Ideas Lab: Measuring "Big G" Challenge

The summary for the Ideas Lab: Measuring "Big G" Challenge grant is detailed below. This summary states who is eligible for the grant, how much grant money will be awarded, current and past deadlines, Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) numbers, and a sampling of similar government grants. Verify the accuracy of the data provides by visiting the webpage noted in the Link to Full Announcement section or by contacting the appropriate person listed as the Grant Announcement Contact. If any section is incomplete, please visit the website for the National Science Foundation, which is the U.S. government agency offering this grant.
Ideas Lab: Measuring "Big G" Challenge: The gravitational constant, G, describes the strength of gravitation, the weakest of the four fundamental interactions in nature. Although several hundred measurements of this constant have been performed over the last two and a quarter centuries, recent experiments differ by as much as 0.05%, about 40 times the uncertainty of the most precise experiment.

Motivations to resolve the current discrepancy with better measurements are two-fold. First, the search for a theory that unifies gravitation with quantum electrodynamics is an active area of research. Such a theory may be able to predict the value of G, and an experimental result may become important to test such theories. Second, understanding the subtleties involved in precisely and absolutely measuring a small force is important for many fields of physics and metrology, including the Casimir effect, spring constants of atomic force microscopy (AFM) cantilever, intermolecular forces in DNA.

This solicitation describes an Ideas Lab on "Measuring Big G" Ideas Labs are intensive meetings focused on finding innovative solutions to grand challenge problems. The ultimate aim of this Ideas Lab organized by the Physics Division of the Mathematical and Physical Sciences Directorate at the National Science Foundation (NSF), in collaboration with experts in the field, is to facilitate the development of new experiments designed to measure Newton’s gravitational constant G with relative uncertainties approaching or surpassing one part in 100,000. The aspiration is that mixing researchers from diverse scientific backgrounds will engender fresh thinking and innovative approaches that will provide a fertile ground for new ideas on how to measure G that can be used to validate and extend current calculations. US researchers may submit preliminary proposals for participation in the Ideas Lab only via FastLane. The goal is to develop multidisciplinary ideas that eventually will be submitted as full proposals.
Federal Grant Title: Ideas Lab: Measuring "Big G" Challenge
Federal Agency Name: National Science Foundation
Grant Categories: Science and Technology
Type of Opportunity: Discretionary
Funding Opportunity Number: 16-520
Type of Funding: Grant
CFDA Numbers: 47.049
CFDA Descriptions: Mathematical and Physical Sciences
Current Application Deadline: Oct 26, 2016
Original Application Deadline: Oct 26, 2016
Posted Date: Dec 12, 2015
Creation Date: Dec 12, 2015
Archive Date: Nov 25, 2016
Total Program Funding: $2,000,000
Maximum Federal Grant Award: none
Minimum Federal Grant Award: none
Expected Number of Awards: 5
Cost Sharing or Matching: No
Applicants Eligible for this Grant
Unrestricted (i.e., open to any type of entity above), subject to any clarification in text field entitled "Additional Information on Eligibility"
Link to Full Grant Announcement
NSF Publication 16-520
Grant Announcement Contact
NSF support
If you have any problems linking to this funding announcement, please contact

National Science Foundation 703-292-4261
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