The unification scheme after 30 years

Winchester/Southampton, UK

14-17 September 2015

Scientific programme has been published

The abstract booklet is available here.


The torus paradigm has proved to be remarkably successful at unifying the observed zoo of active galaxy (AGN) classes, despite having many manifest holes. The field is still data-driven with novel observational results at multiple wavelengths emerging rapidly. We are only now beginning to map out the structure of dusty gas feeding and obscuring AGN, and to model its evolution in galaxy growth. But these have also brought out several apparently contradictory results which must hold the key to future progress.

As we celebrate 30 years of the paradigm, this is the perfect time to draw together our current knowledge and reassess the state of the field. This will be an international workshop at the University of Southampton, UK, with the objective of laying out the major challenges to the field and paving future research directions. Our hope is to facilitate plenty of informal discussions between multiwavelength observers and theorists, addressing some key issues:

* What is the main driver in the unification scheme? What are the roles of orientation, mass accretion rate and feedback?

* What is the nature and structure of gas and dust in the torus? Do we have a self-consistent picture across multiple wavelengths?

* How critical is the role of the torus as an interface between small nuclear scales and large galactic scales? Does galaxy evolution necessarily require tori?

* How close are we to self-consistently simulating nuclear activity including AGN feeding and nuclear star-formation?

Workshop Rationale

Illustration: M. Kornmesser / ESO

Workshop Format

The three themes of accretion, orientation, and evolution will be covered through invited and solicited contributions. Different to other conferences, we are building each session around some key papers that have shaped the field or those with great future potential to do so. We specifically pit competing ideas against each other to help painting a realistic picture of the state-of-the-art. Each session will end with discussion rounds delving into important future perspectives. We hope to spark plenty of focused discussion amongst the participants, and the workshop format will allow for this.

Confirmed invited participants

Robert  (Ski) Antonucci ● Dave Alexander ● Daniel Asmus ● Karina Caputi

Santiago Garcia-Burillo ● Ric Davies ● Moshe Elitzur ● Antonis Georgakis ● Fiona Harrison

Andrew King ● Makoto Kishimoto ● Shintaro Koshida ● Stefan Kraus ● Ari Laor

Stephanie Lamassa ● Nancy Levenson ● Frederic Marin ● Hagai Netzer

Hirofumi Noda ● Cristina Ram os Almeida ● Claudio Ricci ● Yoshihiro Ueda

Beatriz Villarroel ● Martin Ward ● Belinda Wilkes

Scientific Organising Committee

Almudena Alonso Herrero ● Patricia Arévalo ● Poshak Gandhi (Co-chair)

Sebastian Hoenig (Co-chair) ● Masa Imanishi ● Rachel Mason ● Chris Packham

Cristina Ramos Almeida ● Marc Schartmann ● Marko Stalevski ● Meg Urry

Local Organising Committee

Diego Altamirano ● Chris Boon ● Peter Boorman ● Sam Connolly ● James Matthews

Poshak Gandhi (chair) ● Wynn Ho ● Sebastian Hoenig ● Sam Mangham ● Francesco Shankar

David Williams

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