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Center for the Study of the Origin and Structure of Matter

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Center for the Study of the Origin and Structure of Matter  (Hampton University)

Research Focus & Anticipated Benefits

The Center for the Study of the Origin and Structure of Matter (COSM) at Hampton University was a Physics Frontiers Center (PFC) supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF). Physics Frontiers Centers foster major advances at the intellectual frontiers of physics by providing university-based resources not usually available to individual investigators or small groups.

COSM conducted research to advance our understanding of the world through the lens of particle and nuclear physics. The Center also aimed to be a doorway for empowering a network of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU's) to participate in these highly visible science projects. Among other efforts, COSM was instrumental in creating ATLAS, one of two particle detectors now installed at the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland.

Education & Outreach

COSM built and strengthened a collaborative network of researchers at historically black colleges and universities through its research activities. COSM conducted outreach to K-12 teachers and students, and encouraged these students to pursue careers in science. The Hampton University QuarkNet Center was a collaboration of Virginia high school physics educators and Hampton University particle physicists to enable students to investigate particle physics and improve physics education at all levels. COSM also maintained outreach programs to high school science teachers in Zambia and Los Angeles.

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  • Image of dark matter
A new observation of gravitationally magnified faint galaxies far in the distance behind a massive cluster of galaxies is shedding light on the subject of dark matter. Image from Hubble Space Telescope of probable dark matter surrounding the center of CL0024+17 that has no normal matter counterpart.
Image credit: NASA, ESA, M. J. Jee and H. Ford et al. (Johns Hopkins Univ.)