Since the launch of the Chandra and the XMM-Newton observatories nine years ago, astronomers have become familiar with high resolution X-ray spectra provided by dispersive spectrometers. A whole new source parameter space has been opened up to investigation and exciting new insights have been revealed into the physics and energetics of X-ray emitters and absorbers. Further advances in this field will be provided by non-dispersive spectrometers, with similar high resolution to current instrumentation and with enhanced sensitivity.
The time is right, then, to take stock of what has been achieved, to review our current understanding and to consider how to build on it, by taking advantage of future opportunities such as IXO. With this in mind we invited those in the astronomical community with an interest in high resolution X-ray spectroscopy to get together again at MSSL, in a workshop that was as vibrant and successful as its precursors in October 2002 and March 2006.
For the first time, we also ran a two-day Spectroscopy School aimed at PhD students and postdocs who are interested in learning about the principles and practicalities of high-resolution X-ray grating spectroscopy, as applied to a range of astrophysical scenarios.
The spectroscopy school was held on March 17 and 18 2009,
with the workshop following on March 19 and 20 2009, at the
UCL Mullard Space Science Laboratory
(MSSL), located in Holmbury St Mary, near Dorking, in the Surrey hills.
Further information about the school, workshop and UCL-MSSL may be found from the links below.
Spectroscopy school programme
Workshop scientific programme: talks and posters
Abstracts: workshop talks, workshop posters and spectroscopy school
Invited speakers and registered participants
Presentations and WWW publication
Registration and workshop dinner
How to get to MSSL
Workshop organisers and contact information