It was to be devoted mainly to the then most pressing problem in astrophysics, which was to explain the mechanism whereby the newly discovered "Quasars" - the most powerful energy sources in the sky-managed to radiate away the energy equivalent of five hundred thousand suns in short order. The most recently proposed mechanism involved gravitational collapse, a purely relativistic phenomenon, not yet well understood. Three hundred of the world's finest relativists and astrophysicists enthusiastically came to attend. The meeting was, by common consent, such a success that it simply had to be repeated. And repeated it was. After one year it returned to Austin, and thereafter, at regular two-year intervals, it began to migrate: first to New York, then Boston, eventually crossing the ocean to Munich, London, Tel Aviv, Paris, Florence ("Texas in Tuscany"), and so on, but faithfully returning to the US every other time, e.g. to Dallas and Austin, but also Chicago, Berkeley, Stanford, etc. Throughout, the title "Texas Symposium" has been retained!
At Texas-27 we plan not only to look back nostalgically over progress made over the last fifty years, but also to have the greatest experts look forward to the great things to come. Without a doubt there are more problems in the field now than could have been even dreamed of then. Cosmology, still in its infancy and even mourning the demise of the steady state theory then, has evolved into "precision cosmology" - a science so exact that it might even serve as a test for General Relativity. Even the layman is aware of the huge problems ahead, for example the fact that only about 5% of the matter content of the universe seems to be understood, or why we seem to have a runaway universe, expanding ever faster towards its final extinction, not to mention the numerous problems of astrophysics on a lesser scale. It is our hope that Texas-27 will not only infuse new energy into the researchers, but also give the citizens of Dallas and UTD a chance to show off their shining progress since all this started.
Wolfgang Rindler (Co-Chair)
Mustapha Ishak (Co-Chair)
Ivor Robinson (Honorary Member)
The 26th Texas Symposium on Relativistic Astrophysics will take place in Sao Paolo, Brazil in 2012. It is organized by O.D. Aguiar, J.C.N de Araujo et al.