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Kavli Institute for Cosmology, Cambridge


Distorted Astrophysical Discs

Recent high-resolution observations of discs in a variety of astrophysical systems – protoplanetary discs, discs around compact objects, discs within and around binaries - have revealed a stunning richness of asymmetric and non-coplanar distortions: spiral arms, eccentricities, warps, azimuthal clumping, and so on. These omnipresent deviations from a classical planar and circular shape have important implications for their dynamics, as well as for the formation and evolution of objects inside and around them.

We invite researchers working on non-axisymmetric distortions and warps in protoplanetary discs, galactic discs, discs in binaries (cataclysmic variables, etc.), circumbinary discs, debris discs around white dwarfs, planetary rings, tidal disruption events, etc. to gather for three days of focused discussion on the emerging puzzles and recent progress made in understanding such distortions. This forum will provide a venue for the exchange of ideas between theorists and observers from different fields and will cover both recent advances in the theory of non-axisymmetric and non-coplanar structures in discs and observational discoveries using new instruments (e.g. ALMA) and techniques.

Confirmed Speakers

Boris Gaensicke (Warwick)
Dong Lai (Cornell; TD Lee Institute)
Nienke van der Marel (U Victoria)
John Magorrian (Oxford)
Rebecca Martin (UNLV)
Gordon Ogilvie (DAMTP, Cambridge) 
John Papaloizou (DAMTP, Cambridge)   
Tsvi Piran (Hebrew University; TBC) 
Alexander Tchekhovskoy (Northwestern)
Caroline Terquem (Oxford)
Philippe Thebault (Paris Observatory)
Scott Tremaine (IAS)
Zhaohuan Zhu (UNLV)


Cathie Clarke (IoA)
Wilhelm Kley (Tuebingen)
Dong Lai (Cornell; TD Lee Institute)
Henrik Latter (DAMTP)
Brian Metzger (Columbia)
Gordon Ogilvie (DAMTP)
Roman Rafikov (DAMTP)
Scott Tremaine (IAS)
Yanqin Wu (Toronto)


Roman Rafikov (Chair, DAMTP), Mark Wyatt (IoA), Henrik Latter (DAMTP)
Cleo Loi (DAMTP), Elliot Lynch (DAMTP), Antranik Sefilian (DAMTP), Steven Brereton (Kavli)

Registration information

Due to the size of the workshop (around 40 participants) a two-stage process will apply: open call/abstract submission followed by participant selection and confirmation (in mid-February). Researchers in early career stages are encouraged to apply.

Registration closed on January 27, 2020.



For delegates selected to participate in the workshop, accommodation will be provided.


The event will take place at the Kavli Instute for Cosmology Cambridge (KICC). More information is available here.

For information

Please email  


Monday, 18 May, 2020 - 09:00 to Wednesday, 20 May, 2020 - 21:00
Contact name: 
Steven Brereton
Contact email: 
Contact phone: 
01223 337516
Event location: 
Kavli Institute for Cosmology, Cambridge