Cosmology is intrinsically intertwined with questions in fundamental physics. The existence of non-baryonic dark matter requires new physics beyond the Standard Model of elemenatary-particle interactions and Einstein's general relativity, as does the accelerating expansion of the universe. Current tensions between various cosmological measurements may be harbingers of yet more new physics. Progress on understanding dark matter and cosmic acceleration requires long term, high-precision measurements and excellent control of systematics, demanding observational programs that are often outside the discovery/characterization mode that drives many areas of astronomy. We outline potential programs through which the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) could have a major impact on issues in fundamental physics in the coming years. To realize this impact, we suggest the introduction of a "HST Fundamental Physics" observational program that would be subject to a modified proposal and review process.
- Pub Date:
- December 2017
- Astrophysics - Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics
- Report of the HST and Fundamental Physics Working Group, constituted by STScI Director Ken Sembach to identify ways that HST could enable advances in fundamental physics