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PHY Facilities and Centers

The PHY Division supports the following facilities and centers:

Physics Frontiers Centers (PFCs).

Facilities:

Science & Technology Center:

Theoretical Institutes:

Nanoscale Science and Engineering Centers:

Facilities:

The National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory (NSCL) at Michigan State University. Experimental nuclear physics studies using medium-energy heavy ions, especially radioactive beams, to investigate nuclear structure far off the stability line, and nuclear matter at extreme temperature and densities. There is also emphasis on development of superconducting accelerator technology.

The Laser Interferometer Gravity Wave Observatory (LIGO)
Direct detection of gravitational radiation to test the predictions of general relativity, subsequently using these observations as a probe of dark matter, black holes, neutron stars, and other exotic phenomena in the universe that are not seen via the electromagnetic spectrum. Construction of the two LIGO detectors at sites in Hanford, Washington and Livingston, Louisiana is complete. The accompanying R&D program of the LIGO Scientific Collaboration (LSC) is focused on AdvLIGO with substantially upgraded capability.

LArge Plasma Device (LAPD) at the University of California at Los Angeles. Co-funded by the NSF and the Department of Energy (DOE), this Basic Plasma Science Facility is the only general user facility for fundamentamental plasma physics in the world. A large plasma column, coupled with extensive diagnostics, offers users the possibility to investigate fundamental plasma phenomena in unprecedented detail.

The IceCube Neutrino Observatory, a particle telescope recently (December 2010) completed (composed of 86 strings buried into the ice) at the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station, will search for very high energy neutrinos from the most violent astrophysical sources: events like exploding stars, gamma ray bursts, and cataclysmic phenomena involving black holes and neutron stars. IceCube, encompassing a cubic kilometer of ice, is a powerful tool to search for dark matter, and could reveal the new physical processes associated with the enigmatic origin of the highest energy particles in nature. The operations, maintenance and research funding is provided jointly by PHY and OPP (the Office of Polar Programs).

Science & Technology Center:

Center for Biophotonics Science and Technology (CBST) at the University of California at Davis. The center brings together scientists, industry, educators and the community to research and develop applications for biophotonics -- the science of using light to understand the inner workings of cells and tissues in living organisms.

Theoretical Institutes:

The Institute for Theoretical Atomic and Molecular Physics (ITAMP) at the Harvard/Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
Theoretical studies of atomic, molecular and optical physics via long-term visitor's programs, postdoctoral fellowships, and graduate education.

The Aspen Center for Physics
Summer study institute focusing mainly on elementary particle physics and astrophysics. Jointly sponsored with the Division of Astronomical Sciences.

The Santa Fe Institute (SFI)
Collaborative theoretical studies of a broad range of multidisciplinary complex systems through long-term and short-term visitor programs, postdoctoral fellowships, graduate and undergraduate research internships, and a summer school. Jointly sponsored with the Directorates for Biological Sciences, Computer and Information Science and Engineering, and Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences.

The e-Print Archive
An on-line electronic archive of preprints in theoretical and experimental physics, as well as many other disciplines.


Nanoscale Science and Engineering Centers:

Science of Nanoscale Systems and Their Device Applications A collaboration among Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the University of California at Santa Barbara, and the Museum of Science Boston, this center combines "top down" and "bottom up" approaches to construct novel electronic and magnetic devices with nanoscale sizes and understand their behavior, including quantum phenomena.

Center for Probing the Nanoscale A collaboration between Stanford University and IBM Corporation, this center focuses on the development of novel probes that dramatically improve our capability to observe, manipulate, and control nanoscale objects and phenomena and the application of these probes to answer fundamental questions in science.