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Astrophysical Tests of Fundamental Physics
27-29 March 2008, CAUP, Portugal



The deepest enigma of modern physics is whether or not there are any fundamental scalar fields in nature: although there are widely accepted theories in particle physics and cosmology which rely on them (cf. the Higgs in the standard model of particle physics, the dilaton and moduli in string theory, or the inflaton and quintessence fields in cosmology), neither has so far produced any definitive evidence for them. This workshop will bring together Europe's best experts in the various approaches to this and related topics, to identify and characterize key observational probes of fundamental physics. We also aim to have a strong steering effect on future community-wide activities, as well as identify the key strategic decisions that the European research and funding organizations should consider.

We have a strong commitment to making the scientific results of the meeting, and the general research topics it focuses on widely known, not only to the rest of the research community and funding agencies but also to younger students and the general public. In this spirit we are making the audio and video recordings of the talks (and the corresponding pdf slides) publicly available here.

This in an European Science Foundation (ESF) event, co-hosted by Centro de Astrofísica da Universidade do Porto (CAUP) and Centro de Física do Porto (CFP), with additional financial support from Reitoria da Universidade do Porto (UP) and from Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (FCT).

The European Science Foundation was established in 1974 to create a common European platform for cross-border cooperation in all aspects of scientific research. With its emphasis on a multidisciplinary and pan-European approach, the Foundation provides the leadership necessary to open new frontiers in European science. Its activities include providing science policy advice (Science Strategy); stimulating co-operation between researchers and organisations to explore new directions (Science Synergy); and the administration of externally funded programmes (Science Management). Headquartered in Strasbourg with offices in Brussels, the ESF's membership comprises 78 national funding agencies, research performing agencies and academies from 30 European nations. The Foundation's independence allows the ESF to objectively represent the priorities of all these members.

The LOC: Carlos Martins (CAUP, Convenor), Pedro Avelino (CFP), Miguel Costa (CFP), Pedro Viana (CAUP), Elsa Silva (CAUP, Admin)