This volume contains the proceedings of the first European Conference on Laboratory Astrophysics, which was held in Paris in September 2011. The Conference gathered, for the first time in Europe, a broad and interdisciplinary community of astrophysicists, physicists, and chemists, who recognize the importance of the experimental approach to provide answers to numerous astrophysical problems.
A specificity of the book is that it covers many fields of astrophysics:planets and exoplanets, interstellar and circumstellar environments, stars including our sun, and phenomena up to perspectives in cosmology. It also illustrates various activities in laboratory astrophysics (LA) including spectroscopy, studies of the reactivity in gas phase or on cold surfaces, but also studies on jets, shocks, turbulent flows and magnetic reconnection. The search for controlled laboratory conditions, the development of specific and dedicated experimental setups, and the use of large physics facilities such as synchrotrons, Z-pinches and power lasers, are all part of LA activities. LA work is also driven by numerical simulations and theoretical work and is closely connected to databases, which are crucial to foresee or interpret experiments and astrophysical observations.
This book aims at illustrating the astrophysical topics with several review papers, and presenting various aspects of LA activities, which can be seen by observers as novel and valuable data for the interpretation of astronomical observations and the modelling of astrophysical objects. In return, it is foreseen that this conference will be the opportunity for the LA community in Europe to increase its visibility and find an organizational scheme that would push forward LA as a full partner in the planning of the new generation of astronomical instruments and facilities.