The aims of the scientists at the GLOW institutes (see link to the right) were compiled in 2005 as a "White Paper", edited by Marcus Brüggen (Jacobs University Bremen), Heino Falcke (University of Nijmegen), Rainer Beck (MPIfR Bonn) and Torsten Enßlin (MPA Garching) and published by MPIfR Bonn. LOFAR is able, for the first time, to measure long-wavelength emission from neutral hydrogen in the early Universe that was "stretched" by the cosmic expansion from 21cm by about a factor of ten. Radiation at long wavelengths also originates from fast electrons moving in weak magnetic fields. This is why the scientists wish to observe cosmic magnetic fields in a variety of objects, like the Milky Way, galaxies, galaxy clusters, radio galaxies, active galactic nuclei, and in galactic and stellar jets. Here polarized radio emission plays an important role to reveal the field's orientation. Extrasolar planets can also be discovered via their long-wavelength radio emission. Radio emission from solar flares can be measured with an unprecedented precision which helps to better understand the effects of solar radiation on our civilization.
Since 2006 the German Long Wavelength Consortium (GLOW) meets yearly. The present chairman is Prof. Ralf-Jürgen Dettmar (University of Bochum), the present co-chair is Prof. Marcus Brüggen (University of Hamburg). Common tasks are maintaining and coordinating the German LOFAR network, the data archive at Forschungszentrum Jülich, and the corresponding science network, and promoting student training.
The 12 German GLOW institutes organize regular international conferences and workshops for student training. The second international LOFAR conference "Astrophysics with E-LOFAR" was held on 16-19 September 2008 in Hamburg. "Splinter" workshops on LOFAR and SKA during the annual meetings of the Astronomische Gesellschaft (AG) were held in September 2010 in Bonn, September 2011 in Heidelberg, September 2012 in Hamburg, September 2014 in Bamberg, and in September 2015 in Kiel (see links).
Further interested institutes in Germany can apply for GLOW membership.
Experiences gained with LOFAR are highly important for the international project of the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) for the wavelength range 50 MHz to (at least) 10 GHz, with construction start planned in 2016. European institutes will play a major role. A "White Paper" summarizing the German participation at the SKA was published in 2012.
- PhD School