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Astro 2010 Panel on Cosmology and Fundamental Physics (CFP)

Summary

The panel will identify and articulate the scientific themes that will define the frontier in CFP research in the 2010-2020 decade. Its scope will encompass cosmology and fundamental physics, including the early universe, the microwave background, the reionization and galaxy formation up to virialization of protogalaxies, large scale structure, the intergalactic medium, the determination of cosmological parameters, dark matter, dark energy, tests of gravity, astronomically determined physical constants, and high energy physics using astronomical messengers. Its assessment will play a key role in the Astronomy and Astrophysics 2010 study, which will survey the field of space- and ground-based astronomy and astrophysics, recommending priorities for the most important scientific and technical activities of the decade 2010-2020. The CFP Panel will prepare a report that will identify the scientific drivers of the field and the most promising opportunities for progress in research in the next decade, taking into consideration those areas where the technical means and the theoretical foundations are in place for major steps forward.

Project Information

Statement of Task

The Cosmology and Fundamental Physics (CFP) Panel will identify and articulate the scientific themes that will define the frontier in CFP research in the 2010-2020 decade. Its scope will encompass cosmology and fundamental physics, including the early universe, the microwave background, the reionization and galaxy formation up to virialization of protogalaxies, large scale structure, the intergalactic medium, the determination of cosmological parameters, dark matter, dark energy, tests of gravity, astronomically determined physical constants, and high energy physics using astronomical messengers. Its assessment will play a key role in the Astronomy and Astrophysics 2010 study, which will survey the field of space- and ground-based astronomy and astrophysics, recommending priorities for the most important scientific and technical activities of the decade 2010-2020. The CFP Panel will prepare a report that will identify the scientific drivers of the field and the most promising opportunities for progress in research in the next decade, taking into consideration those areas where the technical means and the theoretical foundations are in place for major steps forward.

More broadly, this panel will be charged (as will each of the five science panels) with the following tasks:

  1. Identify new scientific opportunities and compelling scientific themes that have arisen from recent advances and accomplishments in astronomy and astrophysics;
  2. Describe the scientific context of the importance of these opportunities, including connections to other parts of astronomy and astrophysics and, where appropriate, to the advancement of our broader scientific understanding.
  3. Describe the key advances in observation and theory necessary to realize the scientific opportunities within the decade 2010-2020; and
  4. Considering the relative compelling nature of the opportunities identified and the expected accessibility of the measurement regimes required, call out up to four central questions that are ripe for answering and one general area where there is unusual discovery potential and that define the scientific frontier of the next decade in the SFP's sub-field of astronomy and astrophysics.

In completing this task, each Science Frontier Panel will provide the Astronomy and Astrophysics 2010 Committee's Subcommittee on Science with its inputs in the Spring of 2009 and complete its panel report thereafter. The panel reports will be published following the release of the main survey committee's report in 2010. The Subcommittee on Science will issue a request for community input to ensure broad community participation in the process of identifying the scientific frontiers.
 

Committee Members and NRC Staff

David Spergel, Chair, Princeton University
David Weinberg, Vice Chair, Ohio State University
Rachel Bean, Cornell University
Neil Cornish, Montana State University
Jonathan Feng, University of California at Irvine
Alex Filippenko, University of California at Berkeley
Wick Haxton, NAS, University of Washington
Marc Kamionkowski, Caltech
Lisa Randall, Harvard University
Eun-Suk Seo, University of Maryland
David Tytler, University of California at San Diego
Clifford Will, Washington University

NRC Staff

Don Shapero, Director BPA
Michael Moloney, Astro2010 Study Director
David Lang, Program Officer BPA
LaVita Coates-Fogle, Senior Program Assistant, BPA

Meetings

Meeting 1: March 2-3, 2009, Washington, D.C.
Meeting 2: March 30-31, 2009, Washington, D.C.
Meeting 3: August 5-6, 2009, Seattle, Washington

The committee is pleased to acknowledge support from the NASA, the NSF, and the DOE.

The National Academies' Current Projects System

The National Academies' Current Projects System maintains the public record of a committees' activities compliant to Section 15 of the Federal Advisory Committee Act.  Visit the Astro2010 Panel on Cosmology and Fundamental Physics Current Projects page for more information.