In 2014 it will be over twenty years since the first discussions of the SKA and the ambitious call for a radio telescope with a considerable increase in sensitivity (two orders of magnitude) over existing instruments. It will also be ten years since the publication of the rationale for the SKA in ‘Science with the SKA’ (Carilli and Rawlings). These years have seen much progress in radio astronomy, especially in the development of instruments covering the full radio wavelength range from millimetres to metres (ALMA to LOFAR). In May 2012, the sites for the putative SKA were decided, with the bulk of the collecting area to be built in Africa.

This symposium will discuss progress in SKA science, as well as its relationship to scientific results from other contemporary instruments. Meeting sessions will encompass all aspects of contemporary radio astronomy, including the early Universe, HI in galaxies, star formation, galaxy evolution, pulsars and transients.

The symposium will include student poster presentations, as well as interaction with public audiences and high school learners.

Date: 17 to 21 February, 2014

Location: Stellenbosch, South Africa

Symposium goals:

  • A clearer understanding of the SKA scientific goals and their role in contemporary astrophysics.
  • A broadening of our understanding of current themes in radio astronomy and the experimental and theoretical methodology used to tackle them.
  • A new experience in outreach, where our research students interact directly with high school learners.

Invited speakers:

  • Lord Martin Rees (Cambridge, UK)
  • Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell (Oxford, UK)
  • Roger Blandford (Stanford, USA)
  • Phil Diamond (SKA, UK)
  • Karl Menten (MPi, Bonn)
  • Marijke Haverkorn (Radbout Univ, Netherlands) 
  • Sarah Blyth (UCT, RSA)
  • Kotaro Kohno (Tokyo, Japan)
  • Andrea Isella (Caltech, USA)
  • Pierre Cox (ALMA, Chile)
  • Ragnuth Srianand (UCAA, India)
  • Katherine Blundell (Oxford, UK) 
  • Michael Kramer (MPIfR, Germany)
  • Rendong Nan (NAO, China)
  • George Heald (Astron, Netherlands)
  • Matt Jarvis (Oxford, UK/UWC, RSA)
  • Scott Ransom (NRAO, USA)
  • Mario Santos (UWC, SA)
  • Dongsu Ryu (CNU, Korea)
  • Danail Obreschkow (ICRAR, Australia)
  • Norbert Wex (MPI, Bonn)
  • Leon Koopmans (Kaptyn, Netherlands)
  • Tiziana Venturi (INAF, Italy)
  • Ian Heywood (CSIRO, Australia/Rhodes, RSA)
  • Heino Falcke (Radboud Universiteit, Netherlands)
  • Tzu-Ching Chang (ASIAA, Taiwan)
  • Anna Scaife (Southampton, UK)
  • Linda Tacconi (MPE, Germany) 
  • Mark Verheijen (Kapteyn, Netherlands)
  • Paolo Padovani (ESO, Germany)
  • Patrick Woudt (UCT, RSA)
  • Baerbel Koribalski (ATNF, Australia)
  • Raffaella Morganti (ASTRON, Netherlands)
  • John Black (Chalmers, Sweden)

Main themes:

  • New instruments
  • Cosmology, cosmic dawn and reionisation
  • HI in the early Universe
  • The role of magnetism
  • Structure formation and the first galaxies
  • Galaxy evolution
  • The Galaxy and the ISM
  • Pulsars, transients and extreme physics