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An International Lab
B-Factory Symposium and BaBar Collaboration Meeting Underway
International Committee for Future Accelerators Hosts Seminar

SLAC Today

Monday - October 27, 2008

An International Lab

The BaBar detector at the SLAC B Factory. (Photo by Peter Ginter. Click for larger image.)

This week, physicists from around the world converge at SLAC to celebrate historic advances and map future steps in high energy physics at meetings of the International Committee for Future Accelerators and BaBar Collaboration. And today, the B-Factory Symposium celebrates the stunning results from the BaBar detector, PEP-II storage ring, and the BaBar Collaboration. Among the first completely international projects at the lab, this collaboration has been a key player in the emergence of large-scale global physics and in SLAC's evolution as an international laboratory.

Some describe SLAC in its first decades as a world-renowned but distinctly individual—even insular—physics powerhouse, recognized for its Nobel laureates and particle physics firsts.

"Before BaBar, SLAC was obviously a star in our field, an international star, but a national lab," said Gerard Bonneaud, research director at France's National Center for Scientific Research. Bonneaud first worked at SLAC in 1980 and now chairs the SLAC User's Organization as a visiting researcher. With BaBar, Bonneaud said, "SLAC is still an international leader but also an international lab." Scientists from nine nations gathered at the first BaBar meeting in 1993, bringing their expertise and their countries' valued traditions in physics research. Bonneaud built the BaBar group at École Polytechnique, one of five French institutions to join the collaboration. "My whole energy was to try to contribute to a spirit of real collaboration," he said, "physicists working together, not French, English, etc."   Read more...

B-Factory Symposium and BaBar Collaboration Meeting Underway

(Image - PEP-II and BaBar)

This is a busy week for particle physicists at the laboratory. The October BaBar Collaboration Meeting is already underway, and the B-Factory Symposium takes place today on the Stanford campus.

Yesterday, about 250 BaBarians kicked off a week of plenary sessions covering topics of broad interest, parallel sessions to allow detailed discussion of everything from data analysis to physics working groups, and meetings related to the management and organization of the collaboration. The conference also includes discussions on the deconstruction of the detector and covers the future of BaBar beyond 2010.

The collaboration meeting pauses today to allow BaBarians to join the B-Factory Symposium. This symposium recognizes the achievements of PEP-II and BaBar, and covers a wide range of topics including a retrospective on bottom, charm and tau physics and a look forward to the future of heavy flavor physics.

"Collaboration meetings are always extremely lively days with intense exchanges between physicists on ongoing analyses, and new results ready just in time to be presented and reviewed within the collaboration, before being released," said BaBar Spokesperson Francois Le Diberder. "This meeting is a very special one because of its interplay with the B-Factory symposium."

International Committee for Future Accelerators Hosts Seminar

This week, SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory hosts the ninth ICFA Seminar, sponsored by the International Committee for Future Accelerators. The four-day meeting is intended to provide a broad survey of future opportunities and developments in high energy physics worldwide for government officials involved in strategic decisions for HEP, representatives of the major funding agencies, directors of major HEP laboratories, and leading HEP scientists.

"This seminar is particularly timely," said Persis Drell. "Within the past year, the three high energy physics regions have all established possible roadmaps for the future of the field. This week, the international community will come together to examine these plans from a global perspective."

The seminar takes place on October 28–31, and although the meeting is invitation only, there may be limited space for others to listen to talks in the overflow conference room, located on the third floor of the Kavli Building. The full meeting agenda can be viewed on the event Web page.

Separate from the seminar, ICFA will also hold its regular committee meeting this week to exchange information on future plans for regional facilities, and discuss joint studies and uses. Created in 1976 to foster international collaboration in the construction and use of accelerators for high energy physics, ICFA is made up of 16 international members representing the regions most deeply involved in the field.

ICFA holds seminars once every three years and committee meetings several times a year. The next committee meeting will take place in February 2009 at KEK in Japan.


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