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Interstellar Research Group: 7th Interstellar Symposium Call for Papers

Regular Acceptance: Abstracts Due June 30, 2021

The Interstellar Research Group (IRG) hereby invites participation in its 7th Interstellar Symposium, hosted by the University of Arizona to be held from Friday, September 24 through Monday, September 27, 2021, in Tucson, Arizona. The Interstellar Symposium has the following elements:

The Interstellar Symposium focuses on all aspects of interstellar travel (human and robotic), including power, communications, system reliability/maintainability, psychology, crew health, anthropology, legal regimes and treaties, ethics, and propulsion with an emphasis on possible destinations (including the status of exoplanet research), life support systems, and habitats.

Working Tracks are collaborative, small group discussions around a set of interdisciplinary questions on an interstellar subject with the objective of producing “roadmaps” and/or publications to encourage further developments in the respective topics. This year we will be organizing the Working Tracks to follow selected plenary talks with focused discussions on the same topic.

Sagan Meetings. Carl Sagan famously employed this format for his 1971 conference at the Byurakan Observatory in old Soviet Armenia, which dealt with the Drake Equation. Each Sagan Meeting will invite five speakers to give a short presentation staking out a position on a particular question. These speakers will then form a panel to engage in a lively discussion with the audience on that topic.

Seminars are 3-hour presentations on a single subject, providing an in depth look at that subject. Seminars will be held on Friday, September 24, 2021, with morning and afternoon sessions. The content must be acceptable to be counted as continuation education credit for those holding a Professional Engineer (PE) Certificate.

Other Content includes, but is not limited to, posters, displays of art or models, demonstrations, panel discussions, interviews, or public outreach events.

Publications: Since the IRG serves as a critical incubator of ideas for the interstellar community. We intend to publish the work of the 7th Symposium in many outlets, including a complete workshop proceedings in book form. No Paper, No Podium: If a written paper is not submitted by the final manuscript deadline (To Be Announced), authors will not be permitted to present their work at the event. Papers should be original work that has not been previously published. Select papers may be submitted for journal publication, such as in the Journal of the British Interplanetary Society (JBIS).

Video and Archiving: All symposium events may be captured on video or in still images for use on the IRG and other sponsors websites, in newsletters and social media. All presenters, speakers and selected participants will be asked to complete a Release Form that grants permission for IRG to use this content as described.


Abstracts for the Interstellar Symposium must relate to one or more of the many interstellar mission related topics, such as power, communications, system reliability/maintainability, psychology, crew health, anthropology, legal regimes and treaties, ethics, and propulsion with an emphasis on possible destinations (including the status of exoplanet research), life support systems, and habitats.

All abstracts must be submitted online here. Submitters must create accounts on the IRG website in order to submit abstracts.

PRESENTING AUTHOR(S) – Please list ONLY the author(s) who will actually be in attendance and presenting at the conference. (first name, last name, degree – for example, Susan Smith, MD)

ADDITIONAL AUTHORS – List all authors here, including Presenting Author(s) – (first name, last name, degree(s) – for example, Mary Rockford, RN; Susan Smith, MD; John Jones, PhD)

ABBREVIATIONS within the body should be kept to a minimum and must be defined upon first use in the abstract by placing the abbreviation in parenthesis after the represented full word or phrase. Proprietary drug names and logos may NOT be used. Non-proprietary (generic) names should be used.

ABSTRACT LENGTH – The entire abstract, (EXCLUDING title, authors, presenting author’s institutional affiliation(s), city, state, and text), including any tables or figures should be a maximum of 350 words. It is your responsibility to verify compliance with the length requirement.

ABSTRACT STRUCTURE – abstracts must include the following headings:

  • Title – the presentation title
  • Background – describes the research or initiative context
  • Objective – describes the research or initiative objective
  • Methods – describes research methodology used. For initiatives, describes the target population, program or curricular content, and evaluation method
  • Results – summarizes findings in sufficient detail to support the conclusions
  • Conclusions – states the conclusions drawn from results, including their applicability.

Questions and responses to this Call for Papers, Workshops and Participation should be directed to: info@irg.space.

For updates on the meeting, speakers, and logistics, please refer to the website: https://irg.space/irg-2021/

The Tennessee Valley Interstellar Workshop (doing business as the Interstellar Research Group, IRG) is a non-profit scientific, educational corporation in the state of Tennessee. For U.S. tax purposes, IRG is a tax-exempt, 501(c)(3) educational, non-profit corporation.

{ 9 comments… add one }
  • Robin Datta May 11, 2021, 11:10

    For those arriving from interstellar locations, submission of papers and registration should be permitted at the door. Registration fees should be accepted in equivalent gold, platinum or palladium, and should be waived if arriving from outside the local stellar group.

