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AGU Chapman Conference on Universal Heliophysical Processes (IHY)

Savannah, Georgia, USA
10–14 November 2008


Program Committee



Conference Objectives and General Description

The conference title reflects the primary science theme of the 2007–2008 International Heliophysical Year (IHY), advancing our understanding of the fundamental heliophysical processes that govern the Sun, Earth, and heliosphere. The conference program will reflect the approach to research described in the 2004 report of the National Research Council (NRC), Plasma Physics of the Local Cosmos (available online), which is organized into five categories: creation and annihilation of magnetic fields, formation of structures and transients, plasma interactions, explosive energy conversion, and energetic particle acceleration. This approach seeks to find universal physical laws through comparative studies in the laboratory of the solar system. It contrasts with the less-focused, traditional approach that deals with a heterogeneous collection of structures and processes that have fixed locations and distinct modes of organization, like sunspots, solar flares, coronal mass ejections, the solar wind, solar energetic particles, Earth's bow shock, magnetopause, magnetotail, magnetosphere, substorms, radiation belts, and auroras. Each has been the sole or featured subject of at least one conference and at least one book. This compartmentalization of study that pervades the basic side of the field inhibits desired progress from a derivative to a stand-alone field of science. It invites ad hoc explanations instead of universal explanations that apply generally to plasmas in the cosmos. The objective of the conference is to help focus efforts on finding the universal explanations.


Five days, to include invited presentations in each of the five categories listed above followed by discussion sessions addressing specific questions in those categories. All submitted abstracts will be treated as poster presentations; during the discussion sessions, participants will be free to show one or two figures from their posters that are relevant to the questions. Sessions on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday will close with a poster session that is also a social hour. An afternoon outing and dinner banquet are planned for Wednesday.

Conference Program

For details about the conference, click on the program. Click on the following list for lunch options during your stay in Savannah. All are within walking distance of the Mulberry Inn.

Further Information

If you have questions or would like to be placed on a mailing list (be sure to include the name of the meeting you are interested in), e-mail or call the AGU Meetings Department at +1-202-777-7329.