The Templeton Foundation founder greatly admired scientific methods, and staunchly advocated the widest possible application of rigorous scientific methods inside the sciences and well beyond. He was sometimes known as a contrarian, in part because he insisted that scientific methods should be applied where it is not normal to do so. Consistent with his approach, this proposal is for a sub-grant program to enable researchers to use small-scale scientific measurements to test the most fundamental and widely held assumptions of modern physics. Most scientists simply accept the community assumptions without testing them. Those who do test mostly assume that this can be done only with large and expensive international facilities that may soon be extinct due to their billions-of-dollars cost and decades-long completion times.
Awarded sub-grants will stimulate and enable researchers to use rigorous scientific methods with innovative small-scale apparatus to probe the fundamental particles, interactions and symmetries of modern physics and particle astrophysics. Both the foundations of so-called “standard model” description and attempts to formulate elegant mathematical descriptions that go “beyond the standard model” will be tested at a wide range of qualified institutions. There are no bigger or more fundamental questions in all of physics and all of science.
As a community service, Northwestern's Center for Fundamental Physics (CFP) will advertise the opportunity, set guidelines, obtain expert reviews, facilitate the selection committee process, monitor outcomes, and publicize outcomes. The CFP was established to be a world leader in carrying out small-scale physics measurements that seek to answer the most fundamental big questions. It uniquely has the expertise and the staff to carry out this program. The CFP and knowledgeable external authorities will ensure that sub-grants are crucial to proposed measurements and are also highly leveraged.