FALC meeting

Fermilab Director Pier Oddone

The Funding Agencies for Large Colliders meeting took place this week in Shonan Village, Japan. I presented the Fermilab program and reported on the activities of International Committee on Future Accelerators. FALC brings together representatives from the principal countries supporting particle physics. The funding agencies present this year hailed from the countries of Japan, Korea, China, the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Italy, Germany, France and Spain.

The meeting featured presentations from the various world regions and discussions of the future organization of major global projects, such as the ILC. The reports from Europe described great stability in their plans for the future, despite the European financial crisis. CERN Director-General Rolf Heuer described the LHC program for the next two decades and the development of new fixed-target experiments, including a neutrino beam for short-baseline experiments based on the SPS accelerator. The stability of the primarily CERN-based European program follows the massive investment on the LHC that now attracts ten thousand users from all over the world.

The developments in Asia are very impressive with acceleration across multiple fronts. The program in Japan has recovered quickly after the earthquake, and there are impressive plans for the KEK Super-B factory, various proposals for expanding the T2K neutrino program either with HyperK or with a second large detector in Korea (T2KK) and a vital and active program towards the ILC. China reported on the fresh success of the Daya Bay reactor neutrino experiment and the successful upgrade of the Beijing e+e collider. China is also developing a very deep underground laboratory, named Jinping. They will also develop a neutron spallation source, satellite programs and cosmic-ray arrays. It is also developing an intense proton source for Accelerator Driven Systems. Korea has recently produced results from the RENO reactor experiment competitive with the Daya Bay results. The Korean Basic Science Initiative is moving at warp speed and will spend $5 billion in the next five years and incorporate up to 3,000 researchers across a few dozen institutes and build a heavy-ion accelerator laboratory. India is also moving ahead with ambitious plans for the India Neutrino Observatory, participation at CERN and in Fermilab’s experimental program and Project X, participation in LIGO and the development of accelerators for their own domestic program.

The turmoil in mounting new projects of scale in the US such as LBNE is in dramatic contrast to the stability and high level of funding in Europe and the vitality and thrust of the growing Asian programs. While the programs in Europe and Asia appear to be in very good shape, this did not come without major effort from their laboratories and communities for many years. We must persevere in research in our country to achieve again the ambitious programs that will be beacons of discovery in the world such as we created in the past.