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Review of Progress in Astronomy and Astrophysics Toward the Decadal Vision: Letter Report Appendix A The Science Strategy Outlined in Astronomy and Astrophysics in the New Millennium and Connecting Quarks with the Cosmos The goal of the decadal survey process is to recommend a prioritized scientific research agenda and then to identify the instruments and facilities that will be needed to conduct the necessary research. In recent years the research agenda has been articulated via a series of fundamental questions that the survey committee identifies as the heart of the community’s efforts. In Astronomy and Astrophysics in the New Millennium (the AANM report), five fundamental questions for the field of astronomy and astrophysics were identified: How did the universe begin, how did it evolve from a primordial soup of elementary particles into the complex structures seen today, and what is its destiny? How do galaxies first arise and mature? How are stars born and how do they live and die? How do planets form and change as they age? Does life exist elsewhere in the universe? To answer these questions astronomers and astrophysicists need a new portfolio of tools and techniques. The AANM report proposes a set of missions and facilities, prioritized according to their importance to the field, which will produce the data necessary to answer these questions and identify the next challenges for the field. Connecting Quarks with the Cosmos, focusing on the interface of astrophysics and particle physics, produced its own set of 11 scientific questions that expand on the first question above: What is dark matter? What is dark energy? How did the universe begin? Was Einstein right about gravity? How have neutrinos shaped the universe? What are nature’s most energetic particles? Are protons unstable? What are the new states of matter? Are there more space-time dimensions? How were the elements from iron to uranium made? Is a new theory of light and matter needed? Connecting Quarks with the Cosmos also identified the tools necessary to conduct research in these areas, although it did not provide a prioritized list as the AANM report did.
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