Top particle physicists to view the future at Snowmass Summer Study, June 30-July 21

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BATAVIA, Ill.—“Snowmass 2001” will bring more than 500 of the country’s leading physicists together in the Rocky Mountains to look beyond the horizon.

What will they see? Just as in a physics experiment, they won’t know until all the results are in. For media, that means an opportunity to report the unfolding story of this key field of U.S. science from June 30 through July 21 at the Snowmass Conference Center, during “Snowmass 2001: A Summer Study on the Future of Particle Physics.”

The conference, co-sponsored by two divisions of the American Physical Society, will “take stock of the new possibilities at the highest energies, in experiments of exquisite sensitivity, through metaphorical travel to new theoretical realms, and in experiments that look at the universe through new eyes,” says conference organizing committee co-chair Chris Quigg, a theoretical physicist at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Fermilab, near Chicago.

For members of the media who may not be conversant with the latest (or even earliest) developments in particle physics, the conference will feature jargon-free, plain-English explanations of all the goings-on.

And thanks to a remarkable response from the whole particle physics community, Snowmass 2001 will take public outreach and science education efforts to a new level.

“Science Weekend” of July 7 – 8 will offer an extravaganza of activities for people of all ages who are curious about the world they live in. “Science on the Mall” will feature physics vans from several universities; large-scale equipment from the SciTech museum, of Aurora, Illinois; lectures; hands-on experiences for children; a science book fair, featuring some of the nation’s most renowned science writers along with Nobel Prize-winning physicist Leon Lederman; and presentations by Chicago’s Adler Planetarium. QuarkNet, a nationwide network connecting high school teachers and students with particle physics experiments, will hold a weeklong training workshop. Large-scale cosmic-ray detectors will join local Colorado high schools to a North American network in collecting experimental data. Public lectures, science programs for local day camps and Spanish-language outreach efforts round out the menu. The outreach activities have drawn funding from many public and private sources.

Also on the program, physicists will stage teach-ins on such topics as String Theory, one of the hottest new areas in particle physics; and on the Physics of the Universe, striving for an understanding of nothing less than how everything we know came to be. The directors of the world’s leading high-energy physics laboratories—such as Fermilab, in Batavia, Illinois; Stanford Linear Accelerator Center, in Palo Alto, California; DESY, in Hamburg, Germany and CERN, the European Particle Physics laboratory in Geneva, Switzerland—will meet to discuss the future of their research.

“Snowmass 2001” represents a unique opportunity to gain new insights into the world around us. To arrange coverage of this world-class science gathering, visit the Web at

Fill out the registration form, and submit it electronically; or print it and fax it to Fermilab’s Office of Public Affairs at 630-840-8780.

For more on the conference and schedule, visit

Fermilab, providing organizational and logistical support for Snowmass 2001, is operated by Universities Research Association, Inc., under contract with the U.S. Department of Energy.