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Dorfan Today: HEPAP Endorses B-factory Running in FY2008

I write this as I journey home from two days in Washington DC, where I attended the July 6-7 High Energy Physics Advisory Panel (HEPAP) meeting.

Items of particular interest at this meeting were presentations from the sub-panel Chairs regarding the final reports from the dark energy (DETF) and advanced accelerators R&D (AARD) sub-panels and the P5 recommendation on the FY2008 B Factory running and the near-term roadmap. Given restrictions on the length of this column, I will focus here on the P5 recommendations. However, the recommendations from the DETF and AARD are very relevant to SLAC and can be found by accessing copies of the Chairman's presentations, available online.

The charge from DOE and NSF to which P5 is responding reads, "We would like you to propose a detailed roadmap for the US high energy physics program for the period of roughly the next ten years, with particular focus on the decisions needed in the next five years... This roadmap should lay out the most compelling scientific opportunities that can be addressed in that timeframe." The specific element of that roadmap that P5 Chairman, Abe Seiden from UC Santa Cruz, reported on was their recommendation regarding the running of our B-factory in FY2008. However, such a recommendation cannot be made without considering the context of the rest of the roadmap. So while the recommendation focuses on B-factory running, the context reveals P5's priorities for the full roadmap through 2012. P5's recommendations are also in the context of near-term budget guidance provided by the agencies.

P5 recommended that the PEP-II running continue through to the end of FY2008, thus allowing completion of the Babar physics data-collection at the integrated luminosity level of 1000 fb-1. In making this recommendation, P5 called out the excellent recent performance of PEP-II and the very high productivity of Babar. This recommendation, along with the rest of the P5 report, was fully endorsed by HEPAP. This is excellent news for SLAC and its community, and I thank all of you who made this happen.

What other recommendations for FY2008 went along with the B-factory running? In keeping with the EPP2010 Report, their highest priority for investments toward the future is the International Linear Collider (ILC). This complements the United States' continued large participation in the turn-on of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) program, which P5 strongly supports within the base-funding. P5 used a guideline for new investments through 2012 of 60% for ILC and 40% for new projects in dark matter, dark energy and neutrinos. With regard to dark energy and dark matter, P5 focused on the development of the LSST and SNAP probes. They recommended that both LSST and SNAP be supported to complete the design phase within two-three years, namely before the end of 2009. In the case of LSST, which is a NSF/DOE R&D collaboration, that would mean completion of the "Preliminary Design Review Stage" for NSF and the "CD2 Stage" for DOE. For SNAP, it means the "CD2 Stage." In the neutrino sector, P5 recommends the start of construction of Nova at Fermilab. Although not called out specifically in his presentation, in response to a question, Seiden said that the P5 roadmap through 2012 also includes funds for the construction of a full-scale neutrinoless double beta decay experiment.

The P5 roadmap provides an aggressive balance between near-term and longer-term objectives.

HEPAP was founded in 1967 to provide advice on the national high-energy physics program. Originally established by the Atomic Energy Commission, it now reports to the DOE Office of Science's Office of High Energy Physics and the National Science Foundation's Mathematical & Physical Sciences Directorate.

HEPAP has played a major role in helping to set the direction and priorities for high-energy physics research in the United States. Its activities include periodic reviews of the program and recommendation of changes considered desirable on the basis of scientific and technological advances. It provides advice on long-range plans, priorities and strategies for the national high energy physics program, usually in the context of budgetary guidance.

Members of HEPAP act as independent advisors rather than as representatives for their universities, laboratories and/or constituencies. As of this year, the membership has been expanded to include non-US representatives from Asia and Europe. HEPAP forms sub-panels to explore specific topics in depth. The sub-panels report to the full panel for endorsement prior to transmitting such reports to the DOE and NSF. Current sub-panels are reporting on physics priorities (P5), neutrinos (NuSAG), dark energy (DETF), and advanced accelerators R&D (AARD).

The members of HEPAP, its Charter, information about the current sub-panels, the agenda for last week's meeting, and more can be found here.

—Jonathan Dorfan, July 10, 2006