Quasars as Standard Candles for Cosmology

La Serena, Chile
1998 May 18-22


Quasars’ spectra depend on their luminosities. Can this be calibrated well enough at any wavelength, in either fixed or relative terms, to use them as standard candles in cosmological tests? This workshop is intended to review recent progress on correlations between the luminosities and spectral properties of quasars, and to revive interest in quasars as probes of cosmology.

We will specifically address the following interwoven questions:

What observational correlations with luminosity exist? What is the current observational situation for luminosity correlations with the emission line spectrum? Can the correlation and scatter in the Baldwin effect be understood?

How does the shape of the ionizing continuum change with luminosity? Does the shape of the extreme UV continuum change with the UV - X-Ray spectral index? What does theory predict? What do the observations say?

What is the chemical composition of the gas near quasars? How does the composition change with luminosity and what effects might these changes have on the emission/absorption spectrum?

Are changes in the abundances and continuum shape enough to account for the Baldwin effect? What other agents might come into play?

How does our current understanding of the emission line regions, the intrinsic absorption regions, and the central engine affect our ability to use quasars as standard candles? How can this be improved?

List of papers for the ASP Conference book, and Joe Wampler's pictures of the meeting..

WORKSHOP FORMAT  The meeting will be held at the La Serena Club Resort Hotel, which is right across the street from the beach. Most participants will stay at the nearby Centro Turistico Los Andes.  The main sessions will be held in a single large conference room. We will have two overhead transparency projectors available, but no slide projectors or other facilities unless speakers specifically request them in advance.
The meeting will proceed at a relaxed pace, allowing ample time for one-on-one discussions. Although the registration form has room for a title and abstract, it is not necessary to give a talk.  After the main session each day participants will be encouraged to meet in smaller sessions either within the conference room or in the bar or restaurant areas of the two hotels.

The WORKSHOP SCHEDULE is available on line.

REGISTRATION: Please fill out our registration form before Feb 15.  There will be a $150 registration fee. This will include the cost of a welcoming cocktail party on Sunday evening, one ticket for the workshop banquet, a copy of the book arising from the meeting, and a bus tour to Cerro Tololo and to Cerro Pachon (site of the Gemini South 8m telescope which is presently under construction). These fees are payable on arrival, in US dollars or Chilean pesos, by cash or check, but not by credit card. Extra tickets for the banquet can be purchased for US$46 each.

Very limited financial assistance will be available to particularly needy participants. We will not be able to support the majority of participants. Send your request and justification for aid to quasar@ctio.noao.edu, as soon as possible. Please furnish the title and abstract of your talk with this information.

Travel and Housing information

Scientific Organizing Committee:  Jack Baldwin, Mitch Begelman, Martin Elvis, Gary Ferland, Fred Hamann, Kirk Korista, Richard Mushotzky, Hagai Netzer, Pat Osmer, Malcolm Smith, Joe Wampler, Wei Zheng

email address: quasar@ctio.noao.edu

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