UNSOLVED PROBLEMS
in Astrophysics and Cosmology
an Invitational Workshop in Budapest
June 29, 2014 - July 5, 2014
Eötvös University, Budapest, Hungary
Scientific Rationale

The workshop "Unsolved Problems in Astrophysics and Cosmology" will take place 29th June - 5th July 2014 in Budapest, Hungary on the new campus of Eotvos University by the Danube river. We will also have an overnight excursion to the lake Balaton wine region. We wish to promote strong interdisciplinary interactions in this relaxing setting.

The rationale of the workshop is to bring together leading scientists in those fields of Astrophysics and Cosmology that hold the promise of answering the most fundamental questions about the Universe. The workshop will be very interactive, and will center around discussions led by a handful of leaders in their area of expertise. Our aim is to have this meeting regularly, to provide a forum to chart the path to progress. The highly successful inaugural edition took place in 2011 in Benasque and we had excellent feedback from the participants at that meeting about collaborations, ideas and papers that originated during that meeting.

The workshop will also coincide with (the round of 16 games during) the 2014 FIFA world cup and we will provide facilities and schedule the talks to allow viewing the corresponding matches. The meeting will follow the informal and highly interactive and successful workshops we have held during the last three world cups (in Daejong, Korea in 2002, and in Budapest in 2006 and 2010.

We have invited eleven plenary speakers (discussion leaders) to the meeting. In addition we invited a number of other leading researchers to reach a quorum of about 85 people. Following an overview of the unsolved problems in each research theme, led by the plenary speaker, we will have 8-10 shorter, specialised, talks by other experts in each topic, in order to kick start a longer follow-up discussion.

We plan to start with a reception on Sunday at noon (June 29), have talks and discussion Sunday-Tuesday (June 29 - July 1), a two-day excursion to Badacsony at Lake Balaton Wednesday and Thursday (July 2-3), and two more days of talks Friday and Saturday (July 4-5).

Topics with discussion leaders:

  • Sunday - What has been solved since 2011? Shri Kulkarni, CalTech
  • Sunday - Large Scale Surveys: Cristiano Porciani, Bonn
  • Monday - Dark Matter: Roberto Trotta, Imperial College
  • Monday - Exoplanets: Gaspar Bakos, Princeton, and Giovanna Tinetti, UC London
  • Tuesday - Time-domain Universe: Zeljko Ivezic, U. of Washington
  • Friday - Gravitation/Early Universe: Ed Copeland, Nottingham
  • Friday - Galaxy formation & evolution: Andrew Pontzen, UC London, and Mary Putman, Columbia
  • Saturday - Gravitational waves: Alessandra Buonanno, Maryland
  • Saturday - Dark ages and high-z universe: Andrew Bunker, Oxford