Scientific Rationale

Wide area surveys in nearby molecular clouds are currently ongoing with Herschel in the far infrared and APEX in the submillimetre, these will soon be complemented and extended with SCUBA2 at the JCMT. They will add to the enormous amount of data that will be collected by ground-based wide-area surveys with telescopes like VISTA and VST, and those already available from other surveys, most notably those carried out with Spitzer. These surveys will offer complete samples of objects in nearby star forming regions from cores to protostars and young stars with unprecedented sensitivity, allowing to probe the physical conditions of the sites where the lowest mass isolated objects form. Together, these facilities will provide a multi-wavelength view ofthe origin of the full stellar and substellar mass function. In parallel detailed studies of individual objects and small samples are already ongoing with VLT/I existing and new (e.g. XShooter) instruments and with current millimeter interferometers, and shortly will begin with ALMA. At the same time, increasingly realistic computations of the collapse and fragmentation processes, the early evolution of the resulting objects, their inner structure, and the dynamics and chemistry of their atmospheres and of their surrounding medium are producing a sound framework for the intepretation of observations.


This workshop will review the current progress in our understanding of low mass star and brown dwarf formation in nearby molecular clouds, and will bring together observers and theoreticians to promote an energizing discussion.


Main Science Topics include


  • Properties of nearby molecular clouds and cores forming stars and BDs
  • Collapse, protostars/protobinaries: theory and observations
  • Early evolutionary stages of VLM stars and BDs: disk mediated accretion and ejection
  • The IMF for stars and BDs and its possible relation with the Clumps MF
  • The processes that regulate star formation in GMCs: theory and observational tests
  • Surveys for young very low mass stars and brown dwarfs