MPS Planning A Living Document
MPS MISSION STATEMENT • To make discoveries about the Universe and the laws that govern it; to create new knowledge, materials, and instruments which promote progress across science and engineering; to prepare the next generation of scientists through research, and to share the excitement of exploring the unknown with the nation.
SCIENTIFIC THEMES • Charting the evolution of the Universe from the Big Bang to habitable planets and beyond • Understanding the fundamental nature of space, time, matter, and energy • Creating the molecules and materials that will transform the 21st century • Developing tools for discovery and innovation throughout science and engineering • Understanding how microscopic processes enable and shape the complex behavior of the living world • Discovering mathematical structures and promoting new connections between mathematics and the sciences • Conducting basic research that provides the foundation for our national health, prosperity, and security
Beyond the Scientific Themes • MPS Divisions and Priority Areas • Facilities and Mid-Scale Projects • Preparing the Next Generation • Cyberscience and Cyberinfrastructure • Connections
Issues for Discussion • Setting Priorities • Across scientific themes • Within scientific themes • Cross-cutting emphases • Modes • Of Support: IIA, groups, centers, facilities, instrumentation, workshops • Of Partnering: funding, co-funding, brokering • Appropriate attention to • The details; the big picture • The near term; the long term • Connecting the above • To the MPS division structure • To the NSF context
Charting the Evolution of the Universe From the Big Bang to Habitable Planets and Beyond
Where We Are • Science is at a critical point in the effort to understand how the Universe came to be and where the arrow of time points for its future. We have measured the fingerprint of the Big Bang left in the cosmic microwave background. We have begun to understand how that fingerprint grew to the vast structures of today’s Universe. We have found over 100 planets orbiting other stars. Our study of stellar evolution and nucleosynthesis shows that the chemical elements in the planets and in ourselves have a much simpler beginning at the dawn of time itself. Yet the success of our quest has revealed profound gaps in our basic understanding of the nature of matter and energy. The matter that we see in the stars accounts for less than a quarter of the matter that must be present. And the evolution of the universe, and its ultimate destiny, are ruled not by mass, but by a “dark energy” we cannot explain. To understand these puzzles we must unite astronomy and particle physics. We are now poised to search for the constituents of dark matter in the quiet environment of deep underground laboratories; to follow the growth of structure through a cosmic census that will dwarf the output of all previous surveys; to construct telescopes that will trace the seeds of structure spawned by gravity waves less than 300,000 years after the Big Bang; and to undertake experiments that will probe the most elementary particles and the forces that rule them. We are poised to connect quarks with the cosmos.
Where We Are Going:The Big Questions • What is dark matter made of? • Why is the expansion of the Universe speeding up and what is the destiny of our Universe? • Did the Universe begin in a burst of inflationary expansion? • How and where did the chemical elements form and how has the composition of the Universe evolved? • How did planetary systems form and how common are habitable planets? • When and where did the first stars form, and what were they like? • How did galaxies form and how are they evolving?
Connections to the Broader Framework • Primary Divisions: AST, PHY • Relevant Priority Areas: ITR, Math • Facilities and Related Activities • Current: ALMA, Adaptive Optics; LIGO • Future: LSST, ACT, GSMT, Underground Lab, AdvLIGO • Workforce • Excites interest in science and engineering • Needs instrumentation, adaptive optics people • Cyberscience/Cyberinfrastructure • Virtual observatory; remote observation • Imaging, pattern matching • Modeling and simulation • Connections • NASA, DOE, International
Issues • Most approaches to this area require major facilities • How do we take advantage of current facilities to do new types of science? • What are our priorities for new facilities? • How do we nurture R&D for future facilities? • How do we plan for operations in the future? • How can we best invest in these opportunities in the near term, if the facilities do not come online for 5-10 years? • Right now, the relevant community is fairly small. Should it grow? How?
Where We Are • A central goal of human inquiry has been to understand the fundamental constituents of the physical world around us, and the basic physical forces and laws that govern our lives. Over the last century, a monumental intellectual synthesis has produced the standard model of particle physics, with its quarks, leptons, bosons, and so on. Yet we know that the present picture is seriously flawed. For example, astronomers have now convinced us that it does not account for the vast majority of the mass and energy of the universe. A number of new theories have been put forward to enable us to close the chapter on the Standard Model and to open a new chapter that revolutionizes our understanding of the fundamental nature of space, time, matter, and energy. Concepts like dark matter, dark energy, extra spatial dimensions, and supersymmetry challenge the limits of our understanding. A host of discovery experiments are being deployed to provide solid evidence of the new physics. These include searches for new fundamental particles and laws in high energy particle colliders, gravitational wave detectors, dark matter searches, measurements of rare processes in new sensitivity regimes, cosmic ray observatories, and more. A radically new fundamental picture of the universe and the nature of space, time, matter, and energy lies just ahead.
