Introducing the new AAS Laboratory Astrophysics Division

The first new AAS division in more than 30 years was introduced last week by the AAS. The new division is the Laboratory Astrophysics Division (LAD) of the American Astronomical Society (AAS). LAD’s mission is to advance our understanding of the universe through the promotion of fundamental theoretical and experimental research into the underlying processes that drive cosmic evolution. Because of it’s pioneering role in this domain and its long and firmly established recognition of the essential role that laboratory astrophysics plays in support of space missions and space technology, NASA Ames has played a pivotal role in the establishment of this new division. Farid Salama (SSA) chaired the AAS Working Group on Laboratory Astrophysics, precursor to the new division and is now coordinating the steering committee tasked to get the new division starting. The inaugural events for LAD will include a Kavli lecture on “Laboratory Astrophysics as key to Understanding the Universe” and several Meeting-in-a-Meeting sessions devoted to the interplay between laboratory astrophysics and planetary sciences and other fields in astronomy and related sciences.