UC Riverside hosts international conference on astrophysics

February 07, 2002

During February 10-13, 2002, the Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics (IGPP) of the University of California, Riverside will host the "International Conference: Particle Transport and Acceleration in Cosmic Plasmas," which will attract an extraordinary array of astrophysical talent. The meeting will begin on Sunday, February 10, 2002, at the Mission Inn Hotel in Riverside and move to the UCLA Conference Center at Lake Arrowhead for the remaining days of the conference.

Top space physicists and astrophysicists from Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Europe, the Far East and the U.S.A. will be attending the conference to address how cosmic rays are accelerated to their fantastic energies and how they subsequently propagate throughout the galaxy and universe, occasionally reaching the Earth where they can be studied.

"The most energetic of these particles can carry as much energy as a human sprinter and, of course, energetic cosmic rays pose a radiation hazard to astronauts and even pilots and crew of commercial jetliners," said Prof. Gary Zank, director of the IGPP. "The acceleration of cosmic rays is thought to occur at shock waves associated with supernova, amongst the most energetic events in the galaxy."

The conference is unique in bringing together scientists who investigate particle acceleration and transport in physical environments as diverse as the solar corona, the heliosphere (the cocoon in which the Earth and the planets reside), the interstellar medium, supernova remnants, and other exotic astrophysical objects, such as active galactic nuclei.

"The meeting is intended to bring together groups who, while typically considering related problems in the area of energetic particle transport and acceleration, do not often communicate with one another," Zank said.
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Further details of the conference may be obtained by contacting Barbara Badarak, management services officer of the IGPP at barbara.badarak@ucr.edu. Reporters wishing to cover the event may contact Iqbal Pittalwala.

University of California - Riverside

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