The three themes of N3AS are
- Neutrino Physics: Beyond-the-standard model (BSM) physics of neutrinos, including their mixing phenomena on earth and in extreme astrophysical environments; the absolute mass scale and the eigenstate behavior under particle-antiparticle conjugation, and the implication of mass and lepton number violation for cosmological evolution; and the relevance of neutrinos to astrophysics both in transporting energy and lepton number, and as a probe of the otherwise hidden physics that governs the cores of stars and compact objects.
- Dense Matter: The recent start of Advanced LIGO Run 1 could well lead to the observation of the gravitational wave signatures from neutron star (NS) mergers by the end of the decade. This follows the observation of a NS of nearly two solar masses by Shapiro delay, and of “black-widow” systems hinting of even higher masses. Current and anticipated observations provide unprecedented opportunities to determine nuclear matter properties at densities and isospins not otherwise reachable, and to relate them to those we measure in laboratory nuclei.
- Dark Matter: Definitive evidence that dark matter (DM) dominates our universe is the second demonstration of BSM physics. Nuclear physics can play an important role in this field by helping direct-detection experimenters understand the variety and nature of the possible responses of their nuclear targets, by connecting the stellar processes we study to the feedback mechanisms that can alter galactic structure, and by contributing to the understanding of composite dark matter in cases where lattice QCD methods are relevant.
The inner space/outer space/cyber space theme of N3AS reflects the connections that can be made between laboratory tests of fundamental symmetries (inner space) and astrophysical observables (outer space), by exploiting sophisticated numerical modeling (cyber space).