Joburg workshop on new directions in gravity

3 September 2012 - 7 September 2012

Ever since Einstein had proposed general relativity in 1915, a lot of effort was put into research on space-time and gravity. However, for the initial half century it was largely done from a mathematical or purely theoretical point of view. The situation changed drastically after the discovery of 3K cosmic microwave background radiation in 1965 and of a pulsar in 1967. After these discoveries, the importance of general relativity in the study of astrophysics was widely recognized, and research in the areas of cosmology, relativistic astrophysics, and gravity had bloomed. As such, a variety of workshops have been held over recent years focussing on each sub-field in gravitational physics and their recent developments. However few broad based programs have existed, where this workshop would seek to ameliorate this by providing a more general basis for researchers and students starting out in this field of research. This research field shall be particularly timely given the increase of large-scale astronomical experiments, such as the SKA, in and around South Africa. All of which has led to more research on gravitation itself attracting more attention, with the importance of research in gravitational physics in general being recognized from new perspectives; from precision observation of compact and ultra-compact objects such as black holes, pulsars and neutron stars, and from progress in numerical relativity, cosmology, and particle astrophysics. As such, this workshop will discuss the major physics issues in the field of gravitational studies. Focussing on several research directions, such as the study of black hole quasi-normal modes, the gauge-gravity correspondence, and possible high-energy dark matter interactions among many. As such, the goal of this workshop is to help the South African groups interested in gravitation and astrophysics to find the best strategies to approach these research directions, as well as develop capacity by training students interested in this field, where the workshop will combine talks and working sessions, with the idea of initiating specific projects in these areas.

Venue: Centre for Theoretical Physics, School of Physics, University of Witwatersrand, South Africa.

Format: The workshop will be roughly divided between pedagogical talks aimed at non-experts and technical talks in which participants present new research. Afternoons will be kept free and are intended for individual work, collaborations or one-on-one discussions as participants see fit.

Student Involvement: In conjunction with the workshop we are organising an intensive pre-workshop school for Graduate students. The school will cover background material intended to make the research level talks at the workshop more accesible to students. The pre-workshop school will run from ???? at Wits University physics department.There are limited bursaries for students to attend the pre-school and the workshop. It is possible for students to only attend the pre-school workshop.

Financial Assistance: Student participation is strongly encouraged and limited financial assistance is available. Students (studying in South Africa) should have their advisers/supervisors email the organisers to motivate the request before 20 May.

Funding: Funding is provided by the National Institute for Theoretical Physics (NITheP), .... , .

Organizers: Secretary:

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