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Astrophsyics

PCOS Science Goals

Test the validity of Einstein's General Theory of Relativity and investigate the nature of spacetime

Einstein's General Theory of Relativity is one of the most cherished fundamental theories of physics. But this description of gravity is widely expected to be incomplete because of its lack of a quantum foundation. The electromagnetic, weak, and strong forces, by contrast, are well defined by quantum mechanics. Most tests of General Relativity have been done in low gravitational fields, e.g., within the Solar System. Among the most stringent tests to date are the binary pulsar observations where the effects of gravitational radiation are important. However, the best tests would be in the most extreme conditions, near the event horizons of black holes, and where black holes are interacting at close range, particularly where velocities are an appreciable fraction of the speed of light. General Relativity makes specific predictions about how the light emitted from material in the inner-most regions around a black hole is distorted and gravitationally redshifted. Detailed observations of that light will provide stringent tests of strong gravity. General relativity also predicts that the inspiral of two massive objects will perturb spacetime and generate gravitational waves. The most extreme conditions and hence the strongest gravitational wave signals exist during the merger of massive black holes. Studying gravity in these strong field limits will provide essential tests of General Relativity and the nature of spacetime.



PCOS News

Program News and Announcements

7 November 2019
NASA HQ has announced that all GO & GI programs will be converting to dual-anonymous peer review over the next year. »  Details
30 October 2019
The deadline to submit abstracts to give a lightning talk at the Jan AAS PCOS & PhysPAG session on a revolutionary multimessenger / multimission astrophysics discovery that involves at least one NASA mission is extended to Wed 27 Nov 2019.
7 October 2019
The deadline for Call for Nominations to Augment the NASA LISA Study Team has been extended to 11 Oct 2019. »  Details
30 September 2019
The application deadline for "The PI Launchpad: From Science Idea to NASA Mission" is extended to 15 Oct 2019. NASA Headquarters Science Mission Directorate (the level up from NASA Astrophysics Division) is co-organizing the Nov 18–20 workshop in Tuscon, AZ, in the interests of broadening the pool of potential NASA PIs. »  Details
19 September 2019
The PhysPAG EC nomination deadline, including self-nominations, is extended to Monday 30 Sept 2019. We welcome self nominations and particularly encourage people of diverse backgrounds and viewpoints. Useful skills include good communication, a desire and ability to facilitate community organization and collaborative conclusions, and a broad perspective. See the announcement letter with instructions for nominating
13 September 2019
Submit your abstract today to give a 5min lightning talk on a revolutionary multimessenger / multimission astrophysics discovery that involves at least one NASA mission at the Jan AAS PCOS & PhysPAG session! Abstracts due by 31 Oct 2019.

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Links

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  • NASA Official: Phil Newman
  • Web Curator: Pat Tyler
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