The Physics of the Cosmos (PCOS) Program lies at the intersection of physics and astronomy. Its purpose is to explore some of the most fundamental questions regarding the physical forces and laws of the universe: the validity of Einstein's General Theory of Relativity and the nature of spacetime; the behavior of matter and energy in extreme environments; the cosmological parameters governing inflation and the evolution of the universe; and the nature of dark matter and dark energy. PCOS takes us beyond Einstein and beyond the Standard Model.

The PCOS Program consists of a suite of operating science missions and possible future missions that focus on specific aspects of these questions. The Chandra and XMM-Newton observatories probe the universe in X-rays using detailed images and spectroscopy to study matter under a broad range of physical conditions. INTEGRAL and now Fermi study the phenomena with the highest energy emission looking for new physics in the gamma-ray regime. Planck provides an order of magnitude increase in the precision with which we measure the Cosmic Microwave Background. The next generation of PCOS missions will build on the discoveries of these missions and take us to the next stages of discovery.

Program News

20 Nov 2015
The next Google Hangout in our Future in Space series is today at 3:00 pm ET »  Details
20 Nov 2015
Application for Athena Working Group membership is now reopened. »  Details
5 Nov 2015
New! PhysPAG Executive Committee Selections November 2015 »  [PDF]
8 Oct 2015
Final PhysPAG Response to Paul Hertz, October 8, 2015 now available »  [PDF]

Project News

Chandra News
23 Sep 2015
Milky Way's Black Hole Shows Signs of Increased Chatter » Details
Fermi News
18 Aug 2015
Sixth International Fermi Symposium » Details
Planck News
31 Mar 2015
Herschel and Planck find missing clue to galaxy cluster formation
» Details
XMM-Newton News
20 Aug 2015
The Tumultuous Heart of Our Galaxy » Details

Related News

8 Jul 2015
Searing Sun Seen in X-rays » Details
Suzaku News
2 Apr 2015
Suzaku Studies Supernova 'Crime Scene,' Shows a Single White Dwarf to Blame » Details
Swift News
9 Jul 2015
NASA's Swift Reveals a Black Hole Bull's-eye » Details