The first three days of the workshop will be devoted to the definition of research problems and potential means of solution. Sessions will be organized by physics topics. Within each topic, presentations will cover the major challenges and the full diversity of approaches to address the problem, spanning both low and high energy density plasmas with theoretical, numerical and experimental opportunities.

The morning of the fourth day will report on a synthesis of the first three days (prepared by a working group as listed in the organization below). This will be followed by discussions of next steps in the process. The next steps will be formulated with the recognition that no single funding agency provides a home for plasma astrophysics, a problem that this exercise hopes to diminish. Possible next steps, in addition to the production of a concise report or white paper summarizing workshop conclusions, include commitment to a follow-on meeting to further refine ideas presented, and articulation of workshop results to relevant funding agencies and other interested organizations.

The program will be organized by a committee of experts spanning the topical breadth of the field. Each topic is assigned to a working group led by a group leader. Before the workshop, each group will gather input from the broader community, identify major challenges in each topic, formulate an array of diverse approaches to meet these challenges, and finally prepare presentations at the workshop. During the workshop, each working group will receive feedback from participants and other working groups. The following is a list of topics to be covered:
  1. Magnetic reconnection (lead: Jim Drake)
  2. Collisionless shock and particle acceleration (lead: Marty Lee)
  3. Radiative hydrodynamics (lead: Bruce Remington)
  4. Momentum transport (lead: Eliot Quataert)
  5. Magnetic dynamo (lead: Ellen Zweibel, co-lead: Fausto Cattaneo)
  6. Interface and shear instabilities (lead: Dmitri Ryutov)
  7. Magnetized dusty plasmas (lead: Ed Thomas)
  8. Waves and turbulence (lead: Amitava Bhattacharjee, co-lead: Stuart Bale)
  9. Jets and outflows including structure formation (lead: Hui Li)
  10. Relativistic, ultra-strongly magnetized, and pair plasmas (lead: Edison Liang)
  11. Cross-cutting issues, tool development, and uncovered topics (TBD)
Click HERE for a current list of members in each working group.

The organizing committee will consist of leaders of the working groups (one per group) listed above, and will be co-chaired by Fausto Cattaneo, Hantao Ji, Stewart Prager and Bob Rosner. The working group members are chosen by the organizing committee. The workshop is open to general participation; interested persons are encouraged to contribute through attendance or through submission of short "white papers" to the working groups or to the organizing committee.

Last update: November 14, 2009