From Particle Physics Division Head Josh Frieman: PPD’s top five

Josh Frieman

Howdy! The Particle Physics Division held an all-hands meeting on Thursday, May 31. In addition to the science, we discussed the new PPD organizational structure, ways PPD supports LBNF/DUNE (including ASIC design, cosmic neutrino initiatives, test beam and Neutrino Physics Center support, and theory group efforts), budget and HR updates, and lab modernization. Here are the top five takeaways from the meeting:

The theory and cosmic programs are at an exciting juncture. The Axion Dark Matter Experiment (ADMX) managed by Fermilab is probing for axions at a sensitivity never reached by any previous experiment. The Dark Energy Survey (DES) is expecting the next big round of results using the first three years of data by early 2019. DES also received high priority from a HEPAP review panel. Fermilab’s theorists are getting international recognition and playing leading roles in the field.

The CMS experiment is running strong thanks to ongoing efforts by the Fermilab team. CMS is collecting data from Run II at the LHC, and recently made a big find with the discovery of Higgs production alongside top quarks. Phase 1 upgrades (including the forward pixel detector upgrade and replacement electronics for the hadron calorimeter) are wrapping up and the already-installed components are working well. Fermilab is about to launch the phase 2 upgrades, a big step in detector technology that means lots of work for the division here. The collaboration will build a new tracker, calorimeter, timing detector, and trigger.

The muon projects are going full steam ahead. Muon g-2 recently surpassed the Brookhaven data set and has a busy summer shutdown to further improve the detector. The collaboration is on track for first physics results in 2019. Things are also coming together for Mu2e. Around 30,000 straws for the tracker have been completed, along with all the superconductor needed for the magnets (solenoids). Solenoid units are arriving for testing and accelerator components (such as the beam line magnets) are being installed.

Technical and R&D groups are supporting the technology and scientists of the future. The ASIC group has already received three patents in FY18. Work is advancing on chips for DUNE, CMS, and X-ray light sources. The detector R&D group hosted a successful EDIT Symposium, a huge division effort that helps build the next generation of scientists.

Our most critical job is to work safely. With the large number of people working on tasks, it’s crucial to maintain communication, assess situations for hazards, check that all required precautions and steps have been taken, and stay up to date on training. Especially going into summer, when large numbers of students flock to the site, it’s important to keep safety in mind and remember that any employee can stop any job at any time.