Overview of the KICP
Cosmological discoveries over the past two decades have had an impact on both astronomy and physics. For example, we have found that the Universe is a giant particle accelerator, which enables particles to have energies that are 30 million times higher than those found in terrestrial accelerators. Another area where physics and astronomy are intertwined is in understanding "dark matter". The Universe contains large amounts of "dark matter" which scientists feel is made of a particle that is yet to be discovered. The origin of structure in the Universe such as galaxies and clusters of galaxies is believed to have happened through sub-atomic quantum fluctuations, whose ripples we see as tiny fluctuations in the temperature of cosmic microwave background across the sky.
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 Frontiers Centers (PFC) 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 (KICP). This endowment has made this research institute devoted to interdisciplinary cosmological physics a permanent entity at the University of Chicago.
There are a number of profound questions that form the primary scientific focus of the Institute:
To attempt to answer these questions a variety of experimental work is being carried out at the Institute that comes under the purview of eight research-focused major activities (MAs), five of which are supported by the KICP's Physics Frontier Center (Inflation, Dark Energy, Dark Matter, Detector Development, and Computational Cosmology) and three which are supported by external funding and the institute's endowment: High Energy Particles from Space, Observational Cosmology, and Relativity. The institute and its PFC support three additional, non-research focused major activities: Fellows; Conferences Workshops, and Visitor; and Education, Outreach, and Diversity. A brief description of these themes of the Institute are given here. To find out more about them, kindly refer to our research pages.
High Energy Particles from Space
Education, Outreach, and Diversity
Conferences, Workshops, and Visitors
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.