It is now ~4 years since the last galaxy-evolution ski conference at Obergurgl. In the December 2009 meeting, highlights included the first results from Herschel, and very early data from WFC3 on the refurbished Hubble Space Telescope. In the intervening years several major surveys have been completed by Hubble and Herschel, wide-field near-infrared imaging has begun to be delivered by VISTA, SCUBA2 has commenced sub-mm surveys on the JCMT, near-infrared multi-object spectrographs have commenced operation on 8-m class telescopes, and the first results have emerged from ALMA and Planck. By April 2014 ALMA Cycle 1 will be nearing completion, KMOS will have been commissioned on the VLT, Hyper Suprime-Cam will be operational on Subaru, and the next generation of radio surveys will be underway.
The aim of this meeting will to review and discuss these observational advances, alongside progress in theory/simulation, with a dual focus on galaxy/black-hole evolution at z > 2, and reionization/first-galaxies at z > 6.
In 2014 it will be over twenty years since the first discussions of the SKA and the ambitious call for a radio telescope with a considerable increase in sensitivity (two orders of magnitude) over existing instruments. It will also be ten years since the publication of the rationale for the SKA in ‘Science with the SKA’ (Carilli and Rawlings). These years have seen much progress in radio astronomy, especially in the development of instruments covering the full radio wavelength range from millimetres to metres (ALMA to LOFAR). In May 2012, the sites for the putative SKA were decided, with the bulk of the collecting area to be built in Africa.
This symposium will discuss progress in SKA science, as well as its relationship to scientific results from other contemporary instruments. Meeting sessions will encompass all aspects of contemporary radio astronomy, including the early Universe, HI in galaxies, star formation, galaxy evolution, pulsars and transients.
- A clearer understanding of the SKA scientific goals and their role in contemporary astrophysics.
- A broadening of our understanding of current themes in radio astronomy and the experimental and theoretical methodology used to tackle them.
- A new experience in outreach, where our research students interact directly with high school learners.
The aim of the workshop is to have focused discussions on the latest developments regarding our understanding of the formation and evolution of the first galaxies and structures in the Universe. We intend to centre our discussions on:
- Formation, growth and properties of the first galaxies
- The formation and growth of seed black holes and the impact of the associated feedback onto proto-galaxies
- Feedback from stars: chemical, mechanical and radiative; and how these regulate the growth of the first galaxies
- The role of reionization during the first billion years of galaxy evolution
The aim is to have broad reviews with topics ranging from observations to theoretical modelling, giving emphasis to the key questions observers and theorists are trying to answer, followed by talks focusing on specific topics in detail. We plan on having ample time for discussions in between the sessions.