Fundamental Physics Workshop Challenges Attendees

The 75 persons attending the 2003 Fundamental Physics workshop enjoyed presentations ranging from forces acting on RNA, to properties of clouds of degenerate Fermi atoms, to techniques to probe for added space-time dimensions, and to flight hardware for low temperature experiments, amongst others. The wide range of subjects kept everyone scrambling to follow the rapid changes of reference frames.

Mark Lee from NASA Headquarters described the new strategic plan that NASA has developed under Administrator Sean O'Keefe's leadership. Mark explained that the Fundamental Physics community now needs to align its research program and the roadmap describing the long-term goals of that program with the NASA plan. Ulf Israelsson of JPL discussed how the rewrite of the roadmap will be implemented under the leadership of the Fundamental Physics Discipline Working Group. Nick Bigelow, chair of the DWG, outlined how investigators can contribute to the writing of the roadmap.

One highlight of the workshop was the talk by Andrew Lange of Caltech at the Tuesday-evening banquet. Prof. Lange described how nonuniformities in the Cosmic Microwave Background reflect development of the Universe after the Big Bang and constrain theories of its evolution. Prof. Lange obligingly fielded questions for nearly an hour after his presentation ended.