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Jonathan Asaadi | Syracuse University | USA

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P5 Face to Face Meetings (And you are invited!)

Sunday, November 24th, 2013
P5 Face to Face meetings

P5 Face to Face meetings

As many of you may know (and some of you may not) the next phase in the long term planning for the future of High Energy Physics (HEP) over the next 10 – 20 years in kicking into gear.

The centre piece of this phase is a panel of scientists who have been appointed to develop a strategy based on the various important pieces of physics, planned experiments, and various budget scenarios HEP faces. This panel is (terribly) named the Particle Physics Project Prioritization Panel, or more commonly referred to as P5. (www.interactions.org/p5)

This panel is meeting immediately following the summer study known as Snowmass to seize on the opportunities for interesting physics that were brought forward during this 8 month long study.

I was personally involved in one aspect of the Snowmass study by trying to get young (untenured) scientists to participate in the Snowmass study and to help ensure that their positions and opinions were heard. The group that I helped lead was known as Snowmass Young (http://snowmassyoung.hep.net) and through an online survey as well as attending countless meetings we attempted to capture these opinions in a paper which you can now find on the arxiv! (Snowmass 2013 Young Physicists Science and Career Survey Report)

However, our work hasn’t stopped there. With the P5 holding open town halls last month as well as December Snowmass Young has been trying to ensure that all voices are heard during this important process. The great news is we have been met with open and encouraging arms. The chair of the P5 process, Prof Steve Ritz, has met with Snowmass Young to hear from us and encourage all young scientists to come to the P5 town hall meetings and have their voices heard. Prof Ritz has written a letter to the young community which can be found in full here and I quote below:

The purpose of this note is to reaffirm that engagement by everyone in our community, including Snowmass Young Physicists, is needed.


Each of the upcoming meetings (our first face-to-face meeting on 2-4 November at Fermilab, then 2-4 December at SLAC, and 15-18 December at Brookhaven) has a Town Hall, and all sessions except the executive sessions are completely open.  I encourage you to attend and participate.  The Town Halls are deliberately unstructured: most of the time will be devoted to open-mike statements and discussions.  If there is something you want to say, just come up to one of the microphone stations in the aisles.

Don’t be subtle!  Let us hear from you about your concerns, advice, and input.

With these words in mind Snowmass Young is working to make sure that as many opinions are heard at the upcoming P5 meetings. The Fermilab meeting has already passed with only limited attendance from young people, so we want to work hard to change that for the upcoming meetings.

SLAC P5 Meeting December 2-4

SLAC P5 Meeting December 2-4

SLAC Meeting

All scientists (especially young scientists) have received encouragement to attend the upcoming P5 meeting at SLAC from Kelen Tuttle (Editor in Chief at Symmetry Magazine) in the below letter where more details can be found





SLAC will host the next Particle Physics Project Prioritization Panel (P5) meeting on Dec. 2-4, and you’re invited!
The meeting, which will focus on the Cosmic Frontier, is open to all and will take place in SLAC’s Kavli Auditorium with overflow in Redwood C&D. In addition, the meeting will be live-streamed online (details on how to access the feed will be posted to the meeting website soon: https://indico.bnl.gov/conferenceDisplay.py?confId=688). Although there won’t be a way for online viewers to comment or ask questions in real time, the P5 committee welcomes feedback via its online form: http://www.usparticlephysics.org/p5/form
P5 held the first town hall at Fermilab in early November, and will follow the SLAC meeting with another at Brookhaven National Laboratory Dec. 15-18.
In addition to the three town hall meetings, P5 is receiving input from the US Department of Energy, the National Science Foundation, and the full community via the Snowmass process. The end goal is a new strategic plan for US high-energy physics investments over the next 10 to 20 years. The plan will offer a coherent path forward, building a strong position from which the US high-energy physics community, working with the international community, can answer grand scientific questions and improve our understanding of nature.
More information can be found at: http://www.usparticlephysics.org/p5



Brookhaven P5 meeting December 15 - 18

Brookhaven P5 meeting December 15 – 18

Brookhaven Meeting

For the upcoming Brookhaven meeting Elizabeth Worcester (a Snowmass Young convener and brilliant research scientist)  is organizing a dedicated session during the meeting as a way to help entice more people to attend. You can find her letter below with more details






