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National Academy of Sciences
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NP 2010: An Assessment and Outlook for Nuclear Physics



Nuclear Physics: Exploring the Heart of Matter

Released in 2012

Nuclear physics today is a diverse field, encompassing research that spans dimensions from a tiny fraction of the volume of the individual particles (neutrons and protons) in the atomic nucleus to the enormous scales of astrophysical objects in the cosmos. This report explains the research objectives, which include the desire not only to better understand the nature of matter interacting at the nuclear level, but also to describe the state of the universe that existed at the big bang. This report explains how the universe can now be studied in the most advanced collidingbeam accelerators, where strong forces are the dominant interactions, as well as the nature of neutrinos.


Dissemination Videos

In conjunction with the report, two videos have been prepared that illustrate several of the main ideas from NP2010. Those videos are available for viewing online.

Committee Members and NRC Staff

Stuart J. Freedman, Chair, University of California, Berkeley
Ani Aprahamian, Vice-chair, University of Notre Dame
Ricardo Alarcon, Arizona State University
Gordon A. Baym, University of Illinois
Elizabeth Beise, University of Maryland
Richard F. Casten, Yale University
Jolie A. Cizewski, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
Anna Hayes, Los Alamos National Laboratory
Roy J. Holt, Argonne National Laboratory
Karlheinz Langanke, GSI Helmholtz Zentrum Darmstadt and Technische Universität Darmstadt
Cherry A. Murray, Harvard University
Witold Nazarewicz, University of Tennessee
Kostas Orginos, College of William & Mary
Krishna Rajagopal, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
R.G. Hamish Robertson, University of Washington
Thomas J. Ruth, TRIUMF/British Columbia Cancer Research Centre
Hendrik Schatz, Michigan State University NSCL
Robert E. Tribble, Texas A&M University
William A. Zajc, Columbia University

NRC Staff

Donald C. Shapero, Director, Board on Physics and Astronomy
James C. Lancaster, Program Officer
Teri Thorowgood, Administrative Coordinator
Caryn Knutsen, Research Associate


The project is pleased to acknowledge support from the U.S. Department of Energy and the National Science Foundation.