Please join us on February 23rd–24th, 2009, for a two-day symposium in which we will
discuss the latest advances in submillimeter astrophysics and technology, as we celebrate and honor
Tom Phillips and his remarkable achievements and contributions.
The symposium will be held in the Cahill Center for Astronomy and
Astrophysics at Caltech, and the conference agenda is now available.
Poster sessions will also be held during the meeting, and the conference proceedings are expected to be
published in the ASP Conference Series.
The conference banquet, hosted in the Caltech Athenaeum,
will take place on Monday evening.
With ALMA well into its construction phase, Herschel soon to be launched, and powerful new
technologies, instruments, and projects on the horizon, astrophysics at submillimeter wavelengths
is finally emerging from its early pioneering phase and is rapidly advancing toward the scientific
forefront with an ever-accelerating stream of major new results. This is the legacy of Tom Phillips,
who for nearly four decades has been at the center of the most important developments in this field.
Starting in the early 1970's, Tom pioneered submillimeter spectroscopy using his InSb hot-electron
bolometer receiver, and detected numerous new species in the interstellar medium, including the
surprisingly abundant neutral carbon atom. In 1979, Tom co-invented the superconducting SIS mixer,
which completely revolutionized the field and is the fundamental enabling technology for both ALMA
and the HIFI instrument for Herschel. As OVRO director in the early 1980's, Tom completed the
construction of the three-element millimeter-wave interferometer that is now part of CARMA, and then
moved on to the construction of the Caltech Submillimeter Observatory on Mauna Kea, completed in 1987.
In addition to their seminal scientific contributions, both CSO and OVRO served as important platforms
for the practical demonstration and refinement of SIS technology, an essential step toward ALMA. Since
the mid-1980's, Tom has also been the central organizer of the U.S. effort to develop a submillimeter
space mission. By the late 1990's, Tom's tireless efforts led to NASA's participation in the Herschel
Space Observatory, for which Tom serves as the U.S. Principal Investigator.