The XIX Canary Islands Winter School of Astrophysics (WS), organized by the Instituto de Astrofí­sica de Canarias (IAC), is dedicated to the study of the Cosmic Microwave Background. The WS welcomes a maximum of 70 PhD students and young Post-Docs, and provides each year a unique opportunity for the participants to broaden their knowledge in a key field of Astronomy.

Scientific Rationale

The Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) is the relict radiation from the Early Universe. The primordial quantum fluctuations which originated the structure in the present Universe left imprinted inhomogeneities in the angular temperature distribution of the CMB. Obtaining sensitive maps of this radiation in a broad range of angular scales is of fundamental importance to prove the existence of an inflationary period in the Early Universe and to establish the ultimate nature of the dark matter and dark energy. After the brilliant discovery of the CMB anisotropy level by COBE, many successful experiments have reported anisotropy measurements culminating with the whole sky maps of unprecedented sensitivity obtained by WMAP. The available CMB data constrain with high precision key cosmological parameters.

Next year, the Planck satellite (ESA) will be launched making a major step further in sensitivity and resolution which will allow further restrictions on cosmological parameters. New phenomena in the early stages of the Universe may be unveiled. Other challenging experiments are also planned to fully exploit the potentiality of CMB intensity and polarization. In particular, new space missions are being proposed to obtain accurate polarization maps which may open new paths into the epoch of Inflation.

Outline of the School

The XIX Winter School will include an introduction to the physics of the CMB, observational techniques, diagnostic tools and codes. It will review existing and planned experiments with a description of the analysis methods involved and the constraints imposed on cosmological models. This will be complemented by an overview of galactic and extragalactic foregrounds, as well as a summary of other major cosmological probes.

To achieve these goals, the WS lectures will be given by eight eminent and experienced scientists who are actively working on a variety of forefront research projects, and who have played a key role in major advances over the recent years.

The school is primarily intended for doctoral students and recent postdocs in any field of research in Astronomy. Participants of the WS will have the opportunity to display their current work by presenting a poster contribution (1m square panels). Dedicated sessions to discuss some of the posters will be organized within the WS.

The WS will take place in Puerto de la Cruz (Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain), from November 19th to November 30th, 2007. The lectures will be delivered in English and will be published subsequently in a dedicated monograph. Speakers will present their topics in a series of four lectures. Strong emphasis will be given to interaction between speakers and students through discussion sessions, coffee breaks, and some excursions. Visits to the IAC's Headquarter in La Laguna, the Teide Observatory in Tenerife and the Roque de los Muchachos Observatory in La Palma will be scheduled as part of the activities.

The registration fee is Euro 1300.-, which covers the Conference Fee and full-board accommodation for thirteen days. Other WS activities and a copy of the monograph will be provided at no additional charge.

Those interested in attending the WS should send a Curriculum Vitae, a short summary of their current research project and a letter of reference from their thesis advisor, or Head of Department, by filling out the web forms in above links or by mailing to the address below. These should reach the IAC before July 31st. Selected candidates will be informed by September 7th.


Lecturers and Topics

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