Research Aims to Advance Understanding of the Universe

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Office of Science announced a plan to provide $100 million over the next four years for university-based research on a range of high energy physics topics through a new funding opportunity announcement (FOA). The objective of this funding is to advance knowledge of how the universe works at its most fundamental level.

“High energy physics plays a role in many major innovations of the 21st century. America must keep its competitive edge, which is why we’re investing in the scientists and engineers advancing basic physical science today to drive the new breakthroughs of tomorrow,” said Dr. Steve Binkley, Acting Director of DOE’s Office of Science. “The Department of Energy is proud to be the nation’s largest funder of physical sciences, leading to life-changing and lifesaving technologies and solutions.”

High energy physics (HEP) is a cornerstone of America’s scientific efforts to uncover foundational physics from tiny particle to massive universal scales. HEP also plays a major role in nurturing and inspiring top scientific talent and building and sustaining the nation’s scientific workforce. DOE anticipates that the selected projects will involve scientists at U.S. institutions of higher learning across the nation and include both experimental and theoretical research into such topics as the Higgs boson, neutrinos, dark matter, dark energy, and the search for new fundamental particles and forces.

Funding will support research and experiments that explore the frontiers of high energy physics, which require some of the world’s most advanced instruments. The Muon g-2 experiment at DOE’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory is searching for signs of physics beyond the standard model, scientists’ current best theory to describe the most basic building blocks of the universe. The nature of dark energy and its role in the expansion of the universe are being explored with the DESI experiment at Kitt Peak National Observatory. The LZ (LUX-ZEPLIN) experiment one mile below the Black Hills of South Dakota is searching for dark matter, which accounts for five times as much of the universe as ordinary matter. Studies of the Higgs boson and searches for new particles and forces are being performed at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider.

Other projects are aimed at further developments in particle physics theory, advanced particle accelerators, and new detector technologies, which scientists will use in continued explorations of the subatomic world.

Total funding will be approximately $100 million for awards lasting up to four years in duration. The awards will be selected by competitive peer review.  More details about the DOE Funding Opportunity Announcement “FY 2022 Research Opportunities in High Energy Physics”, sponsored by the Office of High Energy Physics within the DOE Office of Science, can be found here.