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2006 From Quantum to Cosmos: Fundamental Physics Research in Space
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Purpose

The purpose of this workshop is to demonstrate how fundamental physics research in space can provide the knowledge needed to address outstanding questions at the intersection of physics and astronomy.

Recent progress in observational astronomy, astrophysics, and cosmology has raised important questions related to fundamental laws of Nature. There are two approaches to physics research in space: one can detect and study signals from remote astrophysical objects or one can perform carefully designed in-situ experiments. The two methods are complementary and the latter, which is the focus of this workshop, has the advantage of utilizing a well-understood and controlled laboratory environment in space. The scope of the workshop also encompasses experiments aimed at the discovery of novel phenomena including dark matter candidates.

Newly available technologies in conjunction with existing space capabilities offer unique opportunities to take advantage of the variable gravity potentials, large distances, pristine primordial particles environment, and high velocity and acceleration regimes accessible in space. As a result, these experiments can significantly advance our knowledge of fundamental laws of physics and are capable of connecting physics at the quantum scale to the cosmos.

We aim to bring together researchers from diverse subfields of physics ranging from general relativity to condensed matter, cosmology, and astrophysics to discuss these opportunities. The outcome of this workshop will be a document to guide the development of future mission opportunities.

We anticipate a good participation by representatives from the US and international funding agencies. The keynote address at the opening day will be given by Dr. John H. Marburger III, Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy.

Sponsors:

The conference is sponsored by NASA; with support from DOE, NSF, ESA, and other agencies; the meeting is endorsed by the American and European Physical Societies.

Format:

The conference will be organized as a series of key-note talks and plenary half-day sessions, including:

  • Gravity, general relativity and alternative theories
  • Beyond the Standard Model
  • Dark Matter and Dark Energy
  • Quantum technologies for space
  • Condensed matter laboratory analogs of cosmological and astrophysical phenomena
  • Policy and space experiments for the next 15 years