Communicating and implementing P5

Fermilab Director
Nigel Lockyer

There has been a lot of activity in the U.S. particle physics community and at Fermilab in the two weeks since the P5 report was presented to and accepted by the High Energy Physics Advisory Panel. The work is going forward on two fronts: communicating the report and its implications to our many national and international stakeholders and analyzing how we can best advance and implement the report’s recommendations.

Members of Congress are being informed about the P5 report and the future of U.S. particle physics through two events and an ongoing informational campaign led by the APS Division of Particles and Fields. At a briefing hosted on Thursday by the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, P5 Chair Steve Ritz and other eminent physicists informed senators and their staff members about our field’s strategic plan.

At 9 a.m. Central time today, Steve Ritz, SLAC Director Emeritus and co-chair of the Secretary of Energy’s Advisory Board Persis Drell, Berkeley Lab Physics Division Head Natalie Roe, and I will testify at a hearing for House members and their staff. The Energy Subcommittee of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology is holding the hearing, which focuses on the U.S. vision for particle physics after the Higgs boson discovery. The hearing is being webcast live.

Fermilab scientists and staff members have also been busy reading and interpreting the language in the report and starting to create plans that translate the recommendations into actions for the coming year. On May 27 our scientists held a retreat that looked at how the P5 recommendations interact with our current scientific program. On May 28 I summarized these discussions and the potential impacts for the laboratory as a whole in my all-hands meeting.

Three actions we are already taking at the lab include an evaluation of our available resources, redirection of accelerator effort to support PIP-II and determination of a path forward for the Long-Baseline Neutrino Facility. Thanks go to the project managers, engineers and scientists for putting in extra hours to analyze our available resources in the context of implementing the projects supported by the P5 vision. Thanks also to the accelerator team, which is now focusing R&D efforts on PIP-II to facilitate a quick start. Lastly, thanks to the many people in the U.S. and global neutrino community who have begun discussions on forming an international collaboration to carry out a U.S.-hosted LBNF.

The P5 committee developed an ambitious strategy that keeps the United States and Fermilab at the forefront of particle physics for the next two decades. The challenges to implement the plan are significant. I encourage the entire community to come together and turn the P5 strategy into a successful plan of action.