XCalibur 2019

July 15-18 2019 • Winchester, UK


An unprecedented new window into observational cosmology and astrophysics was opened by the Hitomi X-ray mission, which used microcalorimeter technology to deliver X-ray observations of cosmic sources with < 5 eV spectral resolution. This regime represents a game-change in X-ray astronomy, enabling novel plasma physical condition and metallicity diagnostics, together with searches for fundamental new emission signatures such as the much-debated ~3.5 keV dark matter decay lines expected in the X-ray regime.

The new X-Ray Imaging and Spectroscopy Mission (XRISM - jointly funded by JAXA/NASA/ESA) is due to launch in the early 2020s. Beyond that, we can look forward to Athena, and possibly ARCUS, Super-DIOS or similar missions, in the 2030s to open this new regime wider.

The XCalibur 2019 workshop aims to bring together international experts (with non-experts very welcome) on X-ray spectroscopy to provide a forum for discussing the novel science enabled by these missions, to formulate the best way of exploiting the large new parameter space, and to strategize future observations. We also (1) intend to have pedagogical reviews, and (2) are looking into the possibility of a Hitomi analysis hackathon session. These should be particularly beneficial for young scientists and non-experts in the field of high resolution X-ray spectroscopy. We hope to have an informal atmosphere with plenty of discussion time.

There is no better host city for this workshop than the historic town of Winchester, home to that great symbol of medieval mythology: the Round Table associated with King Arthur, wielder of the legendary Excalibur. The beautiful venue of the Winchester Guildhall allows for about 100 participants, and funding support may be available for a selected number of young scientists. Please pre-register your interest early (no commitment required) since participation is limited.

Social events will include a visit to historic Stonehenge.


The workshop will run for 3.5 days with invited and contributed talks, open discussion sessions, as well as posters focused on several broad themes:
• Physics of Extreme Hot Plasmas
• Compact Objects and Gravity
• Life Cycle of Baryons
• Energy flows and Feedback
• The Search for Dark Matter and New Physics
• Community Preparation for XRISM and Athena


• 25 Nov 2018: Pre-registration open.
• 10 Jan 2019: Registration open.
• 15 Feb 2019: Payment opens.
• 01 Mar 2019: Abstract submission deadline.
• 01 Apr 2019: Programme announced.
• 15 Apr 2019: Registration deadline.
• 15 Jul 2019: Workshop.

Click here to submit an abstract/register.

Invited Speakers

Kevork Abazajian (UCI) • Didier Barret (IRAP) • Chris Done (Durham) • Andrew Fabian (IoA) • Craig Heinke (Alberta) • Jelle Kaastra (SRON) • Erin Kara (MIT) • Julia Lee (Harvard) • Fabrizio Nicastro (Roma) • Makoto Tashiro (Saitama) • Yoshihiro Ueda (Kyoto), TBC • more soon


Aya Bamba (Tokyo) • Pasquale di Bari (Southampton) • Maria Diaz Trigo (ESO) • Poshak Gandhi (Southampton) • Matteo Guainazzi (ESA) • Ian Jones (Southampton) • Richard Mushotzky (Maryland) • Christopher Reynolds (Cambridge) • Makoto Tashiro (Saitama)

Peter Boorman • Matthew Middleton • Claire Greenwell • Poshak Gandhi • Ian Jones (Southampton)

Financial Sponsors

University of Southampton STAG

Click here to see who may be participating.


Click here for preliminary accommodation information. This page will be updated in the coming months.



To contact the organising committee, please e-mail xcal2019@gmail.com


SO23 9GH