Our Accelerator Advisory Committee is meeting at Fermilab this week. The AAC is appointed by me and is composed of international accelerator experts. Their advice on the evolution of our program is of great value. The committee meets annually with a charge that typically focuses on specific aspects of our program.
This year’s meeting, coming on the heels of the Tevatron shutdown, looks more broadly at our program. We will benefit greatly by this view of all of our accelerator activities, their relative balance and how they fit into an overall strategy for the laboratory and the fields of accelerator science and particle physics.
Our existing accelerator complex has to deliver the beams needed to maintain our productivity in the remainder of the decade, before Project X would be constructed. Our plans to upgrade the complex include boosting the production of protons at 8 GeV by a factor of two to serve our neutrino programs (MINOS+, MicroBooNE, NOvA, Minerva and possibly an extension of MiniBooNE) and two muon experiments (Mu2e and Muon g-2). In addition we are making extensive modifications as part of the NOvA project to increase the power delivered at 120 GeV to 700 kW, twice the present capability. This beam power could also be used for the first phase of the LBNE project.
While the present complex, with the upgrades described above, gives us outstanding physics in the next decade, the present Booster and Linac will be 50 years old by 2020. Project X will be a new, powerful accelerator that will do much, much more than simply replace the older machines. A very high priority for Fermilab’s long-range future, Project X will multiply the flux of low energy protons at Fermilab by factor of 100 and make possible many beautiful experiments in neutrinos and rare processes. It will also enable fundamental measurements using unstable nuclei and materials tests relevant to accelerator-driven systems.
Beyond these priorities, Fermilab has a strong accelerator R&D program that ranges from the design of future machines, like a muon collider, to the new accelerator test facility enabled by the development of R&D facilities for superconducting radio frequency technology. The Office of High Energy Physics will be the steward for the nation’s advanced accelerator R&D towards a broad set of applications beyond particle physics. This is a role that HEP has played in the past without an official mandate. The Illinois Accelerator Research Center, a cooperative venture by the State of Illinois and the DOE, will put our laboratory in a strong position to contribute to many of these applications.