Overview

The Physics of the Cosmos (PCOS) Program lies at the intersection of physics and astronomy. Its purpose is to explore some of the most fundamental questions regarding the physical forces and laws of the universe: the validity of Einstein's General Theory of Relativity and the nature of spacetime; the behavior of matter and energy in extreme environments; the cosmological parameters governing inflation and the evolution of the universe; and the nature of dark matter and dark energy. PCOS takes us beyond Einstein and beyond the Standard Model.

The PCOS Program consists of a suite of operating science missions and possible future missions that focus on specific aspects of these questions. The Chandra and XMM-Newton observatories probe the universe in X-rays using detailed images and spectroscopy to study matter under a broad range of physical conditions. INTEGRAL and now Fermi study the phenomena with the highest energy emission looking for new physics in the gamma-ray regime. Planck provides an order of magnitude increase in the precision with which we measure the Cosmic Microwave Background. The next generation of PCOS missions will build on the discoveries of these missions and take us to the next stages of discovery.

Program News

3 Jan 2015
PhysPAG Activities at the 225th AAS Meeting, 4-7 Jan 2015 »  [Agenda]
13 Nov 2014
NASA issues second Dear Colleague Letter for community participation in the Athena Science Study Team Working Groups »  [PDF]
1 Oct 2014
2014 Program Annual Technology Report (PATR) now available »  [PDF]

Project News

Chandra News
26 Mar 2015
NASA's Hubble, Chandra Find Clues that May Help Identify Dark Matter » Details
Fermi News
9 Jan 2015
Third Catalog of Fermi-LAT Sources Released » Details
Planck News
10 Feb 2015
Planck: Gravitational Waves Remain Elusive
» Details
XMM-Newton News
19 Feb 2015
Widespread wind from black hole can shape star formation » Details

Related News

NuSTAR News
19 Feb 2015
NASA, ESA Telescopes Give Shape to Furious Black Hole Winds » Details
Suzaku News
2 Apr 2015
Suzaku Studies Supernova 'Crime Scene,' Shows a Single White Dwarf to Blame » Details
Swift News
20 Nov 2014
NASA's Swift Satellite Marks 10 Years of Game-changing Astrophysics » Details