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

October 30  November 3 2023

Conference: Illuminating the Dusty Universe: A Tribute to the Work of Bruce Draine
Venue: Galileo Galilei Institute for Theoretical Physics, Florence, Italy

Scientific Organizing Committee:

     Simone Bianchi (Osservatorio Astrofisico di Arcetri)
     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


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 conferences. Participants are expected to adhere to these guidelines.