Overview

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

31 Jul 2015
PCOS Newsletter for August 2015 now available »  [PDF]
13 Jul 2015
Call for Nominations to the Executive Committee of the Physics of the Cosmos Program Analysis Group (PhysPAG) »  [Details]

Project News

Chandra News
22 Jul 2015
Pulsar Punches Hole In Stellar Disk » Details
Fermi News
10 Jul 2015
NASA's Fermi Sees Record Flare from a Black Hole in a Distant Galaxy » Details
Planck News
31 Mar 2015
Herschel and Planck find missing clue to galaxy cluster formation
» Details
XMM-Newton News
27 Jul 2015
Born-again planetary nebula » Details

Related News

NuSTAR 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