Mu2e construction shifts into high gear

Nigel Lockyer

The search for charged-lepton flavor violation just moved a step closer. If this phenomenon is uncovered by the Mu2e experiment and its global collaboration, our understanding of particle physics would increase substantially.

The Mu2e project achieved two major milestones earlier this month, advancing this quest along its path for science early in the next decade.

Based on developments in detailed designs, engineering analyses and magnet prototyping validated by an independent review committee, Mu2e received Critical Decision 2 and Critical Decision 3b approval from the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science on March 4. These important decisions mark the approval of the budget, schedule and scope proposed by the Mu2e team. They also mark the authorization of the construction of the detector hall at Fermilab and the modules that make up the experiment’s s-shaped transport solenoid magnets.

DOE critical decisions don’t just happen. They require a significant and prolonged effort from a large group of talented and committed individuals. In the lead-up to the latest critical decision, Mu2e scientists, engineers, technicians and other specialists demonstrated their understanding of the experimental apparatus and its associated accelerator and beamline elements and prototyped key components. One part of the team was involved in 8 million CPU hours simulating the detector performance. In addition to these milestones in the lab and on the screen, the project team demonstrated management proficiency, generated a credible cost and schedule, and produced a 900-page technical design.

The project team and experimental collaboration will celebrate these decisions and the start of construction at a groundbreaking ceremony scheduled for April 18. In the meantime, attention is already turning to the next project milestone: CD-3c in the summer of 2016, authorizing construction of the remainder of the Mu2e apparatus.

Thank you to everyone who played a role in this lab achievement.