Lorentz Center - The Impact of Massive Binaries Throughout the Universe from 29 Jun 2015 through 3 Jul 2015
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    The Impact of Massive Binaries Throughout the Universe
    from 29 Jun 2015 through 3 Jul 2015


Scientific summary


Massive stars are instrumental to many areas of astrophysics, both in the local universe and at high redshift. The last decade had seen growing evidence of extreme multiplicity rates and a propension for a large fraction of massive stars to interact with a binary companion before their final explosion. Such interaction has drastic consequences for the further evolution and final fate of both components. However, the exploration of these effects on entire stellar populations, nearby and at high redshift, and on their observational diagnostics, is still in its infancy. With this Lorentz Workshop@Oort, we have bridged the gap between the massive stars and extragalactic communities and explored how binarity affects the role of massive stars as Cosmic Engines and as Cosmic Probes in modern astrophysics. We have reviewed the latest observational and theoretical advances and identified future research directions.


Workshop format


A Lorentz workshop was the ideal format to address this topic given its interdisciplinary nature and the cross-fertilization of fields needed to progress in our understanding of the impact of massive binaries throughout the Universe. The workshop program was designed to leave at least 2h of work / break out sessions in the afternoon allowing to create parallel sessions and/or work in small groups. This build-in freedom turned out to be very fruitful, yielding many animated discussions between scientists within and across their field boundaries.


The highlight sessions -- extremely short, 5-min discussion starter talks followed by 10 min discussion with the audience -- was another novelty that we introduced during this workshop and that contributed to create a special very interactive atmosphere. The format allowed the speaker to focus on the essential message, resulting in extremely sharp discussions in the core ideas of our field.


All in all, allowing for over three quarters of the workshop program to be dedicated to Q&A, discussions, interaction sessions and free time was the key for creating a very interactive atmosphere and extremely fruitful scientific discussions that have been pursued for beyond the week spend at the Lorentz center.



Hugues Sana1,2 & Selma de Mink3


1. Institute of Astrophysics, KU Leuven, Belgium
2. Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore, USA

3. Sterrenkunde Instituut Anton Pannekoek, Universiteit van Amsterdam, The Netherlands