Fermilab A Plan for Discovery

Chapter 7
Milestones in a New Era of Particle Physics

Milestones in a New Era of Particle Physics

The decades ahead will bring great scientific opportunities and difficult challenges. As the only national laboratory dedicated to particle physics, Fermilab has a responsibility to keep the United States at the forefront of physics research by providing the scientific community with powerful tools for cutting-edge experiments, supporting advanced accelerator and detector R&D, and maintaining a vibrant experimental and theoretical particle physics community. Fermilab's twenty-year scientific plan makes the best possible use of the laboratory's unique facilities and capabilities, evolves over time to meet changing scientific and societal imperatives, strengthens ties with university scientists and other laboratories, and provides scientific training and education for the next generation of particle physicists. The plan offers many paths to possible discoveries at the Intensity, Energy and Cosmic Frontiers.

Here are its major milestones:


  • The MINOS+ and NOνA long-baseline neutrino experiments will measure neutrino mixings with greater sensitivity and investigate the ordering of neutrino masses.
  • Fermilab's short-baseline neutrino program will study the cross sections and kinematics of neutrino processes with higher accuracy.
  • The Muon g-2 experiment will seek to measure the anomalous magnetic moment of the muon four times better than previous experiments, setting important limits on new physics.
  • The Mu2e experiment will begin searching for the rare conversion of a muon to an electron, a process predicted by many theories that include new physics, with a sensitivity 1,000 times better than previous experiments.
  • The experiments at the Large Hadron Collider will test the Standard Model and search for indications of new physics with 14 TeV collisions.
  • The next steps will be taken in the quest to understand the phenomenon of dark energy and directly detect dark matter, with the completion of the Dark Energy Survey and the operation of 10–100 kilogram dark-matter detectors.
  • The Fermilab Holometer will study Planck-scale physics, exploring the quantum behavior of space and time in a laboratory experiment.


  • The Long-Baseline Neutrino Experiment will be taking data, with the goal of measuring CP violation with neutrinos for the first time.
  • Project X will become the world's most powerful and flexible proton accelerator facility.
  • Project X experiments with kaons, muons, neutrinos and nuclei will begin operating, opening a window on a 1000 TeV energy scale inaccessible at the LHC and possibly leading to indirect discoveries of new physics.
  • Fermilab will contribute key technologies to the high-luminosity upgrades of the LHC accelerator and detector.
  • A third generation of dark-matter experiments may use one-ton-scale detectors to raise the stakes in the hunt to directly detect these elusive particles.
  • The Large Synoptic Survey Telescope could be well underway in its more than ten-year program to record the widest and deepest survey of the sky.
  • Depending on the scientific developments of the previous decade, Fermilab could be leading the effort to construct an electron-positron linear collider, a Neutrino Factory or a Muon Collider.