Laser Cooled Atomic Physics, while based on physics experiments preformed in the 1940s,
is a very young field of research dating from about 1980. Three physics Nobel prizes
have been awarded for this field since that date, demonstrating the excitement that the
new results have generated in the community of physicists.
The Fundamental Physics research program presently supports four flight experiments and
nineteen ground-based experiments in LCAP. The four flight experiments are described
in the write-ups for PARCS, RACE, BEC, and SMW-G. The first flight for PARCS is expected
to occur in 2003. PARCS will demonstrate the technology development of the ultra-stable
clock, plus the experiment will provide tests of Gravitation and Relativity Physics.
Other experiments in this field will examine the standard model of physics, providing
tests of ideas such as time reversal symmetry (Can experiments run backward as well as
forward in time?).