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Half Day Workshop at the Delhi University

Physics and Astrophysics in the vicinity of Compact Objects

In the International Year of Astronomy, commemorating Galileo's pioneering observations of Jupiter, Saturn, Venus and Moon (400 years ago!), Department of Physics & Astrophysics (University of Delhi), Institute of Italian Culture (New Delhi) and Italian Embassy (New Delhi) are collaborating to organize a half-day workshop on November 18, 2009, taking advantage of Professor Tomaso Belloni's visit to Delhi.

This workshop is on "Physics and Astrophysics in the vicinity of Compact Objects". The workshop will be held on November 18, from 2.00 - 5.30 pm, in the Department of Physics and Astrophysics, University of Delhi, Delhi - 110 007, followed by high tea which will be sponsored by Institute of Italian Culture, New Delhi.

Compact Objects are essentially end states of stars. Stars appear bright to us because they are massive balls of gaseous matter in whose belly incessant nuclear fusion results in release of enormous heat and radiation. While the emerging radiation makes a star shine, the heat keeps it from collapsing under its own weight due to gravity. As the potential nuclear fuel in the core of a star gets depleted, it starts contracting gravitationally. What follows is very complex and exciting.

According to our present understanding of stellar evolution, after nuclear fusion stops due to a star running out of nuclear fuel, the star can either end up as a white dwarf or a neutron star or a black hole whose sizes are orders of magnitude smaller than that of the original star. Hence the term - Compact Objects. Because of small size, a compact object displays several novelties like stronger surface gravity, greater matter density, higher values of magnetic field strength, faster angular speeds, etc. These lead to all kinds of surprising physical phenomena associated with compact objects. For example, a pulsar which is a spinning neutron star, beams radiation within a narrow cone that sweeps past the line of sight of a terrestrial observer in regular intervals because of its rotation, thus appearing like a cosmic light-house.

The aim of the workshop will be to report on the current physical understanding of these compact objects in the light of observations and to convey the ensuing excitement associated with compact objects to students of Delhi. There will be a number of lectures on assorted topics in the DSKL Hall on 18.11.09:


 2.00 - 3.00 pm

Galactic compact objects as laboratories for the physics of the extreme, by Prof. T. Belloni

 3.00 - 3.30 pm 

Gamma Rays from Blackholes by Prof. N. Panchapakesan

 3.30 - 4.00 pm 

Chern-Simons electrodynamics and Pulsars by Prof. P. Das Gupta

 4.00 - 4:30 pm 

Compact Objects - Strange Quark stars by Prof. Ashok Goyal

4:30 - 5:00

Magnetars by Prof. Vikram Soni, Jamia Millia Islamia

 5.00 - 5.30 pm: 

Student projects on Pulsars with archived data by Dr. N. Rathnasree, Nehru Planetarium, Nehru Memorial Museum and Library

5:30 PM Tea

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Page last modified on November 09, 2009, at 06:38 AM EST