    • Douglas Robert Loss May 11, 2021, 14:03

      As President of the Board of Directors of IRG, should any interstellar attendees and potential presenters show up at the door, we will waive the deadline restrictions and will accept payment in any fungible materiel, including intellectual property. A valid ID from a verifiable interstellar polity will be required, of course.

      • Paul Gilster May 11, 2021, 19:27

        Yes, I’d say let’s go for the intellectual property!

    • Alex Tolley May 11, 2021, 14:34

      Is latinum acceptable, especially as gold-pressed latinum? How about star Sapphires? Due to the current pandemic, all visitors with a common DNA to Earth will need to present their vaccination documents or remain in their ships and attend via communication equipment.

      • Michael T May 12, 2021, 1:32

        If using standard EM communications for biosecurity reasons, visitors should consider the conference schedules and reduce lag by either labding as previously detailed, or keeping within 3 light-seconds of Earth.

        Your physical appearance (if any) will be of scientific interest – please refrain from use of ‘Cat’ or other video filters.

  • wdk May 12, 2021, 16:33

    Presentations submitted from beyond Neptune will be subjected to rigorous scrutiny with regard these related to interstellar transport, propulsion and indigenous origins to various asterisms. Copyright protections could be voided during periods of subluminal transit.
    Before presentation, the presenter must view or sense six “short”
    video podcasts on presentation tips, slide layout conventions and laser pointers. Remember: Your highlights of the trip here might not be ours. So use your time at the podium carefully. You never know when you might have the next opportunity.

  • Michael Fidler May 13, 2021, 0:02

    Since you guys are all warped, how about a paper from Erik W. Lentz for the Interstellar Symposium?

    (Breaking the Warp Barrier: Hyper-Fast Solitons in Einstein-Maxwell-Plasma Theory)

    Found some interesting new developments that may relate to this subject and magnetars.

    “Station of Extreme Light” –‘A New Physics That Can Tear Apart the Fabric of Spacetime’.

    “Normally, a vacuum is thought of as completely empty, but in quantum electrodynamics, it is actually full of virtual particles that appear and vanish all the time,” he said. “However an extremely strong electric and magnetic field can affect this space and the light passing through it. So vacuum can actually behave as a prism, or 3-D movie glasses.”

    This laser will work with a hard X-ray for pump–probe experiments, such as experimentally verifying the vacuum birefringence phenomenon observed around some neutron stars whereby their extreme magnetic fields can excite virtual particles that polarize light passing through otherwise empty space.


    Free electron laser in magnetars/Fast Radio Bursts.

    We discuss coherent free electron laser (FEL) operating during explosive reconnection events in magnetized pair plasma of magnetar magnetospheres. The model explains many salient features of Fast Radio Bursts/magnetars’ radio emission: temporal coincidence of radio and high energy bursts, high efficiency of conversion of plasma kinetic energy into coherent radiation, presence of variable, narrow-band emission features drifting down in frequency, high degree of linear polarization. The model relies on magnetar-specific drifting e± plasma components (which generate wiggler field due to the development of the firehose instability) and the presence of reconnection-generated particle beam with mild Lorentz factor of γb∼ few hundred.


    Neutron tunneling: A new mechanism to power explosive phenomena in neutron stars, magnetars, and neutron star mergers.

    Neutron tunneling between neutron-rich nuclei in inhomogeneous dense matter encountered in neutron star crusts can release enormous energy on a short-timescale to power explosive phenomena in neutron stars. In this work we clarify aspects of this process that can occur in the outer regions of neutron stars when oscillations or cataclysmic events increase the ambient density. We use a time-dependent Hartree-Fock-Bogoliubov formalism to determine the rate of neutron diffusion and find that large amounts of energy can be released rapidly. The role of nuclear binding, the two-body interaction and pairing, on the neutron diffusion times is investigated. We consider a one-dimensional quantum diffusion model and extend our analysis to study the impact of diffusion in three-dimensions. We find that these novel neutron transfer reactions can generate energy at the amount of ≃1040−1044 ergs under suitable conditions.


    Scientists catch exciting magnetic waves in action.

    Alfvén waves form when charged particles (ions) oscillate in response to interactions between magnetic fields and electrical currents.

    Within the solar atmosphere bundles of magnetic fields, known as solar magnetic flux tubes, can form. Alfvén waves are though to manifest in one of two forms in solar magnetic flux tubes; either axisymmetric torsional pertubations (where symmetric oscillations occur around the flux tube axis) or anti-symmetric torsional pertubations (where oscillations occur as two swirls rotating in opposite directions in the flux tube).


    • Douglas Robert Loss May 15, 2021, 11:16

      Good suggestion, I’ll invite Erik Lentz to submit an abstract for the symposium.

  • ljk May 13, 2021, 14:59

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