Dutch Astrophysics Days 3


March 13 – 14, 2003



The third edition of the Dutch Astrophysics Days was hosted at the Lorentz Center on March 13 and 14, 2003. It was organized by Garrelt Mellema, with help from Yolande van der Deijl of the Lorentz Center.

The meeting was attended by 31 scientists (staff, postdocs, and graduate students) from all Dutch universities with astronomy institutes or groups (Amsterdam, Groningen, Leiden, Nijmegen, Utrecht), as well as from FOM Rijnhuizen. This corresponds to a 50% increase in the number of participants compared to last year.


The program reflected the wide interests of the Dutch astrophysical community:


1. Paardekoper (UL): Disk-Planet Interaction

2. Spaans (RUG): The first stars

3. Casse (FOM): Continuous MHD jet launching from resistive accretion disks

4. Kuijpers (KUN): Pulsar winds

5. Stegeman (UU): Colliding stellar winds in clusters

6. Gualandris (UvA): N-body simulations of stars escaping from the Orion nebula

7. van de Weijgaert (RUG): Hierarchical Void Evolution

8. Ritzerveld (UL): Triangulating radiation

9. Cappellari (UL): Voronoi tessellation for data reduction

10. Spinnato (UvA): Black hole infall to the galactic centre

11. Pols (UU): Thermal pulses and dredge-up in AGB stars

12. Dominik (UvA): Dust aggregation with short and long-range forces

13. Rijkhorst (UL): Visualizing 3D adaptive mesh refinement simulations


As usual, we had a non-astronomer guest speaker. This year prof. dr. Henk Dijkstra (director of the Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Research Utrecht) gave a lecture on "The physics of El Niño". This lecture was organized jointly with the Sterrewacht Leiden colloquium, and attracted a fair number of astronomers from outside the workshop, as well as physicists.


There was time scheduled for discussion on education and contacts between the different theoretical groups. On the educational front, there was a widespread sentiment among the graduate students that there is too little on numerical astrophysical techniques in the current undergraduate curriculum. This was found to be true for all universities. It was proposed to organize a 'interakademiaal college' around this theme, and in order to give this some more permanency, design web pages with lecture notes and exercises which could be used outside the framework of this one-time lecture series.


An idea which had surfaced already in the previous year, is to collect information on theoretical astrophysicists in The Netherlands in a database, so that it would be easier to track down 'local' expertise. Joachim Moortgat has made an interface for this, which is available at http://jupiter.astro.kun.nl/TAN.


Garrelt Mellema presented a short overview of the proposal to study the evolution of a stellar cluster from an initial gaseous cloud to the evolving stars, involving a large segment of the Dutch astrophysical community.

We would like to thank NOVA and Leiden Observatory for the financial support to host this meeting, and the Lorentz Center for the excellent facilities and logistic support. We are happy to announce that the astronomy group at the University of Nijmegen (Jan Kuijpers and Joachim Moortgat) has offered to organize the next Dutch Astrophysics Days in 2004.


G. Mellema (Leiden University, The Netherlands)