Dust in Space: Consequences and Origins


Cosmic dust is the dominant condensed matter form in the universe.It plays a huge role in the appearance of the universe, reprocessing fully half of all non-primordial radiation, fundamentally altering our view of nearly every cosmic phenomenon. Dust is vital to the formation of planets and molecules and plays a fundamental role in nearly all star-formation. Yet its properties and it origin are still poorly understood. We do not understand the properties of dust in extinction or emission, though we are making rapid progress using gamma-ray bursts and sub-mm and infrared observations. It is not known how large dust masses in the early universe are formed, whether through cool stars, supernovae or the interstellar medium. Here we bring together experts on gamma-ray bursts, supernovae, and AGB stars, in particular observers of dust, together with theorists of dust formation and evolution and experts on the early universe to examine all aspects of the formation of dust and its evolution with a special emphasis on dust in the early universe. The timing of the meeting is opportune with the the opening of the major new international mm/sub-mm facilityALMA at the European Southern Observatory in 2012, the current operation of the European Space Agency's Herschel Space Observatory,both of which observe almost exclusively emission from dust and molecules, and with the current rapid advances in our understanding of extragalactic dust. 


The programme will consist primarily of presentation of the array of exciting new results on extragalactic cosmic dust in theory and
observations across the diverse range of expertise gathered together.The programme will be arranged over three days, allowing time at the end of talks for substantial, high-level discussion. This has provento work extremely well in a moderate size group with a strong interesting a focussed area. We hope that at the end of the meeting, as experienced in similar meetings before, many new synergistic ideas emerge.


Dr. Danuta Paraficz (LAM) Dr. Páll Jakobsson (U. Iceland), Dr. Darach Watson (U. Copenhagen)