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Connecting Quarks with the Cosmos: Eleven Science Questions for the New Century (2003)

Chapter: Appendix B: Call for Community Input

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Suggested Citation:"Appendix B: Call for Community Input." National Research Council. 2003. Connecting Quarks with the Cosmos: Eleven Science Questions for the New Century. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10079.
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B Call for Community Input

The call for community input, which is excerpted below, was issued in March 2001 as an American Astronomical Society electronic bulletin. The call for input was also presented at several physics meetings in early 2001.

The NRC’s Committee on the Physics of the Universe (CPU) was charged by DOE, NASA, and NSF with identifying science opportunities at the intersection of physics and astronomy and recommending strategies for realizing these science opportunities. The NRC has recently issued the Phase I CPU report: Connecting Quarks with the Cosmos: 11 Science Questions for the New Century. The report is available on-line in its entirety at http://www.nas.edu/bpa/reports/cpu/index.html.

The Committee believes that there are extraordinary opportunities for breakthroughs in our understanding of the Universe in which we live and the fundamental laws which govern it. We are beginning the critical second phase of our activity. The goal of Phase II is to identify strategies for realizing the 11 timely science opportunities. This will include making recommendations on how the agencies can most effectively cooperate and coordinate their programs in this area and identifying a set of projects that can realize the opportunities identified in the Phase I report.

The CPU needs and seeks input from the broad community of astronomers and physicists on agency cooperation/coordination issues and projects to realize the opportunities before us. We also welcome advice on any other aspect of implementing the Connecting Quarks with the Cosmos science. Comments should be sent to q2c@nas.edu.

The CPU is especially interested in being informed about specific projects (experimental or theoretical) that directly address any of the 11 science questions identified in the Phase I report.

We encourage astronomers and physicists to tell us about ideas and projects, from new concepts to relatively mature experimental and observational proposals. We ask that such descriptions be sent to q2c@nas.edu. These informal descriptions should be no longer than 2 pages and should contain:

  1. Name of contact person and contact information

  2. Discussion of the scientists who will or might be involved

  3. Description of project and techniques used, list of key technical challenges and any new technologies requiring R&D

Suggested Citation:"Appendix B: Call for Community Input." National Research Council. 2003. Connecting Quarks with the Cosmos: Eleven Science Questions for the New Century. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10079.
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  1. Rough estimate of cost and schedule

  2. Description of the science questions that will be addressed and, to the extent possible, the science reach

  3. Discussion of plans for or potential/need for multi-agency involvement

Based upon the information received, the CPU will invite presentations of projects that have significant potential to address our 11 science questions at upcoming CPU meetings associated with the APS April meeting in Washington, DC, the AAS June meeting in Pasadena, the Snowmass meeting in July and further meetings to be announced.

The Phase I report will be presented at a public session at the April APS meeting and members of the CPU will be present to answer questions and receive comments. The following are the 11 science opportunities identified in “Connecting Quarks with the Cosmos:”

  • What is the dark matter?

  • What are the masses of the neutrinos, and how have they shaped the evolution of the universe?

  • Are there additional space-time dimensions?

  • What is the nature of the dark energy?

  • Are protons unstable?

  • How did the universe begin?

  • Did Einstein have the last word on gravity?

  • How do cosmic accelerators work and what are they accelerating?

  • Are there new states of matter at exceedingly high density and temperature?

  • Is a new theory of matter and light needed at the highest energies?

  • How were the elements from iron to uranium made?

A more complete description of the questions and their context is contained in the Phase I report (available at http://www.nas.edu/bpa/reports/cpu/index.html).

Current members of the CPU are:

Michael S. Turner, The University of Chicago, Chair

Roger D. Blandford, California Institute of Technology

Sandra M. Faber, University of California at Santa Cruz

Thomas K. Gaisser, University of Delaware

Fiona Harrison, California Institute of Technology

John P. Huchra, Harvard University

Helen R. Quinn, Stanford Linear Accelerator Center

R. G. Hamish Robertson, University of Washington

Bernard Sadoulet, University of California at Berkeley

Frank J. Sciulli, Columbia University

David N. Spergel, Princeton University

J. Anthony Tyson, Lucent Technologies

Frank A. Wilczek, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Clifford Will, Washington University, St. Louis

Bruce D. Winstein, The University of Chicago

Suggested Citation:"Appendix B: Call for Community Input." National Research Council. 2003. Connecting Quarks with the Cosmos: Eleven Science Questions for the New Century. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10079.
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Page 185
Suggested Citation:"Appendix B: Call for Community Input." National Research Council. 2003. Connecting Quarks with the Cosmos: Eleven Science Questions for the New Century. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10079.
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Page 186
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Advances made by physicists in understanding matter, space, and time and by astronomers in understanding the universe as a whole have closely intertwined the question being asked about the universe at its two extremes—the very large and the very small. This report identifies 11 key questions that have a good chance to be answered in the next decade. It urges that a new research strategy be created that brings to bear the techniques of both astronomy and sub-atomic physics in a cross-disciplinary way to address these questions. The report presents seven recommendations to facilitate the necessary research and development coordination. These recommendations identify key priorities for future scientific projects critical for realizing these scientific opportunities.

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