Workshop summary (added after the workshop)

Electron astrophysics has become a very active field of research. It focuses on electron kinetic scales, i.e. characteristic plasma scales that are typically much smaller than the global scales of space and astrophysical plasmas. Physical processes in this regime play a key role in mediating energy transport, conducting heat, and dissipating turbulence. Typical phenomena that are governed by such processes are collisionless shocks, magnetic reconnection events and the dissipative range of turbulence. Several space missions in the inner heliosphere, such as MMS and Solar Orbiter, nowadays allow these processes to be studied in great detail thanks to their in-situ observing capabilities. Outside the heliosphere, the same processes are important but unfortunately can only be studied indirectly by remote sensing. This difference and the great variety of manifestations of kinetic processes have so far been a major obstacle to their better understanding.

This workshop provided a unique opportunity for plasma physicists from different communities (astrophysical plasmas, heliospheric plasmas, laser plasmas) to discuss and compare the similarities and differences in the properties of these processes. While the workshop revealed a striking similarity of the processes over a wide range of spatial scales, it also emphasised the strong need for a common framework for inferring kinetic plasma properties from remote sensing observations as the key to their understanding. Several outstanding questions were raised, such as the impact of electron-scale processes on large-scale structures, and the partitioning and transport of energy, with the subtle difference between heating and acceleration. These different questions will be addressed in a series of papers written jointly by members of the different communities.


Practical information


This workshop explores key science questions in the interdisciplinary field of electron-astrophysics. This emerging field studies the fundamental plasma processes in the electron-kinetic regime and their impact on the global dynamics and thermodynamics of space and astrophysical plasmas.

Our main objective is to make progress by providing a forum for scientists from different disciplines to discuss and debate current topics of electron-astrophysics in a stimulating environment. We aim to bring together experts working on plasmas in the heliosphere (including the solar atmosphere and the solar wind), in the planetary context, and in astrophysical systems beyond the solar system. We also welcome experts in laboratory plasma physics to broaden our perspective at the workshop.

The programme will consist of a few review talks, several short contributions, and moderator-led discussions that will respectively address: the nature of waves and fluctuations at electron scales, the processes responsible for the heating and acceleration of electrons, and the processes that determine electron heat conduction in weakly collisional plasmas.

The workshop is by invitation only, with in person participation. We expect to have 43 participants.

More information can be found in the : Third circular   Second circular


Important dates

  • 19 March : send 1-2 slides to stage-setting speakers (names: see Programme), preferably by uploading them on the ISSI cloud [link]
  • 19 March : confirm hotel reservations by contacting ISSI staff (see Venue)
  • 4 April : submit a short abstract – abstract submission is now closed
  • 22 April : start of the workhop