Lepton Photon 2011

Fermilab scientists met with Srikumar Banerjee, the secretary of the Department of Atomic Energy, and directors of Indian national laboratories in the Commission Room of the DAE.

The Lepton Photon Symposium (LP2011) taking place in in Mumbai, India, is the principal international meeting in particle physics this year. It is the 25th Lepton Photon symposium in a series of conferences that alternate yearly with the International High Energy Physics (ICHEP) meetings. It is taking place at the Tata Institute for Fundamental Research (TIFR), one of the principal science institutions in India with a rich scholarly tradition going back to its founder Homi Bhabha, a name familiar to all high-energy physicists. TIFR was founded in 1945 and operates under the umbrella of the Department of Atomic Energy.

In the opening ceremony of LP2011, we heard several speeches given by the Honorable Shri Prithviraj Chavan, the Chief Minister of the State of Maharashtra, Srikumar Banerjee, Secretary of the Department of Atomic Energy and our own Patricia McBride, chair of the C11 Committee of the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics, under whose auspices the conference is taking place. In his address, Chavan explained the emphasis that India is placing on science and technology. Chavan said they are ”increasing the scientific temper of the masses.” One new scholarship program awards the top one percent of the 25 million graduating high school students who choose science and technology careers. Those students will receive scholarships to support their education through the completion of graduate school.

The conference started with a set of talks covering the updates on the searches for the Higgs at the LHC and the Tevatron. The results from the LHC were also announced in a press release. The rapid increase in luminosity for each LHC experiment made the expected combination of results shown at EPS HEP-2011 irrelevant. The hints presented at EPS HEP-2011 have become weaker with more data. There is now strong evidence from these experiments that the Higgs cannot be above a mass of about 145 GeV and, if it exists at all, it will be in the range of 115 GeV to 145 GeV, consistent with the indirect measurements obtained from the precise measurements of the top quark and W boson masses at the Tevatron. At the lowest masses within this allowed range of 115 to 145 GeV, the Higgs decays predominantly to b-quark pairs, a channel in which the Tevatron limits will remain more stringent than the LHC limits for the next several months.

On Monday afternoon we met with Srikumar Banerjee, the secretary of the Department of Atomic Energy, and several directors of Indian Laboratories to discuss the progress in our collaboration on Project X and how we move forward both on the accelerator and the experimental fronts. We greatly appreciate the strong support for Project X that we receive from Indian institutions. Together, we’ve made progress in our collaboration during the last several years.