Brown Dwarfs of the Age

Scientific Rationale

Wide-area surveys such as DENIS, SDSS and 2MASS have played a major role in the discoveries of some of the first brown dwarfs and the definition of the spectral classes L and T. Recently completed and ongoing surveys such as IPHAS, PANSTARS, UKIDSS and WISE are shedding new light on the field. An even cooler spectral class, the Y dwarfs, has been revealed. Detailed studies of brown dwarfs have uncovered surprising behaviours such as ultra-fast rotation rates, the presence of clouds, polarization and strong radio emission. Observations of dust in disks around very low-mass primaries with the Spitzer and Herschel satellites have provided information on the conditions of planet formation. Brown dwarfs have become prime interest targets for searches for habitable planets due to their small masses and radii, and the presence of a habitable regions very close to them for extended periods of time.

Brown dwarfs populate the natural bridge between stars and planets. As such, they are connected with both types of objects. One of the main focus of this international conference will be to examine whether the fundamental properties of brown dwarfs represent a smooth continuity from stars to planets or not. Brown dwarfs and their extension into planetary masses represent the low-mass end of the stellar IMF. Deep observations of young open clusters and star-forming regions and microlensing surveys have found a population of very low-mass brown dwarfs or free-floating planets.

Our conference will provide a comprehensive update of the status of this active field of research. Here is a list of the scientific topics that will be treated:

  • Formation and early evolution of brown dwarfs
  • Angular momentum and disk evolution in very low mass systems
  • Large scale surveys
  • Deep surveys
  • Brown dwarfs in binary systems
  • The lower end of the IMF
  • Planets around brown dwarfs
  • Ultracool atmospheres
  • Spectroscopy of brown dwarfs
  • Time domain phenomena in brown dwarfs: activity and weather
  • Oncoming and future projects in the substellar world
  • The brown dwarfs-exoplanet connection