Fundamental Physics with the SKA



1st-5th May 2017, La Pirogue Resort, Flic en Flac, Mauritius

  • Click here for downloads of conference presentations
  • Click here for final schedule of talks and posters
  • Click here for final announcement
  • Click here for list of attendees
  • Click here for meeting code of conduct
  • Meeting hashtag: #SKAphysics
  • Email questions and inquiries to

The Square Kilometre Array (SKA) will be the world’s largest and most powerful radio telescope. When the SKA begins operations early in the next decade, it will deliver spectacular new data sets that are expected to transform our understanding of physics, astronomy and cosmology.

To fully realise the potential of the SKA as a machine for fundamental physics, the SKA organisation seeks to engage the theoretical physics community in the science case and design considerations for the full array. To initiate this discussion, we will be holding a focused workshop in May 2017, in which we aim to bring together radio astronomers and theorists to jointly consider ways in which the SKA can test and explore fundamental physics.

Topics to be covered will include:
• Cosmology and Dark Energy
• Cosmic Dawn and Reionisation
• Dark Matter and Astroparticle Physics
• Gravity and gravitational radiation

Within each topic, we will have a series of invited presentations setting out the outstanding problems that the SKA can potentially address (with the first of these talks also including an explanation of the SKA’s capabilities in this area). This will be followed by shorter presentations and extensive discussion, through which we hope to establish preliminary feasibility of SKA experiments and measurements in each area.

The intended outcomes of this meeting will be:

• an overall matrix that matches physics problems to SKA capabilities;

• a discussion paper based on this matrix (to be posted on and submitted as an SKA memo), which will summarise the prospects and priorities for fundamental physics with the SKA;

• identification of new collaborative research projects in which astronomers and physicists can work together to perform the required simulations, calculations and forecasts.

The workshop will be held in Flic en Flac, Mauritius. Mauritius has a long history in radio astronomy, and is one of the African partner countries that will co-host components of the full SKA. Mauritius is served by frequent direct flights from many countries (including Australia, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Poland, Russia, South Africa and the United Kingdom), with one-stop connections from most other major international gateways. Flic en Flac is a 1-hour drive from SSR International Airport.

We aim to make this a productive and welcoming meeting for all. This will be a family friendly event, with childcare and family accommodation provided. All attendees must agree to adhere to the SKA Organisation’s meeting code of conduct upon registering.

INVITED SPEAKERS (final list, all confirmed):
Bernard Asabere (Ghana)
David Bacon (UK)
Rennan Barkana (Israel)
Celine Boehm (UK)
Phillip Bull (USA)
Tamara Davis (Australia)
Nadir Hashim (Kenya)
Nalini Heeralall-Issur (Mauritius)
Gemma Janssen (Netherlands)
Julien Larena (South Africa)
Samaya Nissanke (Netherlands)
Frans Pretorius (USA)
Jonathan Pritchard (UK)
Signe Riemer-Sørensen (Norway)
Joe Silk (France)
Kurt Van Der Heyden (South Africa)

Scientific Organising Committee:
Jenni Adams (New Zealand)
John Beacom (USA)
Luc Blanchet (France)
Carlo Burigana (Italy)
Heino Falcke (Netherlands / Germany)
Pedro Ferreira (UK)
Bryan Gaensler (Canada, co-chair)
Leon Koopmans (Netherlands)
Roy Maartens (South Africa)
Edvard Mörtsell (Sweden)
Tirthankar Roy (India)
Eva Silverstein (USA)
Ingrid Stairs (Canada)
Cathryn Trott (Australia)
Amanda Weltman (South Africa, co-chair)
Renxin Xu (China)

Local Organising Committee:
Girish Beeharry (University of Mauritius)
Mono Bunwaree (University of Mauritius)
Bryan Gaensler (University of Toronto)
Nalini Heeralall-Issur (University of Mauritius)
Zoë Jaremus (University of Toronto)
Satish Ramchurn (University of Mauritius)
Radhakhrishna Somanah (Université des Mascareignes)
Amanda Weltman (University of Cape Town)

First Announcement : June, 2016
Registration and Abstracts Open: 3rd October, 2016 

Early Registration Deadline : 15th December, 2016
Abstract Deadline : 20th January, 2017
Final Registration Deadline: 20th January, 2017
Final Program : 28th February, 2017


We acknowledge generous support and sponsorship from the following organisations: