Nature’s Particle Accelerators

Nature’s Particle Accelerators – The Joint Space Science Institute at the University of Maryland and NASA Goddard Space Flight Center is hosting a workshop on “Nature’s particle accelerators” on October 22-25, 2012, in historic Annapolis, Maryland. The meeting will address the central scientific issues associated with particle acceleration across the universe. Energetic particles reveal important information about the dynamics of astrophysical objects ranging in scale from the heliosphere to galaxy clusters. New observational results from a variety of spacecraft and ground-based facilities and recent advances in the theory and modeling of acceleration mechanisms are shedding new light on where and how particle acceleration is occurring. The goal of this meeting is to bring together the broad range of observers, theorists and modelers working on the full range of particle acceleration processes in natural systems to have in-depth discussions of progress and outstanding issues. The expectation is that such cross-fertilization will nucleate new ideas and collaborative efforts for advancing the field.

Our tentative program is broken down into the following topics:

(1) Setting the stage: cosmic ray observations and particle acceleration mechanisms
(2) The heliosphere: a local laboratory
(3) Pulsars, pulsar winds and pulsar wind nebulae
(4) Supernovae Shocks
(5) Black holes, AGNs, jets and lobes
(6) GRBs
(7) Galaxy cluster shocks and turbulence

The meeting will take place in Annapolis, Maryland, which is a scenic historic town located on the water where the Severn River enters the Chesapeake Bay. The town has many architecturally interesting buildings with many high quality restaurants all within walking distance of the meeting venue.