Where We Are Going:The Big Questions • Did Einstein have the final word on gravity? • What is the full set of nature’s building blocks? • How many space-time dimensions are there and did they emerge from something more fundamental? • What are the emergent phenomena in matter at the quantum level? • Is there a single, unified force and how is it described? • What happens to space time when two black holes collide? • What are Nature’s highest energy particles and how were they accelerated? • What are the yet, undiscovered phases of matter?
Connections to the Broader Framework • Primary Divisions: PHY, AST • Relevant Priority Areas: ITR, MATH, NANO • Facilities and Related Activities • Current: LIGO • Future: LHC, ICECUBE, RSVP, Advanced LIGO, Underground Lab • Workforce • Excites interest in science • Large collaborations can involve students at many levels, but may take years to obtain results • Cyberscience/Cyberinfrastructure • GRID Technology • Detecting rare events in mountains of data • Modeling and simulation • Connections: DOE, NASA, International
Issues • Most approaches to this area require major facilities • How do we take advantage of current facilities to do new types of science? • What are our priorities for new facilities? • How do we nurture R&D for future facilities? • How do we plan for operations in the future? • How can we best invest in these opportunities in the near term, if the facilities do not come online for 5-10 years? • How do we ensure that young people in this area can make appropriate progress toward degrees?
Creating Molecules and Materials that will Transform the 21st Century “Perhaps what is most significant about materials research throughout its history is that… it tended to be a major limiting factor in determining the rate at which civilization could advance” - Frederick Seitz
Where We Are • How can we create new molecules and materials, and understand, predict and control the associated electronic, magnetic, optical, chemical and mechanical properties and behavior that make them useful? Today, unprecedented computational capability is converging with the development of sophisticated instruments for atomic and molecular manipulation and control, and with increasingly precise and effective techniques for fabrication and characterization of molecules and materials, to provide unique opportunities and challenges for answering this question. We are beginning to learn from and mimic nature so as to introduce new levels of hierarchical complexity that produce fundamentally different materials properties on the macro-scale. We are beginning to develop bottom-up processes through self-assembly or guided assembly to build functional molecules and materials reliably from the atomic and molecular level on up. And we see the importance of understanding and exploiting emergent phenomena in complex systems ranging from superconductors to electronic and photonic materials, catalysts, biological structures and soft-matter systems. Attacking these and similar fundamental challenges will also stimulate rapid technological change, with the potential for profound impact on society. The results will ultimately be critical to better health care, improved computers and communications, efficient manufacturing, sustainable civil infrastructure and transportation, affordable energy, effective environmental protection and remediation, and increased national security.
Where We Are Going:The Big Questions • What new materials can we create by learning from and imitating nature? • How do we design and build new materials and molecules atom by atom? • How can we bridge across length and time scales from atoms and molecules to complex structures and devices? • How do we design and produce functional molecules and materials from first principles? • What are the keys to predictive understanding and control of weak molecular interactions? • Can we build molecular electronics and other devices to keep Moore's law valid?
Connections to the Broader Framework • Primary Divisions: DMR, CHE, PHY • Relevant Priority Areas: NANO, ITR, MATH • Facilities and Related Activities • Current: NHMFL, Beam Lines • Future: Neutron beam lines; Xray sources • Workforce • Requires interdisciplinary training approaches • Instrumentation, measurement expertise • Broadly supportive of S&E workforce development • Cyberscience/Cyberinfrastructure • Modeling and simulation • National Nanofabrication Network • Connections: ENG, BIO, CISE, DOE, NASA, Defense, NIST, international
Issues • What is the role of facilities and midscale infrastructure? • How do we take advantage of current capabilities to do new types of science? • What are our priorities for new infrastructure? • How do we nurture R&D for future capabilities? • How do we plan for operations in the future? • How do we strengthen and broaden the workforce in order to make the connection between basic research and national need? • How do we set priorities within the portfolio? • What is the role of NANO relative to other activities in the portfolio?
