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PiTP 2016 on Computational Plasma Astrophysics

June 28, 2016
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Alexandra Altman
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Nathan Seiberg at 2015 PITP
Dan Komoda
Nathan Seiberg, Professor in the School of Natural Sciences, gives a lecture at the 2015 PiTP.

The fifteenth annual Prospects in Theoretical Physics program will convene more than 100 graduate students and postdoctoral scholars from around the world at the Institute for Advanced Study from July 18 to 29 to explore “Computational Plasma Astrophysics.” The 2016 Prospects in Theoretical Physics program is cosponsored by the Institute, the Max Planck Princeton Center for Fusion and Astro Plasma Physics (MPCC), and the Black Hole Accretion Theory and Computation Network (the Horizon collaboration).

Prospects in Theoretical Physics is an intensive two-week residential program intended for graduate students and postdoctoral scholars engaged in all areas of theoretical physics. Participants from nineteen countries will attend lectures and tutorials on a range of current topics in computational plasma astrophysics. The goal is for young researchers to hone the numerical methods they employ in their own research, learn about the techniques used in related research areas and improve their understanding of the physics and phenomenology of plasma astrophysics.

“The value of PiTP is not only in the lectures but also in the opportunity for young researchers with common interests to meet one another, share information and experience, and get to know their future colleagues from around the world on a personal basis” said Scott Tremaine, Richard Black Professor in the School of Natural Sciences and organizer of the program.

First held at the Institute in 2002, Prospects in Theoretical Physics provides lectures and informal sessions on the latest advances and open questions in different areas of theoretical physics in order to train the next generation of scholars. The program has covered a range of topics including quantum matter, computation and biology, cosmology, supersymmetry and string theory. A special effort is made to reach out to women and minorities, along with graduate students in small universities who typically do not have the same opportunities and access to leaders in the field as graduate students in large research institutions.

Prospects in Theoretical Physics 2016 is organized by Scott Tremaine, Anatoly Spitkovsky and Jim Stone of Princeton University, and Peter Teuben of the University of Maryland. Speakers include Michael Barnes of the University of Oxford; Matthew Ericson of the New York Times; Hal Finkel of Argonne National Laboratory; Charles Gammie of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Matthew Kunz, Robert Lupton, Eve Ostriker, Anatoly Spitkovsky and Jim Stone of Princeton University; Luis Lehner of the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics; Tamara Munzner of the University of British Columbia; Eliot Quataert and Alexander Tchekhovskoy of the University of California, Berkeley; Olindo Zanotti of the University of Trento; John ZuHone of the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory; and Ellen Zweibel of the University of Wisconsin.

For more information on the program and its history visit