Science Workshop and Training Group
A vast improvement in sensitivity and capabilities is being provided by the current developments in radio astronomy at all wavelengths down to the submillimetre. Upgrades to MERLIN, WSRT, the Very Large Array and the European VLBI Network will provide an order of magnitude or greater enhanced sensitivity. The construction of the 64-element Atacama Large Millimetre Array (ALMA) will provide similarly dramatic improvements in sensitivity at millimetre and sub--millimetre wavelengths. The development of array feeds for single-dish telescopes and the construction of new, large single dishes in Europe (64-m Sardinia Radio Telescope; 40-m Yebes antenna) also presage a revolution in the way that wide field-of-view radio astronomy will be performed. These advances are complementary to those at other wavebands: daily, Chandra and XMM are obtaining astonishing images of the X-ray Universe at arcsecond resolution; the Space Infrared Telescope Facility (SIRTF) is due to be launched imminently; and ground-based optical astronomy has well and truly entered the era of 8-10-m telescopes. In addition, LOFAR and the SKA are on the horizon.
The high sensitivity, high angular resolution and wide wavelength coverage of these facilities open fundamentally new areas of research. Full exploitation of the opportunities these facilities provide requires the development of a networking activity designed to cross the traditional wavelength specific expertise of various communities.
The objectives of the RadioNet Science Workshop and Training Group are two-fold:
- to stimulate and promote collaborations and cross--fertilization between different areas of astrophysics;
- to offer training to graduate students and young researchers and enable them to exploit the scientific opportunities available through radio astronomy and astrophysics in general.