Illuminating the Dusty Universe: A Tribute to the Work of Bruce Draine

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Image: Roberto Baglioni (University of Florence), Leslie Hunt (INAF-Arcetri Observatory), Spitzer Infrared Array Camera

Conference: Illuminating the Dusty Universe: A Tribute to the Work of Bruce Draine
Dates:   July 6-10, 2020
Venue: Galileo Galilei Institute for Theoretical Physics, Florence, Italy

Scientific Organizing Committee:
     Danny Dale  (University of Wyoming)
     Brandon Hensley  (Princeton, Chair)
     Leslie Hunt  (Osservatorio Astrofisico di Arcetri)
     Karin Sandstrom  (UC San Diego)
     Aigen Li  (University of Missouri)
     J.D. Smith  (University of Toledo)
     Joseph Weingartner  (George Mason University)

Local Organizing Committee:
   Simone Bianchi
   Patrizia Braschi
   Leslie Hunt (Chair)

From catalyzing the formation of molecules, to building up planets, to tracing cosmic star formation rates, dust has an outsized impact on the astrophysics and observational properties of the Universe. This conference is dedicated to both the nature of dust -- what is it made of? where and how does it form and evolve? -- and to the role dust plays in astrophysics, both directly and as a diagnostic tool. We seek to bring together a diverse set of perspectives on dust, including laboratory astrophysics, meteoritics, astrochemistry, optics, and observational astronomy across the electromagnetic spectrum.

Few have contributed more to illuminating our own understanding of the dusty universe than Bruce Draine of Princeton University. As we discuss the physics and astrophysics of dust, we will also celebrate his past and ongoing work in this field as well as the enduring collaborations and friendships formed along the way. The conference will be held in the beautiful and historic Arcetri district in Firenze, Italy, where Bruce spent many a sabbatical and wrote a portion of his text Physics of the Interstellar and Intergalactic Medium.


  • What is dust?
    • Observed Properties of Dust
    • Dust in the Solar System
    • Optics of Dust
    • Dust in the Laboratory
  • Where does dust come from, and where does it go?
  • What role does Dust play in the Universe?
    • Physical and Chemical Processes of Dust
    • Dust as a Diagnostic Tool

   François Boulanger, ENS/LRA, Paris
   Daniela Calzetti, University of Massachusetts Amherst
   Paola Caselli, Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics
   Lia Corrales, University of Michigan
   Karl Gordon, Space Telescope Science Institute
   Hiroyuki Hirashita, ASIAA
   Cornelia Jäger, University of Jena
   Ed Jenkins, Princeton University
   Biwei Jiang, Beijing Normal University
   Alex Lazarian, University of Wisconsin-Madison
   Ingrid Mann, The Arctic University of Norway
   Antonella Natta, INAF-Arcetri and Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies
   Takashi Onaka, Meisei University
   Els Peeters, University of Western Ontario
   Raffaella Schneider, Sapienza University of Rome
   Adolf Witt, University of Toledo
   Svitlana Zhukovska, University of Exeter

The meeting will take place 6-10 July 2020, in Florence, Italy at the Galileo Galilei Institute for Theoretical Physics

Galileo Galilei Institute for Theoretical Physics

Galileo Galilei Institute for Theoretical Physics

The Conference Dinner will be held on Thursday, July 9 at La Terrazza del Principe, where we will enjoy a blend of authentic Tuscan and Sicilian cuisines and take in the spectacular views of the Tuscan hills and Boboli Palaces.

The organizers are committed to making this meeting productive and enjoyable for everyone involved, regardless of age, body size, disability, ethnicity, gender, marital status, nationality, physical appearance, political affiliation, pregnancy, race, religion or sexual orientation. 

We adopt the Code of Conduct for the ESO workshops and conference, available on this page. Participants are expected to adhere to these guidelines.