The future of Fermilab

Roger Dixon

Roger Dixon, head of the Accelerator Division, wrote this column.

The era of the Tevatron is about to come to a close. The Tevatron has certainly been the showcase of our physics program for more than 25 years, but it is only one of nine accelerators and storage rings that make up our complex.

Fermilab’s plan for the future includes upgrading its lower-energy accelerators and using them for new experiments including the NOvA neutrino experiment and several other experiments that will take advantage of an upgraded Proton Source, Main Injector and Recycler. These upgrades will begin next year. The Main Injector and Recycler upgrades will be completed during the major shutdown of the complex scheduled to begin in March 2012 and last about one year.

Further in the future our laboratory will focus on Project X, which will take us into the high-intensity realm. This proposed experimental program should open windows to new physics that we may never reach by going to higher and higher energies. Pursuit of these questions has brought us to the understanding of the world that we have now, and has created the amazing world that we live in today.

Creating such an exciting future for Fermilab will take the same kind of dedication and talent that Fermilab employees have demonstrated over the past 25 years in order to make the Tevatron a success. I have no doubt that we have the talent necessary to achieve even more impressive goals in the future.