Fermilab Today Thursday, June 7, 2007

Steering Group develops roadmap drafts for Fermilab

Fermilab Deputy Director Young-Kee Kim spoke about Fermilab's current experiments and the lab's roadmap to the future at the 2007 annual Users' meeting Wednesday.

The successes of the past year and planning for the future were the focus of Deputy Director Young-Kee Kim’s talk yesterday at the 2007 Users’ meeting. “It has been an extraordinary year. We expect much more in the near future,” she said, summarizing the wealth of results that Fermilab users published in the areas of collider physics, neutrino physics and particle astrophysics in the past year.

Her main focus, however, was the future of the lab. Since the ILC is likely to move much more slowly along than its technically-limited schedule, it is important to develop a roadmap for the U.S. accelerator-based physics program at Fermilab that provides opportunity for discovery over a possibly extended period. Constructing such a roadmap is no small task as the roadmap must allow for the construction of the ILC as early as possible. In March, Director Oddone appointed Kim as the chair of the Fermilab Steering Group,whose members are developing drafts of such a roadmap. The Steering Group will submit its report to the director by August 1.

“To make a decision on the ILC in 2010, several things must come together,” said Kim. She listed items that need to precede the decision, including discoveries that will be made at the LHC, the agreements that need to be reached among all three regions pursuing the ILC, and the selection of the construction site.

It is possible that the ILC decision will be made closer to the middle of the next decade. “We don’t know the time scale of when the decision will be made. And we don’t know the outcome of the decision,” she said. “That’s why our director has formed the Steering Group.”

Kim explained that the Steering Group does not plan to repeat the studies carried out by the EPP2010 and the P5 panels, which set priorities for U.S. particle physics research within a global context, listing the LHC and the ILC as top priorities. Instead, the Steering Group will focus on additional opportunities that could be realized by either using a facility synergistic with the ILC or restructuring the existing accelerator complex. That’s one of the reasons why the Steering Group has many accelerator physicists. In addition, the Fermilab roadmap must not interfere with the ILC. “The ILC is the highest priority,” said Kim.

The Steering Group has held weekly phone meetings and has formed five subgroups that study details of physics opportunities and facility feasibilities. In her talk, Kim showed one of possible roadmap examples in which ILC cryomodules produced as part of the ILC industrialization process could be used to build a 6-GeV Linac that would be part of a high-intensity proton source.

At a Town Hall meeting following her talk, Kim, Director Pier Oddone and DOE’s Robin Staffin discussed the plans of the Steering Group with more than 100 scientists. “If we are going to rearrange the accelerator complex, we need to understand what the physics opportunities are,” said Oddone. “There is a large number of constraints.”

Several scientists already have submitted proposals to the Steering Group. At the Town Hall meeting, Dan Kaplan, IIT, encouraged his colleagues to think about his proposal. “Fermilab has the world’s best antiproton source,” he said. “What could we do with that?”

Kim pointed out that the Steering Group has been collecting ideas for new experiments from the community, and physics cases and accelerator facilities required will be included in developing a roadmap.

The goal is to identify projects with great scientific merits and small cost that could be started after the shutdown of the Tevatron. “To affect the budget in 2010, we need to have the ideas in place by next spring,” Oddone said.

More information on the Steering Group is here.

-- Kurt Riesselmann

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