U.S./Japan meeting

Participants met for the annual U.S./Japan meeting in Shonan Village, Japan last week.

This week we have something to celebrate: Friday’s inauguration of the facilities near Ash River, Minn., where NOvA will operate starting in 2014 and continue at least through the early 2020s. The facility is ready for the construction of the detector, which will use the massive block pivoter developed and tested at Fermilab to rotate and position 200-ton detector blocks. It will be exciting to see the 15,000-ton detector in Minnesota come together over the next year in parallel with our work here at Fermilab to upgrade the accelerator complex and construct NOvA’s near detector cavern. With NOvA, we have an extremely powerful program ahead of us.

Another important event taking place this week is the workshop on LBNE options taking place on April 25 and 26. The LBNE Reconfiguration Steering Committee and both the Physics and Cost/Engineering working groups have met a number of times. The minutes of the meetings and relevant documentation are posted here. We have some preliminary analysis of the various options to share and discuss with the broader community at the workshop. We want to receive input on these options as well as other ideas that might improve on them.

Finally, last week our Japanese colleagues hosted the 34th meeting of the U.S./Japan Committee for Cooperation in High Energy Physics. This committee meets in the United States and Japan in alternate years to discuss collaboration between our two countries. When this mechanism was first established, the cooperative activities were primarily centered on U.S. facilities such as the Positron Electron Project at SLAC and the Tevatron Collider at Fermilab. Move forward three decades and the activities are much more balanced with very strong facilities in Japan both at KEK, with the Super KEKB factory, and neutrino and fixed-target experiments at J-PARC. The scope of work covered by the U.S./Japan collaboration has also expanded to include work at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider at Brookhaven, joint work on the ILC, advanced detector R&D and even some work on the Cosmic Microwave Background. Participants at the meeting were offered tours of both KEK and J-PARC, where the recovery from last year’s earthquake has been very impressive. We look forward to continued close collaboration with our Japanese colleagues on activities in both countries.