérôme Margueron
    Institute de Physique Nucléaire (IPN)
    phone: +33 1 69 15 36 00
    fax: +33 1 69 15 77 48

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  • Updated on 2012-01-21 13:35:00

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Over the last decade, compact stars have been shown to be excellent tools to test fundamental properties of gravity and matter under extreme conditions. The new generation of space X-ray and gamma-ray observatories, as well as improvements in radio telescopes and interferometric techniques, are enabling new observations and break-through discoveries. Moreover, a large multinational effort has taken place in the last decade to build detectors, offering the exciting prospect of the detection of gravitational waves.

We are thus experiencing the blooming of Astro-Nuclear Physics, an exciting research area in which the physics of compact stars plays a fundamental role. While a part of this physics relies on theories that are well tested in terrestrial laboratories and requires in most of the cases developments at the forefront of modern physics, a good part of it is basically unknown in the regimes found in compact stars.

Unveiling this picture is a task made challenging by the multidisciplinary character of the problem, which requires expertise from historically independent disciplines, such as nuclear and particle physics, astrophysics, gravitational and computational physics.

In the past four years, the European Science Foundation Research Networking Programme  “CompStar - Physics of Compact Stars" has succeeded in bringing together the best European scientists in these fields, to reach a better understanding of the physics of compact stars.

Presently, CompStar represents the reference European environment in which experts from different fields can collaborate, present their results and discuss the implications across disciplines. CompStar is now in its culminating stage and intends to extend this kind of network beyond Europe: the Tahiti 2012 conference is the first concrete action being taken to reach this ambitious goal. In order to mark a difference with the previous four CompStar European meetings, a venue was chosen which is geographically close to the different scientific communities we intend to interconnect: the French island of Tahiti, in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, is the symbolic hub of a network including the Americas, Japan, China, Korea, India, Australia.

Following the spirit of CompStar, the conference will cover the

  • physics of compact stars,
  • astrophysics of compact stars,
  • superdense matter,
  • neutrino physics,
  • astrochemistry,
  • gravitational waves from compact stars and
  • supernova explosions.