Overview of the KICP
These and other discoveries show that physics at the smallest scale - interactions of the quarks and leptons - is intimately connected with the largest scale - the constitution and birth of the cosmos itself. The Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics is at the forefront of research that exploits these connections. It is committed to the development of innovative approaches that combine both physics and astronomy to further our understanding of the birth and earliest evolution of the Universe. The KICP was founded in August 2001 as one of the National Science Foundation's Physics Frontier Centers and was originally named the Center for Cosmological Physics at the University of Chicago. On March 10th 2004, following a generous endowment from the Kavli Foundation the CfCP was renamed the Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics. This generous endowment has made this research institute devoted to interdisciplinary cosmological physics a permanent entity at the University of Chicago.
There are three profound questions that form the primary scientific focus of the Institute:
Structures in the Universe
Cosmic Background Radiations
The research in this area focuses on three experiments that study the cosmic microwave and cosmic infra-red backgrounds. CAPMAP is an experiment that will look for polarization anisotropies in the cosmic microwave background. While the EDGE balloon experiment, which is still in the planning phase, will study the cosmic infra-red background. In 2004 the KICP has become involved in the development of the QUIET experiment, which is another experiment to look for polarization anisotropies in the CMB.
Particles from Space
This area covers a wide range of investigations relating models of fundamental physics to cosmological phenomena. The issues being addressed are tightly interwoven with each other and with the experimental programs of the Institute. In addition to the science questions mentioned above, the theoretical work includes models of dark matter, the evolution of large-scale structure, the nature of spacetime on small scale and related issues.
The KICP also serves the community at large through the following programs: (a) It has an associates and affiliates program to allow researchers both in the Chicago area and elsewhere to become a part of the KICP and to contribute to its activities. (b) The KICP has a very active visitor and seminar program and organizes workshops and symposia on topical issues every few months (c) There is wide-ranging education and outreach program that enables K-12 students, school teachers and planetarium educators and the general public to learn about cosmology.
We welcome you explore our web site further to discover more about the Institute and what the latest research in cosmology is unearthing about our Universe.