5 January - 3 July 1998
Organisers: J Goodman (Princeton); JCB Papaloizou (QMW); JE Pringle (Cambridge); JA Sellwood (Rutgers)
Many astrophysical systems, over a vast range of length scales, consist of matter organised in differentially rotating, centrifugally supported discs. Such systems include planetary rings, protostellar discs (which provide the environment from which planets may form), close binary star systems, and normal and active galaxies. Understanding the structure and evolution of astrophysical discs is therefore of central importance in astronomy. Discs may sometimes be modelled as collections of discrete particles, and this leads to the study of collisionless many body problems. Other studies treat the disc as a differentially rotating turbulent fluid, possibly containing a magnetic field. The effects of self-gravitation may also need to be taken into account. The programme will bring together experts from relevant areas in astrophysics and mathematicians and scientists familiar with appropriate analytic methods and numerical simulation techniques, including the solution of differential or integro-differential equations. The aim is to make progress with the different approaches, and, in particular, to advance our understanding of the connections between them.