Zoom-In and Out: From the Interstellar Medium to the Large Scale Structure of the Universe

122:026 (Nordita, Stockholm)


Nordita, Stockholm

Andrea Ferrara (Scuola Normale Superiore) , Angela Adamo (Stockholm University) , Livia Vallini (Leiden Observatory) , Matthew Hayes (Stockholm University) , Michael Rutkowski (Minnesota State University)


This Nordita Program is devoted to theoretical and observational studies of the interstellar medium of galaxies across cosmic time, and to their implications in shaping future experiments. The program has been conceived with a bottom-up structure, starting with the ~pc scales that are relevant for star formation, and will zoom-out to the >Mpc scales relevant for intensity mapping experiments that have recently generated a tremendous interest in the community of astrophysicists and cosmologists.

During the program we plan to have two scheduled talks per day. We will schedule extensive blocks of time for open discussion, encouraging the development of inter-institutional collaborations between experts in different fields. The program of the four weeks is outlined below:

WEEK 1 (June 3rd - June 8th, 2019)
The ISM on small scales

The first week of this program will be devoted to the physics/chemistry of molecular clouds, and to shed light on the link between those properties and the star formation process. We will gather scientists working on molecular ISM and star formation, with the aim of covering the following topics: formation and fragmentation of molecular clouds, turbulence and magnetic fields, astrochemistry and molecular chemistry, formation of stellar clusters, fragmentation, feedback of star formation on molecular gas and, zooming-out, the influence of galactic environment on molecular gas (e.g. cloud-cloud collisions, orbital shear, metallicity gradients, strength of spiral density waves). During each day we plan to have one observationally-oriented talk, and one theory-oriented talk. The meeting will come at a time when many exciting results are appearing from surveys of our Galaxy’s star-forming regions and with the launch of JWST and the implementation of ALMA full-array on the horizon. This will allow to discuss about new and unprecedented findings (and their theoretical implications) arising from the high resolution and sensitivity of such telescopes.

WEEK 2 (June 10th - June 15th, 2019)
The ISM of galaxies across cosmic times

The second week of the program will be devoted to the ISM properties of galaxies across cosmic time. Starting from the nearby Universe, from Monday to Friday we will gradually shift our attention towards galaxies in the Epoch of Reionization. The primary focus of this week is the use of emission lines as observational tools for understanding the conditions in the ISM. We will address the following topics: the evolution of the multiphase structure of ISM, far-infrared line emission as tracers of molecular gas, UV and optical line emission as probes of ionized gas phase, metal enrichment, evolution of dust content with redshift, ISM dynamics, gas inflows and outflows, the impact of Active Galactic Nuclei on the ISM of the host galaxy, the impact of CMB on the ISM properties at high-redshift, the impact of increased compactness (and turbulence) of first galaxies on their ISM properties.

WEEK 3 (June 17th - June 21th, 2019)
New frontiers for cosmological simulations: resolving the ISM physics

The third week will be mostly focused on discussions regarding the challenges that theorists are facing in implementing detailed ISM physics in cosmological simulations, especially in those over large volumes. This is crucial as simulation results are fundamental both for planning future observations, and for interpreting observations that are expected to be more and more detailed i.e. either spatially resolved, and with unprecedented sensitivity. The aim is to gather theorists to discuss about the following topics: sub-grid physics in cosmological simulations, how far we are from a panchromatic (from sub-mm to UV) and self consistent modelling of the ISM, the impact of simplified geometries often assumed in sub-grid models, non-equilibrium chemistry, strategies for a self-consistent inclusion of time-dependence and feedbacks.

WEEK 4 (June 24th - June 28th, 2019)
From the ISM to future intensity mapping experiments

The last week of the program will be devoted to a further zoom-out towards Gpc scales. We aim at gathering cosmologists and astrophysicists working on the large scale structure of the Universe. We will discuss about the knowledge of the detailed connection between the galaxy population, and the evolving state of the intergalactic medium, and on how line-intensity mapping experiments can help in this sense. The topics addressed during the last week will cover: physically robust models for intensity mapping experiments, implementation of detailed ISM physics in semi-analytic models, cross correlation with CMB experiments, efficient methods to capture the cosmological formation history and the ISM physics, perspectives for future instruments, how we can use current dataset and telescopes to set the scene for future intensity mapping experiments.


A minimum stay of one working week is required and we encourage participants to stay for a period of at least two weeks.
You will be informed by the organizers shortly after the early application deadline whether your application has been approved. Due to space restrictions, the total number of participants is limited.
Early application deadline: December 20th 2018 Late application deadline: April 8th 2019

The application deadline has passed

Travel Reimbursement

PhD students and young Postdoc fellows are eligible for travel grants to participate in the program. If you are interested in such a grant, please mark the corresponding field in the application form, briefly summarize your interest in the program in the comments field, and indicate an estimation of your expected travel expenses. Since only a limited number of grants is available, decision concerning the grants will be made on a case-by-case basis and you will be notified shortly after the application deadline.


Nordita provides a limited number of rooms in the Stockholm apartment hotel BizApartments free of charge for accepted participants.


Nordita, Stockholm, Sweden

Please be aware that unfortunately, scammers sometimes approach participants claiming to be able to provide accommodation and asking for credit card details. Please do not give this information to them. For successful applicants, Nordita will be in touch via email regarding accommodation. If you are in any doubt about the legitimacy of an approach, please get in contact with the organisers.

[Programme schedule - available]

Sponsored by NORDITA

  • Aaron Smith
  • Adam Lidz
  • Alessandro Lupi
  • Alexandra Le Reste
  • Allison Man
  • Andrea Ferrara
  • Andrea Incatasciato
  • Andrea Pallottini
  • Andreas Schruba
  • Angela Adamo
  • Anita Zanella
  • Anna Feltre
  • Anne Jaskot
  • Antonello Calabro'
  • Arjan Bik
  • Armin Rasekh
  • Axel Brandenburg
  • Benedikt Diemer
  • Bin Yue
  • Carlotta Gruppioni
  • Caroline Heneka
  • Claudia Cicone
  • Darshan Kakkad
  • Davide Decataldo
  • Emil Rivera-Thorsen
  • Francesca Pozzi
  • Gudlaugur Johannesson
  • Göran Östlin
  • Hui Li
  • Hyunbae Park
  • Jacopo Chevallard
  • Jan Orkisz
  • Jens Melinder
  • Jorge Zavala
  • Josh Borrow
  • Karen Olsen
  • Ken Chen
  • Koki Kakiichi
  • Laura Keating
  • Laura Sommovigo
  • Lise Christensen
  • Livia Vallini
  • Lluis Mas-Ribas
  • Lorenza Della Bruna
  • Mahsa Kohandel
  • Manuel Jung
  • Margherita Talia
  • Matteo Messa
  • Matthew Hayes
  • Miao Li
  • Michael Küffmeier
  • Michael Rutkowski
  • Michele Ginolfi
  • Mirko Curti
  • Miroslava Dessauges-Zavadsky
  • Moupiya Maji
  • Oscar Agertz
  • Peter Laursen
  • Pratika Dayal
  • Rachel Cochrane
  • Roberto Maiolino
  • Sabine König
  • Sandra Patricia Trevino-Morales
  • Simona Gallerani
  • Sownak Bose
  • Stefano Bovino
  • Stefano Carniani
  • Thomas Greve
  • Troels Haugboelle
  • Tsz Kuk Daisy Leung
  • Veronica Menacho
  • Yu Gao
  • ​Paramita ​​Barai