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Astrophsyics

PCOS Science Goals

Expand our knowledge of dark energy

The discovery that the expansion of space is accelerating presents one of the most important scientific problems of our time. The implication that the universe is dominated by an unknown entity, now called "dark energy," that counters the attractive force of gravity, may revolutionize our understanding of cosmology and fundamental physics. Although observations with ground-based and orbital assets—including HST, Chandra, and WMAP—have confirmed the acceleration, we know very little about the most basic properties of dark energy. There is currently no theory based on known physics that can quantitatively explain dark energy. Quantum physics over-predicts the amount of observed dark energy by a factor of 10120. Empirical observations are critical to distinguishing whether dark energy is consistent with Einstein's Cosmological Constant, whether it is due to a dynamic quintessence field that changes over space and time, or whether it is simply a failure of Einstein's General theory of Relativity at cosmic scales. Because it seems to control the expansion of the Universe, we cannot predict the fate of the Universe—Will the Universe last forever?—without understanding the physical nature of dark energy.



PCOS News

Program News and Announcements

19 Mar 2018
PhysPAG EC requests your input on High Risk High Reward research! Submit your response by 2 Apr 2018 for consideration for input to APAC. »  More details
14 Mar 2018
Notice: APRA, SAT, and LISA Preparatory Science NoI due date changed to 19 March 2018 due to winter storms.
26 Feb 2018
LISA Preparatory Science is a new program element in ROSES 2018 to provide support for U.S. investigators involved in analysis and interpretation of simulated LISA data. Mandatory NOIs are due 19 Mar 2018 and full proposals are due 14 Jun 2018.
8 Feb 2018
Welcome to our new PhysPAG EC members! Many thanks to our departing members!

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