Physics of Galactic Nuclei

Coordinators: Martin Haehnelt, Scott A. Hughes, David Merritt, Roeland Paul van der Marel

Galactic nuclei are the sites of a number of unique physical phenomena. Interest in the structure and evolution of nuclei is on an upward trend, due to a number of factors. New structural and kinematical data from space- and ground-based observatories have established tight empirical relations between black hole mass and galaxy properties. Improved hardware and software capabilities are promising significant progress in numerical simulations of the formation and evolution of galactic nuclei and their central supermassive black holes. Coalescing binary supermassive black holes are the prime targets of space-based gravitational wave detectors like LISA. The energy output from central supermassive black hole has been recognized to play a major role for the ecology of galaxies and galaxy clusters. Atmospheric Cherenkov telescopes like HESS and CANGAROO offer the prospect of detecting WIMP annihilations from dark matter concentrations at the Galactic center. This workshop will bring together physicists and astrophysicists working on these and related problems.