Developing Tools for Discovery and Innovation throughoutScience and Engineering
Where We Are • How do we see what is too small, too faint, or out of view of our human senses? How do we take in the very large or the very small in space or time when we have no point of reference? How do we measure strength, toughness, resiliency and other characteristics of materials? MPS fosters development of tools ranging from the bench top to multi-user facilities serving hundreds or thousands of researchers. These instruments open new windows into the universe, and they probe the fundamental particles of matter and the molecules and materials of modern technology. Tools developed through MPS support provide the capability for measurements of unprecedented sensitivity and range. New microscopes, light sources and neutron sources, high magnetic fields and novel spectroscopies, lasers that make it possible to manipulate individual atoms, a new generation of telescopes and instrumentation that allows astronomers to look outward in space and backward in time to the earliest epochs of galaxy formation – these are examples of the cutting edge. In addition, scientists are poised to detect gravitational waves, and U.S. physicists will participate in international particle physics experiments at the highest energy frontier with detectors they developed. • Two key areas provide new opportunities. The massive amounts of data generated from telescopes and detectors provide impetus for development of cyberinfrastructure and software such as grid computing and virtual observatories. At the other end of the scale, miniaturization will enable new approaches for biological and robotic applications and the exploration of new phenomena in materials.
Where We Are Going:The Big Questions • How do we image and control individual atoms and molecules in 3 dimensions • How do we develop coherent x-ray light sources? • What are the limits to miniaturizing sensors and other detectors? • How do we create self-assembling systems at the nano-scale? • How do we build detectors for new regimes -- high energy, short distances, ultra weak forces, rare events, and short time scales?
Connections to the Broader Framework • Primary Divisions: AST, CHE, DMR, PHY • Relevant Priority Areas: ITR, NANO, BE • Facilities and Related Activities • Facilities made up of tools • New tools may trigger new facilities • Workforce • Broad need for experts in measurement and instrumentation development, but generally not viewed as high priority at institutions, in disciplines • Need for support personnel to keep tools working • Cyberscience/Cyberinfrastructure • Tool for advancing MPS and other S&E disciplines • Connections: Everywhere
Issues • Increasing cost for development of tools competes with active research programs • Frequently, biggest beneficiaries are not in field where the tool is developed or maintained • How do we turn the need for experts in measurement and instrumentation into an action plan for generating them? • Shaping the portfolio • Role of major facilities • Role of mid-scale activities • Reducing instrument costs for individual investigators and small groups • Enabling broad use of instrumentation in education
Understanding How Microscopic Processes Enable and Shape the Complex Processes of the Living World
Where We Are • Mathematical and physical scientists are critical to understanding the origins of life and the processes that enable our continued existence. What are plausible scenarios for spontaneous organization of a mixture of chemicals into ordered, self-replicating systems such as living cells? How do physiological processes such as breathing and thinking emerge out of complex, coupled arrays of individual reactions? Through the tools of the physical sciences, we now know answers to some of the “what” questions – the sequence of genomes, the constituents of cells, the sectors of the brain’s neural pathways that fire in particular circumstances, and many others. With new capabilities at the micro- and nanoscales, we are now poised to make progress on the physical and chemical bases for “how” and “why.” We can explore the 3-dimensional properties of individual molecules (including protein folding), how numerous individually-weak bonds affect interactions, the spatial distribution of intracellular proteins, the dependence on the physical and chemical environment in the aggregation of cells, and the role of dynamics in function. We can now make the measurements of many dynamic functions simultaneously in a non-intrusive manner, enabling direct observation of physical and chemical processes. We have the tools for modeling, visualization, and comparison that are critical to understanding biological systems well enough to build predictive capabilities. Mastery of the dynamics of molecular complexity in living systems will enable us to answer fundamental questions and create functional systems and technologies with great societal impact.
The Big Questions • How do proteins fold and membranes work? • What are the fundamental chemical processes that underlie environmental and climate change? • How does nature make proteins? • What are the molecular origins of the emergent behavior that underlies life processes from heartbeats and circadian rhythms to neurological activity? • How can we make chemistry greener? • How do biological systems assemble themselves? • How did the first biologically relevant molecules form and how did they organize into self-replicating cells? • What can the laboratory of the living world tell us about emergent behavior in complex systems?
