P5 committee members address questions on report

P5 Committee Chair Steve Ritz, left, addresses a question from the audience at the 2014 Users Meeting on Wednesday. Photo: Reidar Hahn

More than 500 scientists gathered at Fermilab for last week’s Users Meeting. Among the highlights was a question-and-answer session on the recently released report from the Particle Physics Project Prioritization Panel.

Steve Ritz of the University of California, Santa Cruz, walked the audience through the P5 report. Ritz chaired the P5 committee. The report will be used as a guideline for funding discussions with the U.S. Department of Energy and the National Science Foundation.

Following his presentation, Ritz joined a panel that included Fermilab Director Nigel Lockyer, High Energy Physics Advisory Panel Chair Andy Lankford of the University of California, Irvine, and DOE Associate Director of Science for High-Energy Physics Jim Siegrist.

The majority of the questions fielded were about the P5 report’s recommendation to form a new international collaboration that would build a long-baseline neutrino facility at Fermilab. Ritz said the P5 report was intentionally not “overly prescriptive” about the structure of the new collaboration or design of the facility. Siegrist added that, while it was not envisioned that the CERN treaty model would be used for the new collaboration, the joint US-CERN model of managing contributions to the LHC has been successful and will be followed as closely as possible.

The panelists praised the LBNE collaboration for their work over the past few years to bring the experiment to this point, while noting that a new international collaboration will incorporate the ideas and perspectives of its members.

“Bringing people in and having a fresh look doesn’t necessarily mean scrapping everything,” Lockyer said. “But you should be open to their views.”

Stefan Soldner-Rembold of the University of Manchester gave an update on plans for LBNE. He said the collaboration “enthusiastically welcomes the creation of an international organizational structure and will be engaged in its formulation.”

The first step towards a long-baseline neutrino facility, Ritz said, is the Proton Improvement Plan II upgrades, also strongly recommended in the P5 report. Steve Holmes, PIP II project manager, presented the plans to build an 800-MeV pulsed linear accelerator east of Wilson Hall, with construction to begin in FY 2019.

Andre Salles

A photo gallery of the Users Meeting highlights will appear in an upcoming issue of Fermilab Today.