Fundamental Physics

Artist's concept of a magneto-optical trap and atom chip to be used by NASA's Cold Atom Laboratory (CAL) aboard the International Space Station (ISS).
Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Space Optical/Atomic Clock | Quantum Test of Equivalence Principle | Cold Atom Physics | Critical Point Phenomena | Dusty Plasmas

The Fundamental Physics Discipline performs carefully designed research in space that advances our understanding of physical laws, nature's organizing principles, and how these laws and principles can be manipulated by scientists and technologies to benefit humanity on Earth and in space. NASA is developing a world-class caliber cold atom laboratory for the International Space Station that will allow scientists to study the behavior of atoms within some ten trillionths of a degree of absolute zero. NASA is also collaborating closely with European scientists and the European Space Agency in studies of an Atomic Clock Ensemble in space, on critical phenomena research aboard the CNES DECLIC-ALI facility, and in future experiments aimed at such wide-ranging fields as studies of complex plasmas in space and quantum test of the equivalence principle.


Check out the recent publications from participating NASA scientists, Principal Investigators, and contributors from universities and labs around the world:

Carollo, R.A., Aveline, D.C., Rhyno, B. et al. Observation of ultracold atomic bubbles in orbital microgravity. Nature, 606, 281-286 (2022).