Connections to the Broader Framework • Primary Divisions: CHE, DMR, DMS, PHY • Relevant Priority Areas: BE, MATH, NANO • Facilities and Related Activities • Current: NHMFL, CHESS • Future: ERL, XFEL, SNS Beam Lines • Workforce • Requires training in interdisciplinary areas • Potential for major impact on undergraduate science and on diversity because of number of students in life sciences • Cyberscience/Cyberinfrastructure • Modeling and simulation of complex processes • Databases for proteins, genomes, etc. • Imaging, pattern matching, etc. • Connections: BIO, CISE, ENG, DOE, NIH, international
Issues • How do we ensure that there is synergy? • Physical sciences use living world as laboratory. • Life sciences benefit from ideas, tools, trained people in MPS fields. • How do we partner effectively? • NSF/BIO has limited scope • NIH funding swamps NSF funding and could distort efforts in physical sciences • What is the potential impact on MPS disciplines of the large number of undergraduates in the life sciences • To influence the nature of introductory courses • To influence the nature of advanced courses • To generate undergraduate research opportunities • To enhance numbers of majors in MPS disciplines
Discovering Mathematical Structures and Promoting New Connections between Mathematics and the Sciences
Where We Are • The physical world as we know it is a messy place. The road to making discoveries about that world and the laws that govern it passes through a process of abstraction – making simplifying assumptions and developing theories. Mathematics is the language of science and our foundation for developing the theories that lead to understanding nature. Deep relationships between the abstract structures of mathematics often reveal new connections in the physical world. Conversely, theories of the physical world can sometimes suggest unexpected relationships between abstract mathematical structures in algebraic, geometric, analytic, and probabilistic or statistical realms. This synergy between the physical and the abstract is central to the relationship between the mathematical sciences and other disciplines. For example, seemingly disconnected issues such as structures in string theory and patterns in high dimensional data lead to similar questions about computing the topology and geometry of spaces based on limited information. Computational capabilities have provided the mathematical sciences with new opportunities to experiment and to find sometimes-elegant ways to describe very messy behavior. We are now able to approach questions related to complex nonlinear phenomena, multiscale systems, and uncertainty, stochasticity and error propagation critical to making progress both in describing abstract mathematical structures and in linking such structures to physical problems.
Where We Are Going:The Big Questions • How can uncertainty be quantified and controlled? • How does complexity emerge in systems governed by simple rules? • Which mathematical structures best describe multi-scale phenomena? • How can we describe self-organizing systems mathematically? • How can large, heterogeneous datasets be mined for information? • What is the connection between simple questions about the integers and complex behavior in physical and computational systems?
Connections to the Broader Framework • Primary Divisions: DMS, theoretical aspects of all others • Relevant Priority Areas: MATH, all others • Facilities: Seldom an issue • Workforce • Mathematics is a key underpinning for work in all areas of science and engineering • Opportunity to reach a very broad range of students • Cyberscience/Cyberinfrastructure • Underpinning for modeling and simulation • Estimates of uncertainty • Algorithm development • Pattern matching, data mining • Connections: all NSF; NIH, DOE, DARPA
Issues • Connection with the MATH priority area • Conveying the excitement of discovering new mathematical structures • Extent to which undergraduate education in mathematical sciences conveys a sense of what mathematicians do • Balance between new discovery in mathematics and partnering with other disciplines • New modes in support of mathematical discovery
Conducting Basic Research that Provides the Foundation for Our National Health, Prosperity, & Security
Where We Are • Homeland security, combating terrorism, cybersecurity, information technology, networking, environmental sensors and monitoring, imaging, medical devices, nanoscale devices, efficient processes for manufacturing and delivery of materials and pharmaceuticals – these are among the many foci of the nation’s health, prosperity, and security. MPS-supported basic research has the potential to speak to the needs of all these aspects of our national interest, as well as many others that affect our daily lives. MPS works to see that the potential is reached by participating in government-wide activities such as the Networking and Information Technology Research and Development program and the National Nanotechnology Initiative; by partnering with other agencies and other directorates in interdisciplinary activities that speak to national needs; and by asking all participants in MPS programs to articulate the potential broader impacts of their work. Most importantly, MPS investments nurture a talented, diverse, internationally competitive and globally engaged workforce that will ensure sustained technical progress and contribute to our future quality of life. MPS programs and grantees operate in an awareness of the outstanding questions related to national health, prosperity, and security, and contribute daily to their resolution.
Where We Are Going:The Big Questions • How do we push the present performance limits of engineering materials? • How do we go beyond silicon electronics? • Can we produce a quantum computer? • Can we develop a compact sustainable energy source for widespread application? • Can we understand and control high-temperature superconductivity? • Can we develop the fundamental understanding needed to move from a fossil-fuel-based economy to a sustainable one?
