NSF Announces New Physics Centers

August 17, 2020

The National Science Foundation announced two new Physics Frontiers Centers last week. It will provide $13 million over five years to establish a Center for Matter at Atomic Pressures (CMAP) hosted by the University of Rochester and $11 million for a new Network for Neutrinos, Nuclear Astrophysics, and Symmetries (N3AS) at University of California, Berkeley.

CMAP is billed as NSF’s first major initiative in high energy density science and will use high-power lasers, pulsed power, and advanced x-ray technology to explore the properties of matter at “pressures strong enough to change the nature of atoms themselves.”

N3AS will leverage capabilities at the nearby Lawrence Berkeley National Lab to model the merger of neutron stars, allowing scientists to address major questions in multi-messenger astrophysics. Last week NSF also granted a five year extension to the Center for Theoretical Biological Physics, a Physics Frontiers Center established in 2001 at the University of California, San Diego that is now hosted by Rice University. NSF now supports eleven Physics Frontier Centers, which aim to foster transformational research advances by providing resources not available to smaller research groups.