Dear colleagues,
As you may know, a P5 Workshop on the Future of High Energy Physics is being held at Brookhaven National Lab, December 15-18, 2013 (http://www.bnl.gov/p5workshop2013/). The P5 committee has strongly encouraged early-career physicists to attend the workshops, participate in the Town Halls, and provide input to the P5 process. To further facilitate input from early-career physicists, a Young Physicists Forum is being held at the BNL meeting, during the lunch hour on Monday, December 16. The chair of P5, Steve Ritz, has agreed to speak briefly at the forum and answer questions from the young community. We encourage pre-tenure scientists who wish to learn about the P5 process and/or share their perspectives to attend the workshop and this forum.
Please help us spread the word by encouraging any young scientists who may not be on this list to attend. For planning purposes, please contact Elizabeth Worcester (etw@bnl.gov) if you plan to attend the Young Physicists Forum.
Elizabeth, for the Snowmass Young conveners
With all of this great activity being planned for the upcoming town hall meetings, it is impossible to find a good reason not to go. So if you are interested in being informed and participating in the planning for HEP in the next 10 years you should plan to attend the upcoming meetings.

Snowmass Young & Snowmass on the Mississippi

Tuesday, July 9th, 2013

With Snowmass on the Mississippi less than two weeks away the Young Physicist Movement (YPM) will be closing the survey on July 15th 2013. This means if you haven’t taken the survey you have less than one week to take it and let your voice be heard!


We are busy starting to compile the results, verify our data, and dreaming of the plots that we think will be of the most interest to the organizers of Snowmass.

Ever wonder what others think their odds of finding a permanent position in High Energy Physics is? Ever wonder if people working in the Intensity Frontier have a different outlook than those in the Energy Frontier?  Have you thought about which experiments that are planned seem most exciting to graduate students, post-docs, tenured faculty?

Hopefully we will have answers to these and many other interesting questions using the data in the survey. But none of this is possible if we don’t get as many people in HEP to take this survey. So please, encourage your fellow collaborators, office mates, professors, grad students, undergrads, people who have left the field….EVERYONE who has touched High Energy Physics to take the survey!

Snowmass on the Mississippi takes place July 29th in Minneapolis

Snowmass on the Mississippi takes place July 29th in Minneapolis

This brings me to the next important point. Just as it has been important that physicists (young and not so young) have been involved in the planning process up till now, it is even more critical that we get as many people to attend Snowmass as possible. Speaking as a young person in this field I am specifically stressing this point to anyone who is in this field and intends to make a go at making this their career. The topics that will be discussed, decisions that will be made, and recommendations that will be passed on to the funding agencies all come out of the Snowmass planning process. Thus if you are not part of that conversation, you risk having someone else, someone who will likely no longer be in High Energy Physics, making the long term planning decision for you.

However, it is definitely not to late to have your voice heard! But first you have to get to the conference. Registration details can be found at http://www.hep.umn.edu/css2013/
You should be reaching out to your advisors, bosses, and PI’s and finding out if you can go to the conference. Rooms in the dorms are relatively cheap, carpools are being arranged, finding roommates to split the cost of a hotel are being sought. Snowmass YPM is trying to help as many people as possible. If you are interested but just need help connecting some of the pieces please feel free to email any of the conveners in the YPM, our emails can be found http://snowmassyoung.hep.net/about.html


Snowmass Young @ The Intensity Frontier Workshop

Wednesday, April 24th, 2013

I wanted to bring to everyone’s attention a really great opportunity that is happening tomorrow. The Intensity Frontier Workshop at Argonne National Labs is taking place this Thursday (4/25/13) and Friday (4/26/13) and Snowmass Young has been given an entire parallel session during this important pre-Snowmass meeting.

We have had three speakers agree to come and speak to the young scientists community about things that matter to people early in their career. They will be speaking during the first parallel session at the meeting from 10:45 am – 12:45 pm (central time).

Our speakers are:

Regina Rameika (FNAL): Speaking about skills young scientists need and some of her experiences from recent hiring committees

Alan Stone (DOE): The funding process and what young people should know about the DOE

Randal Ruchti (NSF): The funding process and what young people should know about the NSF

These titles were intended to be rough prompts, so you should expect these speaker will talk about a broad range of subjects and be available for questions afterwards. This is a really great opportunity to speak with senior scientists and funding agencies directly and ask the questions you’ve always wanted to know. It would be great if these talks could be well attended by all the young snowmass people at the conference and of course is open to all attendees! We have left the rest of the Snowmass Young parallel sessions open as “discussion” and instead just encourage people to be involved at the meeting.

