CERCA is a center for the advancement and promotion of the scientific understanding of the origin and evolution of the Universe and its contents, and their connection to fundamental physics.

The Center connects scientists and educators in the Departments of Physics and Astronomy and at the Shafran Planetarium of the Cleveland Museum of Natural history. It draws together theoretical and experimental physicists and astrophysicists with observational astronomers to explore the cosmos, and together with partner educators to communicate their excitement and knowledge to students and to the world at large.

CERCA is also a partner in the Institute for the Science of Origins, a partnership of CWRU, CMNH and idea stream to advance and promote knowledge in a wide range of origins sciences.

CERCA scientists have and continue to play leading roles in the search for the dark matter and dark energy that appear to fill our galaxy and the universe beyond. Others are predicting the signals in gravity wave detectors from the early universe; measuring the finest details of the cosmic microwave background to ascertain the contents and dynamics of the universe and to explore the properties of galaxy clusters; understanding the formation and properties of black holes; building and operating the largest cosmic ray detectors on the planet to study the collision with our atmosphere of the very highest energy cosmic rays; and exploring other dimensions.