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

23 Feb 2017
Self-nominations for the Astrophysics Advisory Committee (APAC, replaces the Astrophysics Subcommitte or APS) are requested; due date is 8 March 2017.
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Project News

Chandra News
14 Feb 2017
Black-Hole-Powered Jets Forge Fuel for Star Formation » Details
Fermi News
30 Jan 2017
NASA's Fermi Discovers the Most Extreme Blazars Yet » Details
NASA's Fermi Sees Gamma Rays from 'Hidden' Solar Flares » Details
Planck News
13 Aug 2016
First Stars Formed Even Later Than Previously Thought
» Details
XMM-Newton News
31 Jan 2017
Mind the Gap: Rapid Burster behaviour explained » Details

Related News

Hitomi News
6 July 2016
Hitomi Mission Charts Hot Winds of a Galaxy Cluster for the First Time »  Details
NuSTAR News
31 Jan 2017
NuSTAR Helps Solve 'Rapid Burster' Mystery » Details
Suzaku News
26 Aug 2015
X-ray Astronomy Satellite "Suzaku" Completes Scientific Mission » Details
Swift News
7 Feb 2017
Goddard Center Director Remarks on Passing of Neil Gehrels » Details