What a year

Mike Lindgren

I love the winter holidays, and I always try to take off the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day. During that time I usually just eat too much and try to not think about work. Last week, however, I thought it would be fun to look back and think about our 2010 accomplishments.

Fermilab and its Particle Physics Division achieved every science and operations goal that we had for 2010, and everyone—admins, technicians, engineers, and scientists—should be proud of the year we had. The collider experiments at the Tevatron and LHC performed exceptionally well and reached their luminosity goals; our neutrino experiments ran at high efficiency and collected a vast amount of data; our particle astrophysicists built new detectors while taking data with existing ones; and our theorists explored the new experimental results and published conclusions and predictions.

CDF and DZero published on average a paper a week, including the best constraints yet on the Higgs boson and a hint at a new form of matter-antimatter asymmetry, and we saw the first results and publications from CMS. MINOS and MiniBooNE published exciting data about potential differences between the interactions of neutrinos and antineutrinos, and MINERvA finished the construction of its detector and began taking data with the full detector. NOvA got CD-3b approval from DOE and is in full production mode to produce parts for the 14-kiloton neutrino detector in Minnesota. COUPP is commissioning two detectors to search for dark-matter particles, the CDMS upgrade is well underway, and DES has begun shipping parts of its Dark Energy Camera to Chile for installation on the Blanco telescope.

We also strengthened the project teams that are working on the planning and design of the LBNE, Mu2e and MicroBooNE experiments, which are making their way through the early stages of the DOE approval process. We now have a solid foundation on which we can further develop the technical feasibility of these projects.

Our test beam facility was in constant use as scientists worked on improving particle detector technologies. Our detector R&D program continues to lead the world in the development of 3D ASIC chips and advancing liquid-argon research, and our new R&D advisory board is now in place and meeting regularly.

None of this happens without great teams of people. This includes our colleagues from universities and collaborating institutions, who supported us in all these efforts, and we supported them. Seeing the successes of all these collaborations reinforces my view that it is imperative for all of us to work closely together for the field to advance.

So many things working so well only happens when very skilled, dedicated people work together very hard for long stretches of time. It was a year when it seemed like everyone I talked to was working on multiple projects.

It was an honor to work with everyone this past year, and I hope that 2011 will be equally rewarding.