Galaxies within the Cosmic Web

The Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics (KICP) at the University of Chicago will host “Galaxies within the Cosmic Web” workshop on June 17-21, 2013. The workshop will be held in the lecture hall 120 in the Kersten Physics Teaching Center (KPTC) on the University of Chicago campus. During the last thirty years, studies of structure formation have played a key role in establishing the Cold Dark Matter (CDM) paradigm of structure formation in an expanding universe. In the CDM model the initial Gaussian density perturbations are shaped by gravity into a cosmic web of voids and filaments, at the intersection of which galaxies and galaxy clusters are mainly thought to form. Although the model has been a tremendous success in explaining the observed large-scale structure of the universe, many key aspects of how galaxies form and evolve within this cosmic web of dark matter and diffuse gas are still not understood. The gaps in our understanding not only hamper interpretation of the wealth of observational data on galaxy evolution, but also represent a major systematic uncertainty for cosmological probes of the accelerated expansion of the universe, the nature of gravity, and forecasts and interpretation of direct and indirect dark matter searches. This workshop will assemble both observers and theorists (target size ~60-80 people) who work on all key aspects of galaxy formation to assess recent progress and, most importantly, to germinate new ideas for how to improve our understanding of galaxy formation, the relation between the baryonic mass of galaxies and their parent halos, the effects of galaxy assembly and associated feedback on the spatial distribution of dark matter, and the interpretation of galaxy clustering and bias from large surveys to constrain the evolution of dark energy. The focus of the meeting will be on the most rapidly developing and interesting topics of research, and the format will include ample time for discussion and unstructured interaction.