Visitors from Washington
From left: Department of Energy Associate Director of Science for High Energy Physics Dennis Kovar, Office of Science Deputy Director for Science Programs Pat Dehmer, Department of Energy Office of Science Director William Brinkman, Fermmilab Deputy Director Young-Kee Kim, Fermilab Director Pier Oddone and DOE Office of Science Fermi Site Manager Joanna Livengood.
Last Thursday we had the honor of hosting DOE Office of Science Director Bill Brinkman, Deputy Director Pat Dehmer, Office of High Energy Physics Director Dennis Kovar, and Senior Advisor Steve Binkley. When we go to Washington, we can discuss many things in the abstract, but nothing beats bringing visitors to the laboratory in person, where they can see the facilities and the site and feel the enthusiasm of all who work here. Of course, Dennis Kovar owns the joint; he has been here several times and knows us well. But for the other distinguished visitors, this was their first visit, and first impressions count.
The visit took place in three chapters. Chapter 1 was a discussion of Project X. We had briefed Director Brinkman during one of our Washington visits on the power of Project X for neutrinos, especially for the Long Baseline Neutrino project This time the briefing at Fermilab covered other aspects of the Project X Intensity Frontier program: intense beams of kaons and muons at low energy allowing experiments well beyond previous efforts or those planned by other facilities in the future. The flexibility and reach we can achieve with the new ideas incorporated into Project X have generated enthusiasm at Fermilab and elsewhere, including in our Physics Advisory Committee. The next few months will be critical as we make credible designs for the experiments we dream about.
Chapter 2 was a visit to the Tevatron and CDF where the spokespeople and students from CDF and DZero explained the detector and the importance of running through 2011. The FY11 budget, currently under discussion within the administration, will determine whether or not we can run. The case for running the Tevatron is very strong, and I am optimistic that we will receive the necessary support. We hope the visit to the Tevatron will help cement the strong support by the Office of Science for this program.
Chapter 3 took place underground, where we visited the NuMI/MINOS facilities. As impressive as these on-site facilities are, they are but a small model of what is proposed for the development of the Homestake mine, both in depth and scale. It was important to provide a sense of what we can achieve deep underground. The NuMI tunnel area is of course quite active now with the MINOS near detector, the setting up of the MINERvA detector, and ArgoNeut, the small liquid argon detector, in position to take beam.
From our point of view the visit was very successful with a high level of engagement, with many questions and discussions. We thank our visitors for their interest and the time they spent with us.