Letters of Intent for 2015

LoI 2015-170
Focus Meeting: Laboratory Astrophysics

Date: 4 August 2015 to 4 August 2015
Location: Honolulu HI, United States
Contact: Patrick Hartigan (hartigan@sparky.rice.edu)
Coordinating division: Division H Interstellar Matter and Local Universe
Co-Chairs of SOC: Patrick Hartigan (Rice University)
Adam Frank (University of Rochester)
Sergey Lebedev (Imperial College London)
Chair of LOC: N/A ()



Laboratory Astrophysics



The field of laboratory astrophysics has grown enormously in the last decade. The discipline has expanded beyond its origins that began with measurements of atomic parameters, and now includes a wide variety of experiments that employ both intense lasers and pulsed-power facilities whose aim is to reproduce physical conditions and dynamical processes that are relevant to astrophysical objects. The ability to study these processes under controlled laboratory conditions and to observe how complex systems evolve in real time provides unique insights into many astrophysical phenomena. The experimental work is also crucial in benchmarking numerical codes.

Laboratory astrophysics is inherently an interdisciplinary field, and includes astrophysicists, numerical modelers, laser physicists, plasma physicists, and materials scientists. It is also an international pursuit. Every two years the laboratory astrophysics community holds a major international meeting known as High Energy Density Laboratory Astrophysics (HEDLA). The tenth HEDLA is scheduled to be held in 2014 in France, includes topics related to plasma physics, stellar explosions, magnetized flows, astrophysical disks and jets, stellar solar and nuclear astrophysics, computational physics, radiative hydrodynamics and warm dense matter such as planetary interiors.

Our goal is to bring these activities to the attention of a wider group of astronomers. The 2015 IAU meeting in Hawaii is well-placed and perfectly timed to do so. We envision a single-day focus meeting within the auspices of the general IAU meeting, where we will choose topics and speakers that can communicate the recent results from the laboratory best to the astrophysical community. We are well-versed in the latest developments in the field, as all three of us are on the SOC for the HEDLA meeting in France, each of us as served on SOC's for previous HEDLAs, and two of us have served as editors for the HEDLA proceedings. Our expertise covers the three main pillars of laboratory astrophysics: observational astronomy (PH), computational physics (AF), and laboratory experiments (SL). We feel we will be able to provide a topical and focused session that will have excellent speakers and a broad impact.