This award provides partial support for the 27th Texas Symposium on Relativistic Astrophysics, to be held in Dallas, December 8-13, 2013. This meeting will mark 50 years since the original Texas Symposium in 1963.
The Texas Symposium has gained a reputation as one of the major international meetings on topics in relativistic astrophysics, including the physics of compact objects, high-energy cosmic rays, active galactic nuclei, the early universe, and observational and theoretical cosmology. The awarded funds cover registration, travel, lodging, and subsistence expenses to support 10 graduate students to attend the meeting. Broader impacts of this funding are clear in terms of support for the careers of young astronomers and physicists.
Overview: The main objective of this award was to provide some support for students to attend the 27th Texas Symposium on Relativistic Astrophysics that was be held in Dallas, December 8-13, 2013. This was an especially meaningful Jubilee meeting, marking the 50th anniversary, almost to the day, of the very first of these Texas Symposia, held in Dallas in December 1963. That meeting was, by common consent, such a success that it simply had to be repeated. And repeated it was. After one year it returned to Austin, and thereafter, at regular two-year intervals, it began to migrate: first to New York, then Boston, eventually crossing the ocean to Munich, London, Jerusalem, Paris, Florence ("Texas in Tuscany"), and so on all over the world, but faithfully returning to the US every other time, e.g. Chicago, Berkeley, Stanford, etc. Throughout, the title "Texas Symposium" has been retained. The 2013 symposium exceeded the expectations and received over 470 registered participants. It hosted 300 speakers in 49 parallel sessions; 24 plenary and review talks; 61 posters; one roundtable and a public lecture attended by 1300 people from the Dallas metroplex area. The program covered about 50 topics in astrophysics including most recent results in the field. The online proceedings are posted at the symposium website. An article in the Dallas Morning News was published about the symposium and a radio program on NPR covered the event. The NSF award to the symposium was extremely useful and allowed one to sponsor 17 students to attend the symposium and to present their work. Intellectual Merit: The meeting constitutes a recurrent event that takes place every other year in order to cover developments and recent results in relativistic astrophysics. For example, relativistic aspects of cosmology, black holes astrophysics and accretion disks, neutron starts and pulsars, high energy rays and relativistic astrophysical particles, gravitational wave developments and so forth. The meeting hosted specialists in astrophysics from all over the world and cover over 50 topics in relativistic astrophysics. These symposia are specialized toward relativistic astrophysics and related topics and are distinct general meetings like those of the American Physical Society or the American Astronomical Society. Broader Impacts : A public lecture took place as part of the symposium and attracted 1300 people including students from neighboring school districts. Also traditionally required by the symposia, we have a fair number of women scientists on our committees and list of invited speakers and participants. We also involved neighboring institutions including University of Texas at Arlington, Baylor University, Southern Methodist University, and Austin College, in our Symposium. A large number of undergraduate and graduate students from UT-Dallas and these institutions were involved in the event. An article in the Dallas Morning News was published about the symposium and a radio program on NPR covered the event. These events played an important role in promoting astrophysics and science to the general public.