Meeting overview

The dusty and gaseous interstellar medium (ISM) of galaxies exists in a multiphase partially ionized environment which is both magnetized and highly turbulent. Understanding the physics of the ISM is critical as it is the site of the birth and death of stars. Furthermore ISM material profoundly alters our ability to observe the Universe at many wavelengths due to the absorption, emission and scattering of dust.

Many key questions remain regarding the ISM of our Galaxy and other galaxies, in particular how material in the diffuse ISM is ultimately converted into stars and how the magnetic field mediates this process. Recent observations by the Planck and Herschel missions have been instrumental towards our understanding of the role of magnetic fields in the star formation process. In light of the recent advances in observations of magnetic fields and dust in the ISM the time is ripe to put these results in the context of a global picture of the ISM from the diffuse to star forming environments. For this to occur we must pull together the leading researchers in the field of ISM physics, including those who pioneered the field for the last several decades. In particular, two such pioneers, Carl Heiles (UC Berkeley) and Richard Crutcher (UIUC) along with their students and collaborators, have contributed significantly to our fundamental understanding of the composition and properties of the diffuse and star forming ISM. Thus it is natural to dedicate a conference honoring and highlighting their contributions and placing them in the context of current and future observations of the ISM. Such a conference will allow us to move forward in our theoretical and observational understanding of the physics required to convert gas into stars.

The final day, 27 May, 2016, will be devoted to the annual Midwest Magnetic Fields (MMF) workshop.

Photo of conference attendees

The honorees...

Richard Crutcher

Richard Crutcher

University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

Carl Heiles

Carl Heiles

University of California, Berkeley

Photo credit: Zhichen Pan and the FAST "973"

Photos

Science organizing committee

Blakesley Burkhart

Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

You-Hua Chu

Academia Sinica Institute of Astronomy and Astrophysics

Josep Miquel Girart

Institut de Ciències de l'Espai

Shih-Ping Lai

National Tsing Hua University

Alex Lazarian

University of Wisconsin - Madison

Leslie Looney

University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

Dick Plambeck

University of California, Berkeley

Thomas Troland

University of Kentucky

Tim Robishaw

Dominion Radio Astrophysical Observatory

Ramprasad Rao

Academia Sinica Institute of Astronomy and Astrophysics

Snezana Stanimirovic

University of Wisconsin - Madison