Planning the Future
of Particle Physics
Competition for U.S. federal funds to support major scientific endeavors has never been keener.
Each major field of science must present compelling scientific arguments, backed by sharp-edged peer
review and strong community support, to justify their federal budgets. This is as it should
be"entitlement" is no way to run a scientific railroad.
We are in the midst of two major elements in the future planning for the field of particle physics.
Last week the Particle Physics Project Prioritization Panel (P5) met both at Fermilab and at SLAC
and this week's major event is the release of the final report of the National Academies Committee
on Elementary Particle Physics in the 21st Century ("EPP2010") at a public briefing on Wednesday,
April 26, 2006.
The Particle Physics Project Prioritization Panel (P5), a subpanel of the
High Energy Physics Advisory
Panel, has been
its parent bodies the Department of Energy and the National Science Foundation
with developing a detailed roadmap and a set of priorities for the field of
particle physics. The roadmap will cover roughly the next 10 years and should
address priorities both for the support of ongoing programs and the investments
needed near-term for new projects. Thus the role of P5 is very important to our
future and it is our obligation to help P5 to be successful. P5 is made up of
eighteen physicists from the US, one from Europe and one from Japan and includes
SLAC's Joanne Hewett and Tor Raubenheimer. P5 will submit a detailed report to
DOE and NSF by September 2006.
Space - The Hunt for Hidden Dimensions
Extra dimensions of space may be present in our universe. Their discovery would
dramatically change our view of the cosmos and would prompt many questions. How do they hide?
What is their shape? How many are there? How big are they? Do particles and forces feel their
In Tuesday's public lecture, SLAC's Joanne Hewett will explain the concept of dimensions and show
that current theoretical models predict the existence of extra spatial dimensions which could be in
the discovery reach of present and near-term experiments. The manner by which these additional
dimensions reveal their existence will be described. Searches for modifications of the gravitational
force, astrophysical effects, and collider signatures already constrain the size of extra dimensions
and will be summarized. Once new dimensions are discovered, the technology by which the above questions
can be answered will be discussed.
Hewett took her first physics class as a sophomore in college, was immediately hooked, and
embarked on a career of performing esoteric theoretical calculations. Her research probes the
fundamental nature of space, matter, and energy, where she most enjoys devising experimental tests
for preposterous theoretical models. She is eagerly awaiting the next round of high energy accelerator
experiments to see which theories are present in our universe.
She will present "Space: The Hunt for Hidden Dimensions" on Tuesday, April 25 at 7:30 pm in Panofsky
Auditorium. All are welcome to attend.