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Aims of the Workshop

Broadband X-ray spectroscopy allows the investigation of the physical processes in most cosmic sources. However, the energy range where most of the Cosmic X-ray Background (CXB) energy density resides (the 20-60 keV range) remains today still little probed, and indeed only 1-2 % of the CXB is resolved in sources by INTEGRAL and Swift. X-ray polarimetry, which in principle can complement broadband spectroscopy to investigate non-thermal emission as well as radiative transfer in thick and/or highly magnetized plasmas, is still in its infancy. All these limitations still hamper our ability to uncover the bulk of the accretion power in the Universe, as well as the physics at base of this process and of cosmic accelerators.

Taking advantage of new technologies in mirror and detector manufacturing NHXM will push grazing incidence imaging up to ~80-100 keV, providing images at energies <30-40 keV of quality similar to that obtainable today below 10 keV with XMM-Newton. This will produce an improvement of roughly three orders of magnitude in sensitivity and angular resolution compared to all instruments that have operated so far above 10 keV and > one order of magnitude with respect to both NuSTAR, a NASA Explorer mission due to launch in 2012, and ASTRO-H, a Japan-led mission due to launch in 2014, allowing the resolution of >70% of the CXB where it peaks. NHXM will also open a brand new window for accreting sources and non-thermal sources, X-ray imaging polarimetry. These technological breakthroughs will allow us to uncover a large discovery space in three broad areas:

  1. Black hole census and accretion physics.
  2. Acceleration mechanisms.
  3. Physics of matter under extreme conditions.
Various aspects of the NHXM mission are currently studied as part of programs funded by the Italian Space Agency.

A proposal for NHXM will be submitted to ESA for medium class mission (M3) call, due December 3rd 2010. The aim of the workshop is to bring together the international community to discuss the scientific potential of the NHXM. concept and to sharpen the science requirements.

The workshop will take place in the old building of Valencia University (Spain). We envisage 4 half day sessions, one to present the NHXM concept and three on the main science topics briefly outlined above. Each science session will include invited/sollicited presentation, although a limited number of contributed presentations are still possible to accomodate. Matrices and information for the spectral simulation can be accessed through the NHXM Observatory wiki pages.

Poster or Oral contribution:

If you intend to submit an oral or poster contribution, please send an e-mail to, including:
  • title,
  • author(s),
  • pdf (if/when ready).