November 12 Meeting Minutes

Topic 1: Discussion on signatures of "flavor physics" letter.

There is currently a draft letter being passed around (and also is attached to this message), which opposes the draft HEPAP subpanel report on the grounds that it has a "limited vision of our (meaning flavor physics) future".

There are some in the group which don't like the idea of combining the concerns we (in the neutrino community) have with the report with those in BTeV, and some who think it's a good idea. That issue was discussed before we got to the HEPAP subpanel report itself.

Mayda Velasco pointed out that BTeV and the proton driver upgrade are comparable both in terms of time scale and cost (both are estimated at about 200M$). She pointed out that if BTeV doesn't go ahead then there might be a better chance that a proton driver upgrade (and the various physics initiatives besides even neutrino physics) would be approved.

Correction for costs: (from Kevin McFarland)

BTeV is $160M fully loaded. The 1MW proton driver is close to $300M if you use the same accounting. This doesn't include any target hall, neutrino beam, detector or computing, which are all included in the $160M of BTeV. Even with a very modest or existing detector, I expect there is at least a factor of three difference.

Steve Geer countered with the argument that in general the report dismisses anything but the linear collider. (This was later countered by Kevin but I'll get to that in the meeting minutes). He said that the if there's a report that says "we as a community could do without flavor physics efforts in this country if we DO get a linear collider", then the powers that be may react by saying "well, if you could do without flavor physics with a linear collider then you can probably do without flavor physics without a linear collider too".

At that point Kevin McFarland joined the meeting and we changed the discussion over to

Topic 2: the HEPAP subpanel report itself.

First, Kevin went over the intent of the report: the premise of the report is that a substantial majority of the community want a linear collider. Therefore it's the part of the program with the highest priority. Also, there would be no more than 1 in the world, so by definition it should be an international facility. "Third recommendation": The US should bid to host such a machine, but it should do so in a way maintains the international nature of the facility.

The second recommendation is there be a new prioritization mechanism on how to proceed with other projects (the P5 process).

Recommendation 5: protect monies for R and D for future machines
Recommendation 1: connection between particle physics and society

Mayda asked if given the events of September 11, it's very unlikely that the US could host (or afford) a linear collider. If we can't host the linear collider, then maybe it shouldn't be our first priority.

Kevin pointed out the problem with defining the debate in terms of what we can and can't "afford". He said that we don't have some pot of guaranteed money, which we have to divide up to do physics." He said that our budget is "as big as we can justify it to be" based on the physics arguments we present. (I have in my notes "we're only as good as what we can propose").

Mike Shaevitz voiced a concern that he doesn't see how Fermilab accelerator physicists can start doing linear collider R&D since accelerator physicists here have their hands full with Run II and the NUMI beamline. He worries that there's no one to work on this at Fermilab for 4 or 5 years. The question is more broad than that, though: is there a large enough accelerator physicist community worldwide who is prepared to work on this as much and as soon as implied by this report?

Maury Goodman expressed a concern with regards to the statement of what we can and cannot afford--if non-physicists are making the budget decisions, then at some level they actually DO approve a sum of money that we as a community need to divide.

Boris Kayser pointed out that at Snowmass, while people generally did seem to agree that the next big machine should be a linear collider, there was also strong sentiment that we need a diverse program, and that the linear collider should not preclude the diversity of the US HEP effort. Kevin stated that the report also expressed the importance of a diverse program, but people thought the report was not supporting diversity, reading from the nature of scenario 1, the onshore LC scenario.

We went on to talk more about how different people read the description of the two scenarios (LC offshore, LC onshore). Bob Bernstein pointed out that the frustration comes from the fact that people read the bullet about neutrino physics in the onshore scenario to mean that there would be NO neutrino physics experiments in the US if the LC were onshore. Kevin stated that this was NOT the intent of that scenario, that wasn't supposed to preclude all neutrino initiatives. It was only supposed to be an example.

Kevin then summarized the discussion by saying "it's like I'm telling you the weather and you're reading me the grocery list". and Mike said that he was concerned about the grocery list...and it seems as though most people were taking the subpanel report as a grocery list, not as a weather report.


Deborah Harris
Last modified: Thu Nov 15 15:00:08 CST 2001