Connections to the Broader Framework • Primary Divisions: all • Relevant Priority Areas: all • Facilities: • To the extent facilities push the technology envelop, all address national interests • Facilities support the basic research, rather than the national interest application • Workforce • MPS workforce key to enhancing security, prosperity, health of nation • Need well-trained citizenry that appreciates benefits of science and technology • Cyberscience/Cyberinfrastructure • Eases connection from basic research to national interest • Connections: NSF-wide, federal govt, private sector
Issues • Maintaining the balance between basic science and potential national interest • Appropriate role for MPS/NSF vis a vis other agencies • Identifying the most effective partnering modes • Funding, co-funding, brokering, workshops • Opportunities • For students to participate in projects of national interest • For technology transfer • Exploring effective modes of funding • Centers, groups, individual investigators
The CORE The Heart of What We Do
WHAT IS THE CORE? Perspectives by Division: • Individual investigators - unsolicited proposals (yes, all divisions) • Groups (mostly yes) • Centers (mixed) • Facilities (mixed) • Priority areas (mixed by division and specific PA – generally no for “fenced” funding) • Size: 50%-95% of divisional budget Other definitions: • What program officers “control” • Unfettered, discovery-driven research • What pumps the whole system • Outreach mechanisms – how we grow • What “the community wants us to protect”
WHAT ARE THE ELEMENTS OF A HEALTHY CORE? • Intellectual ferment and creativity – production of new results and breakthroughs • Strong community (students through senior investigators), influx of new talent, diversity • Ability and flexibility to respond to new and unexpected directions & to encourage emerging areas • Diversity & balance of portfolio • Encouragement of risk/involves judgment of staff To achieve the above may require new mechanisms or modalities
TYPES OF GRANTS AND SIZES NEEDED FOR A HEALTHY CORE • One size does NOT fit all! • Small grants up to facilities (>$50M) • Dependent on needs, quality, and type of project, e.g., • facility vs center vs group vs individual • “senior” vs “junior” investigator • “superstar” vs “star” vs “regular” • theory vs experiment – issue of support personnel • sizes may be discrete or a continuum, but grant sizes will be highly variable • Type and level of graduate and postdoc support varies • Typical “ideal” award levels varied by division
ISSUES • Relationship with priority areas that may • Represent or advance what we’re already doing in the core • Help to push us in new directions • Change the way a community operates (more collaboration, more centers/facilities) • Distort balance within the core • Modes of support for core activities • Role of facilities and mid-scale projects • Partnering in interdisciplinary areas • Balancing risk and likely pay-off
MPS Facilities and Related Mid-Scale Projects Instruments taking us to the frontiers of knowledge
NRAO ($55M/yr) VLA Green Bank VLBI NOAO ($41M/yr) Kitt Peak CTIO NSO NAIC (10.6M/yr) GEMINI ($13M/yr) LIGO ($33M/yr) NSCL ($15M/yr) CESR/CHESS ($23.5M/yr) CESR (through 2008) CHESS NHMFL ($25M/yr) EXISTING FACILITIES - Large
FACILITIES NRAO ($55M/yr) VLA, Green Bank; Green Bank, VLBA NOAO ($41M/yr) Kitt Peak,CTIO, US Gemini, NSO NAIC ($10.6M/yr) GEMINI ($13M/yr) LIGO ($33M/yr) NSCL ($16M/yr) CESR/CHESS ($23.5M/yr) NHMFL ($25M/yr) Mid-Scale Projects Supporting Multiple Investigators (~$23M/year total) CHRNS SRC NNIN (MPS portion) Spectroscopy Lab ChemMatCars BIMA/OVRO/CSO/ FCRAO LAPD MiniBoone Milagro HiRes CDMS II Current MPS Facilities and Related Mid-Scale Projects Facilities are us!
FACILITIES ALMA Start 2003; end 2011; $276M construction; est. $23M Ops LHC Start 1998; $ end 2003; construction complete 2008; $81M construction; Ops ramp to $25M ICECUBE Start 2004; end 2010; $250M construction; $10M MPS Ops RSVP Start planned for 2005; end 2010; $144M construction; $12M Ops Mid-Scale Projects Supporting Multiple Investigators BOREXINO ACT AUGER VERITAS SZ-ARRAY SPT LENS APPROVED OR UNDER CONSTRUCTION
Advanced LIGO $140M; 2006 eeps* Underground Lab ~$300M; 2008 eeps* Energy Recovery Linac R&D $40M; eeps* 2006 Const. $400M; eeps* 2011 X-ray-FEL R&D $15M; eeps* 2006 Const. $300M; eeps* 2009 * eeps = estimated earliest possible start Advanced Tech. Solar Telescope (ATST) $160M; 2006 eeps* Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) R&D $14M; eeps* 2005 Const. $140M; eeps* 2008 Giant Segmented Mirror Telescope (GSMT) R&D $40M; eeps* 2006 Const $900M; eeps* 2012 EVLA-II $120M; eeps* 2012 Square Kilometer Array (SKA) R&D $25M; eeps* 2006 Const. $1B; eeps* 2015 Possible New Facilities – MREFC Scale