Statement of Purpose


Astronomy and Astrophysics are among the fields in the Natural Sciences that have experienced the most exciting breakthroughs in research over the last decade, and that most capture the imagination of the general public. We now know much more about the Universe and its contents than 10 years ago. The expansion of the universe is accelerating, driven by the presence of smooth dark energy with an enormous negative pressure density. Supermassive black holes, million times more massive than the Sun, lurk at the centers of most galaxies, including our own Milky Way Galaxy. Numerous planets have been disovered to orbit distant stars from the center to the outskirts of our Galaxy. Yet these, and other discoveries have only led to more, yet-unanswered puzzles. What is the physical nature of the mysterious dark energy? How did the supermassive black holes formed and evolved over cosmic time? What determines the unusual range of orbital properties of the extra-solar planets? In the years to come, we are poised for many other exciting discoveries.


The Eotvos International Scool in Astrophysics will provide an opportunity for students to engage in research, and take part in such discoveries in the next few years. While many fields in Physics have a very strong tradition in Hungary, Astronomy and Astrophysics have traditionally been under-represented. The goal of the school is to draw on the talent of students at Eotvos Lorand University and other Universities in Hungary, and connect them with researchers - most of them currently working abroad - who are engaged in active research in Astronomy and Astrophysics, and who have a commitment to build a presence of these fields in Hungary.