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Gravitational Physics: Exploring the Structure of Space and Time (1999)

Chapter: Appendix A: Activities of the Committee on Gravitational Physics

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Suggested Citation:"Appendix A: Activities of the Committee on Gravitational Physics." National Research Council. 1999. Gravitational Physics: Exploring the Structure of Space and Time. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/9680.
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Page 99
Suggested Citation:"Appendix A: Activities of the Committee on Gravitational Physics." National Research Council. 1999. Gravitational Physics: Exploring the Structure of Space and Time. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/9680.
×
Page 100
Suggested Citation:"Appendix A: Activities of the Committee on Gravitational Physics." National Research Council. 1999. Gravitational Physics: Exploring the Structure of Space and Time. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/9680.
×
Page 101
Suggested Citation:"Appendix A: Activities of the Committee on Gravitational Physics." National Research Council. 1999. Gravitational Physics: Exploring the Structure of Space and Time. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/9680.
×
Page 102
Suggested Citation:"Appendix A: Activities of the Committee on Gravitational Physics." National Research Council. 1999. Gravitational Physics: Exploring the Structure of Space and Time. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/9680.
×
Page 103

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Appendixes

ct~v~es of the Committee on ravitationat Physics The Committee on Gravitational Physics (COP) held its first meeting on October 7-9, 1997, at the National Research Council's facility in Washington, D.C. The first part of the meeting was devoted to gathering information on gravitational physics projects and programs. The committee discussed letters and e-mail that it had received in response to a call for comments. The committee then heard presentations on the following topics: · NASA gravitational physics activities. Alan gunner, Science Program Director, Structure and Evolution of the Universe (SEU), and Hashima Hasan, Discipline Scientist, Ultraviolet, Visible, and Gravitational Astrophysics. . Astrophysics and gravitational physics and the recommendations of the newly released Structure and Evolution of the Universe Science Roadmap pre- pared for NASA's Office of Space Science by an advisory committee chaired by Roger Blandford, Caltech. · The National Science Foundation's (NSF's) gravitational physics pro- gram. David Berley, NSF Program Manager for the Laser Interferometer Gravi- tational-Wave Observatory (LIGO). · The LIGO project. Barry C. garish, Principal Investigator. · The Gravity Probe B relativity mission. C.W. Francis Everitt, Stanford University, Principal Investigator. · The Satellite Test of the Equivalence Principle (STEP) and Mini-STEP missions. C.W. Francis Everitt, Stanford University, Principal Investigator, and Paul Worden, Stanford University, Co-Investigator. 101

102 APPENDIX A · The Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA). Peter Bender, JILA, Principal Investigator. · Resonant mass gravitational wave detectors. William Hamilton, Louisi- ana State University. · The Microwave Anisotropy Probe (MAP). Gary Hinshaw, Astrophysi cist, Goddard Space Flight Center. . In the second part of the meeting, held in closed session, the committee identified key questions in the field. The committee concluded by drafting an outline for its report. The COP held its second meeting at the National Research Council's facility in Washington, D.C., on February 20-22, 1998. The first day of the meeting was conducted entirely in open session and began with greetings and brief remarks from the committee chair, Prof. James Hartle. This was followed by a brief explanation by Board on Physics and Astronomy (BPA) Director Donald C. Shapero regarding the National Research Council's response to the new law concerning amendments to the Federal Advisory Committee Act. The COP heard the following presentations: · Richard Isaacson, Program Manager for gravitational physics at NSF, discussed the opportunities in gravitational physics experiment, computation, theory, international collaboration, university training, and the LIGO project. . P.K. Williams, Senior Program Officer, Office of Energy Research, De- partment of Energy (DOE), explained the workings of the joint DOE-NASA- NSF Scientific Advisory Group for Non-Accelerator Physics (SAGENAP) and the DOE activities in non-accelerator physics connected to cosmology and gravi- tation. · Committee member Eric Adelberger presented a summary of the recent laboratory experiments to measure to high accuracy Newton' s gravitational con- stant, G. and Earth' s gravitational acceleration, g. · Committee members Clifford Will and Peter Michelson presented current and proposed gravitational experiments based in space, such as the lunar laser ranging experiment, the Gravity Probe B mission, OMEGA, the "Galileo Galilei" equivalence principle mission, the Satellite Test of the Equivalence Principle (STEP), the Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA), and others. · Committee members Ramesh Narayan, David Spergel, and Joseph Taylor led an astrophysical discussion of the estimated number of sources of gravita- tional waves that would be detectable by LIGO. The next 2 days' sessions were closed. They began with a review of the previous day's items, including a continuation of the estimate for LIGO source counts. The discussion of draft chapters of the report and revisions to drafts was followed by a consideration of the goals and opportunities of the field and a

APPENDIX A 103 preliminary formulation of recommendations. The committee discussed a draft section on gravitational physics that was sent to the Board on Physics and As- tronomy for inclusion in the forthcoming Overview report of the physics survey Physics in a New Era (to be published by the National Academy Press in 2000~. The CGP also discussed themes for a research briefing on gravitational physics and the schedule for completing the draft report. The CGP requested input from the community of gravitational physicists in a number of ways: . A description of the COP's charge and activities was published in the newsletter of the American Physical Society' s (APS' s) Topical Group on Gravi- tation. This newsletter is available to gravitational physicists worldwide, both in print form and on the Los Alamos e-print server. . A similar notice was posted on the e-mail service maintained by Queen Mary College in London which reaches hundreds of gravitational physicists around the world. . Requests for input were made through standard announcement services of the Division of Particles and Fields of the APS, the Precision Measurements Topical Group of the APS, and the American Astronomical Society. · The committee chair, J. Hartle, made presentations and solicited input at two meetings of gravitational physicists: the 1998 Pacific Coast Gravity Meeting in Eugene, Oregon, and the April 1998 meeting of the American Physical Society in Columbus, Ohio. In total the CGP received written responses from approximately 20 scien- tists. A great many of these were thoughtful and helpful. All electronic and written input was distributed to the members of the CGP and duly considered in its deliberations.

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Gravitational Physics assesses the achievements of the field over the past decade in both theory and experiment, identifies the most promising opportunities for research in the next decade, and describes the resources necessary to realize those opportunities. A major theme running through the opportunities is the exploration of strong gravitational fields, such as those associated with black holes.

The book, part of the ongoing decadal survey Physics in a New Era, examines topics such as gravitational waves and their detection, classical and quantum theory of strong gravitational fields, precision measurements, and astronomical observations relevant to the predictions of Einstein's theory of general relativity.

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