The indico site where the talks will be posted is here:


For those attending the Argonne workshop we will be in building 362 Room E-188. For those remote we will have Ready Talk setup:

Step 1: Dial-In
U.S. & Canada: 866.740.1260
Access Code: 7344724

Additionally we will have a general community meeting to discuss progress made towards the general Snowmass meeting, preliminary results from the survey, and what sort of questions we want to include in the analysis of the survey data. This meeting will be used to also brainstorm ideas for upcoming events this summer leading up to the Snowmass meeting in July

The Community meeting will be on Friday (4/26/13) at 7pm. This coincides with the Conveners Meeting at the intensity frontier workshop and should allow time for all attending to come if they wish. We will use the same ReadyTalk connection information for this meeting as well. For those at Argonne we will be in building 362 room E-188.

A quick update about the survey

As of today we have 579 people who have taken the survey! This is a great start but still shy of our goal of >1500 people. So please take this chance, if you haven’t already, and complete the survey.

A chart showing the rate of responses thus far to the Snowmass Young Survey


If you have taken the survey, please use social media (Facebook, twitter, blogs, etc…) and tell people about it. This survey is open to all who are currently in HEP or have been in HEP at one time. We need “young” and “old” alike to take the survey to have a reasonable representation of the opinions of people in HEP! Likewise we should stress that this is open to U.S. based and non-U.S. based scientists as well. We are trying to get a snapshot of the entire field, and I know it is larger than 579 people.

Additionally, we are really looking for people who were at one time trained in HEP and have since left the field. This section of the survey will be very helpful for side-by-side comparisons with people who are still in the field as well as provide information about what people do once they leave HEP. So if you know anyone who did undergraduate, graduate, post-doctoral, (etc…) training in HEP and is now working “outside the field” please point them to the survey as well.

Thanks to all who have taken time to help Snowmass Young so far and stay tuned for exciting upcoming events leading to the Snowmass Workshop.


Snowmass Young Physicists Survey is here!

Friday, April 5th, 2013

Our survey is way more exciting that this!

You read the title correctly! The Snowmass Young Physicists survey is now live and taking data!

You can take the survey by going to this link:


So you might be asking, “Who is this survey for?”. The short answer it is for everyone who is currently in High Energy Physics (HEP), everyone who was in HEP at one time in their career, and for any of the young scientists in training who are considering going into HEP. We want them all! Undergraduates, graduates, post-docs, staff scientists, faculty, researchers and especially any one who received their training in HEP and has decided to go on to jobs outside of HEP.

The survey is structured such that if you are currently involved in HEP you will see a set of questions that asks about your current work life, your career outlook, your physics outlook, and some general information related to the questions being considered during the Snowmass planning process. If you are not currently in HEP you will receive a set of questions asking about your career choices, career outlook, and quality of life.

All of the information is kept anonymous and the compilation of the data will be presented at the Snowmass meeting in July. Our goal is to have greater than 1500 respondents from all the various “frontiers” as defined in the Snowmass process (Energy, Cosmic, Intensity, Outreach, Instrumentation, Computing, Theory) as well as lots of responses from those who have gone on to careers outside of HEP. The survey itself should not take longer than 15 mins in total and there are lots of places where you can feel free to write in responses that we will compile to help formulate the opinions expressed at the Snowmass meeting.

Now for the call for help! The only way this survey will be a success is if we get the word out. So I am asking all the readers here to take a second and advertise for us on social media (Facebook, Twitter, Google+…), to tell your friends, co-workers, and fellow students, and to look for us at many of the upcoming conferences (April APS, Snowmass Planning meetings, etc…). We will have people everywhere handing out business cards and pointing people to the survey in the months running up to July! The link again is http://tinyurl.com/snomassyoung

Finally I cannot close this blog post without giving a long list of names of the people who spent many hours working, discussing, arguing, editing, emailing, and meeting to get the survey done in advance of the summer rush. (If I left your name off the list I am extremely, extremely sorry and I will gladly write an entire blog post dedicated to the work you as penance)

First of all a big thank you to the  Snowmass young conveners:
Roxanne Guenette, Thomass Strauss, Brendan Kiburg, Elizabeth Worcester, Bjoern Penning, Jake Anderson, Andrew Kobach, Randel Cotta, Felix Yu, Hugh Lippincott, and Marcelle Soares-Santos

In addition I need to thank these people for giving so much of their time to help in the process:

Ben Carls, Bryce Littlejohn, Andrzej Szelc, Gavin Davies, Teppei Katori

So, now is the time to go take the survey! http://tinyurl.com/snomassyoung. If you have comments or concerns please email us at snowmass2013young@gmail.com!


