2nd International Workshop on AM CVn stars

1 - 5 September 2008, Cape Town, South Africa

In recent years the scientific interest in AM CVn stars has markedly increased. The reasons are the discovery of many new sources, in particular in the Sloan Digital Sky survey, the wealth of observable phenomena and the fact that they will be important test sources for low-frequency gravitational wave detectors. In July 2005 we had the first AM CVn workshop and we think it is a good time to gather the most active researchers again to exchange news and ideas and discuss the challenges that lie ahead.


The aim of the workshop is to give an overview of the current state of affairs in AM CVn star research and provide an environment in which ideas can be discussed and future collaborations can be started. Some of the open questions that could be discussed are:

  • Formation of AM CVn stars, the importance of different formation scenarios, their progenitors
  • The Galactic population of AM CVn stars
  • Phenomena associated with helium accreting white dwarfs
  • The properties and stability of helium accretion discs
  • The occurrence and stability of direct impact accretion
  • The nature of the short-period candidates
  • The structure and physics of the donors and accretors
  • The gravitational wave emission of AM CVn stars
  • The relevance to Type Ia supernova progenitors


In order to stimulate interaction, the number of participants will be limited to about 30 (with a strict upper limit of 40 participants, allocated on a first come, first serve basis). We will have talks in the morning (in principle every participant will be able to give a talk) and discussion and work sessions in the afternoon. Computer facilities and rooms will be made available for working in (small) groups. All contributions will be posted on the web immediately after the meeting.


The workshop will be held at the auditorium of the South African Astronomical Observatory in Cape Town. Coffee, tea and lunches will be provided. We will try to ensure all participants can stay in the same hotel, the Breakwater Lodge at the V&A Waterfront.


Social activities will include a lunch at the Boschendal wine estate in the Cape winelands on Wednesday 3 September, and a tour
of various wine cellars. An additional post-workshop tour to the 10-m SALT telescope in Sutherland (6 - 7 September) will be organised for those who are interested in visiting the observatory in the Karoo semi-desert (not included in the workshop registration fee).


The workshop registration cost is set at 150 Euro. This will include all coffee, tea, cookies, lunches and the workshop lunch at Boschendal. Limited financial support will be available.


The registration deadline is 1 June 2008. Please register by e-mailing amcvn2008 `at' mensa.ast.uct.ac.za, with the following information:

  • Name, institution
  • Title of contribution
  • Exact dates of stay (hotel will be booked, unless you prefer to organize it yourself)

Further information will be posted on the workshop website.

We look forward to seeing you in Cape Town!

Patrick Woudt, Gijs Nelemans, Gijs Roelofs and Danny Steeghs.