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Published March 9, 2020 | Submitted
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Astro2020 APC White Paper: Theoretical Astrophysics 2020-2030


The past two decades have seen a tremendous investment in observational facilities that promise to reveal new and unprecedented discoveries about the universe. In comparison, the investment in theoretical work is completely dwarfed, even though theory plays a crucial role in the interpretation of these observations, predicting new types of phenomena, and informing observing strategies. In this white paper, we argue that in order to reach the promised critical breakthroughs in astrophysics over the next decade and well beyond, the national agencies must take a serious approach to investment in theoretical astrophysics research. We discuss the role of theory in shaping our understanding of the universe, and then we provide a multi-level strategy, from the grassroots to the national, to address the current underinvestment in theory relative to observational work.

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August 19, 2023
March 5, 2024