Scientific Rationale

The very recent years have seen a perceptible increase in scientific publications making use of images produced by near-infrared long-baseline interferometry. The technique has reached, at last, a technical maturity level that opens new avenues for numerous astrophysical topics requiring milli-arcsecond model-independent imaging.

Although significant efforts have been made to publicize, through US and Europeans schools, optical interferometry to students or young researchers, this effort has not targeted a wider astrophysical audience. We believe that it is now time to contribute to that and attract a wider community. We are therefore organizing a workshop that gathers together optical interferometry experts, image reconstruction specialists and astrophysicists with little or no interferometry background. The ambition of such a workshop is to be practical and quantitative in order to demonstrate, by the facts, that optical long baseline interferometers can or will soon provide astrophysically meaningful images. This work will serve has a base to spread the word that optical interferometry imaging is now in the landscape.

Objectives of the workshop

We have selected 4 astrophysical topics for which we have contacted the best specialists in each domain asking them if they can provide in advance simulated images of their center-of-interest objects. These objects have been then turned into interferometric observables with realistic noise figures. Following these steps image reconstruction specialists will reconstruct the objects and send them back. Finally the images will be interpreted and checked to verify that they bring the information that was expected from them. This process will be finalized before the workshop in order to allow the specialists in Astrophysics to analyze the results and to tell us what they can learned from such data sets.

Format of the workshop

The workshop is limited to 40 persons and is organized so that interferometrists and non-interferometrists could find an extensive way to discuss and discover practically this new observational potential.