From Thursday through Saturday this week we will welcome many of our colleagues from across the country to Fermilab for the 2012 Community Planning Meeting (CPM2012), organized by the Division of Particles and Fields of the American Physical Society. This meeting is the first preparatory meeting for next year’s extensive Community Summer Study, where we will develop and articulate the opportunities for particle physics for the long-term future. CPM2012 follows the successful organization of DOE’s 2011 Intensity Frontier workshop.
The summer of 2013 is an ideal time to take stock of all the physics we will have learned in the previous couple of years, especially with the tremendous flow of new data from the LHC, including the discovery of the Higgs-like particle at 125 GeV and the important new measurements of neutrino oscillations by reactor and beam-based experiments, which have confirmed the highest hopes for neutrino physics. Furthermore, both the European and Japanese communities are engaged in equally extensive planning processes, and the near-simultaneity of these efforts offers the hope of coordinating a truly global program.
Fermilab is committed to working closely with the particle physics community in understanding the most exciting opportunities in our field and implementing a powerful program of discovery. Such a program has to be flexible enough to fit within the fiscal realities of our age, but should have the potential to grow successfully and take advantage of future investment in the physical sciences.
Working together with the community, our laboratory has transitioned from a program primarily based on the Tevatron to a broad program at the three frontiers of particle physics: multiple leading experiments at the Intensity Frontier, based initially on existing accelerators at Fermilab but afterward to be greatly enhanced with a future high-intensity source, Project X; exploiting the great opportunities at the LHC, building upgrades to the accelerator and CMS, and performing R&D for future accelerators such as electron-positron linear colliders and muon colliders at the Energy Frontier; and leading projects at the Cosmic Frontier for the study of dark energy and the discovery of dark matter particles. This broad foundation for our field is necessary for a healthy program. Monoculture is as dangerous in particle physics as it is in agriculture.
During CPM2012, we will outline the principal opportunities for our field and plan for the work that will continue through winter and spring toward the comprehensive summer study to follow. There will be three conveners for each of the various topics: an experimentalist, a theorist and an “observer.” At present the working groups cover the following areas:
- Energy Frontier
- Intensity Frontier
- Cosmic Frontier
- Frontier facilities
- Computing frontier
- Education and outreach
We will also develop and articulate the opportunities and benefits that our field brings to society to help ensure continued public interest and support. The recent great discoveries have highlighted the strong public interest in our discipline, giving us a great opportunity to explain our work and the potential for new discoveries.