From hosting the Tevatron to hosting neutrino experiments

Tim Meyer

So if the scientific future of Fermilab is as a host to a global collaboration pursuing the science of neutrinos, what does that mean for the laboratory? Good question!

In my mind, the answer is inside that one word: “host.” What does it mean to be a host and what does it mean to be a host for a global collaboration? That is the real question, and that will be the direction of our efforts for the next few years: positioning Fermilab as “one of the top research destinations of choice” for the present and future generations of particle physicists and neutrino scientists.

We’ve done this before: Fermilab hosted the Tevatron and welcomed the world to participate in designing and building CDF and DZero.

So how do we get started on this collaboration? Well, the previous effort began two decades ago! Just as when your in-laws come to spend the summer with you and your family, the first thing to do is freshen up the space and make sure everything is in working order and that there is room for everyone.

Our Campus Master Plan is the first step in that direction, presenting a vision for how to centralize, consolidate and modernize the lab so that we are ready to be the centerpiece of a global program in accelerator-based neutrino science. The next steps include looking more deeply at what type of experience we want to offer Fermilab’s “users of the future” as well as our own scientists and staff and our community neighbors. And we need to consider what key points of agreement and understanding will be necessary to forge global partnerships while also respecting the rules and expectations of our primary stakeholders: the U.S. Department of Energy, Fermi Research Alliance and U.S. taxpayers.

We have the teamwork, the experience and the skills to make this transition, and it won’t be a single step. It will consist of many, small, incremental steps as we re-envision, revitalize and refresh Fermilab as one of the world’s top destinations for particle physics research.