Snowmass 2013 Young Physicist Movement

Wednesday, January 16th, 2013

Greetings Quantum Diaries Readers!

I know it’s been awhile since I posted (I’ve been busy, life in physics is crazy, blah, blah, blah…same excuses for being a bad blogger that everyone gives) but I wanted to bring to the attention of the larger community an interesting process that I am helping to organize and take part in. Namely, the planning process in high energy physics known as Snowmass (on the Mississippi).

This is a conference that is only held every ten years or so as an opportunity to bring together the varying sub-fields of high energy physics (HEP) and begin to lay down a road map of what the future of HEP experiments, theory, and education/outreach will look like. Previously, this conference was held for many weeks in Snowmass, Colorado…however this year it will keep it’s name but be held at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis.

The part of this that I am most excited about is the opportunity that I’ve been asked to help lead in organizing the “young” people in HEP to have their voice heard and their opinions expressed in this planning process. To this end we have (re)formed a group of undergraduate / graduate / post-doc / un-tenured  scientist working in HEP to take part in the various meetings and plannings leading up to the Snowmass conference in July of this year.

The name of this group is the Snowmass Young Physicist Movement (or Snowmass Young for short). Briefly and broadly speaking we have three main charges:

The first charge for the YPM will be to provide a “deliverable” (some sort of summary) to the Community Summer Study reflecting the attitudes and opinions of young particle physicist on the future of the field and the most pressing concerns held by those of us early in our carrer. Moreover, we desire to engage in the planning process for the next generation experiments being planned now as these will shape the future of the field we hope to inherit.

The next charge of the YPM is to become a long term asset to young physicist. This can be done by providing information and resources to people in high energy physics when making carrer descions. This includes, but is not limited to information about current and planned experiments and collaborations. Additionally we hope to provide resources for those of us who decide to take many skills learned in physics out into the general work force.

Finally YPM aims to provide a chance to for young physicists to network and meet each other as well as become known outside of our particular subfield. To this end, we hope to provide meeting times, spaces, and topics of conversation leading up to and following the Snowmass on the Mississippi. (More on this to come)

Now I know you are asking, “How do I become part of this super exciting group?”

Well, the good news is we have a bunch of ways to join and participate if you are interested in having your voice heard during the Snowmass planning process.

1) Join the mailing list to take part in the planning and orgainizing

If you want to be involved at the level of coordinating and orgainizing and don’t mind receiving a good amount of email about the details of the Snowmass Young planning process subscribe to the mailing list by writing a mail to


with an empty subject line, and in the body:

subscribe SNOWMASS-YOUNG Your Name
2) If you want to be kept up-to-date with the latest meeting times and news from the physics world follow us on Facebook and Twitter

Snowmass Young is on Facebook and Twitter.
So just follow us
This social media outlet will have events as they are created and live tweeting from meetings and conferences.
3) Check out our website and tell your friends
Finally, Snowmass Young has a website: http://snowmassyoung.hep.net/. Here you can find a calendar of events and this sight will be updated and revised as a final action plan comes into sharper focus.
It is important to remember about all this, the future being discussed during the Snowmass process is the future that we young scientist will inherit! So having our opinions known and expressed is of vital importance to all of us. But even more important, this doesn’t have to be a top down management. This should be a movement!

If you want to lead and have and impact, GO, but please include us. Go to your university, research group, home lab and start the conversation. Find out what matters and communicate that to the larger group.

We have a planning phone meeting scheduled for this Friday. If you would like connection details please message Snowmass Young on Facebook / Twitter / or send an email to snowmass2013young .AT. gmail . com.

We look forward to hearing from everyone!

MicroBooNE Construction (The full post…)

Thursday, September 6th, 2012

After much hard work by too many people to even possibly hope to mention, MicroBooNE detector assembly has begun to roll out some of the first tangible construction in this last month. I have had the good fortune of getting to take part in a lot of the assembly activity and detector construction in the last week and thought it would be fun to share some of the work with the Quantum Diaries community. The first thing I should say is that any of the work I am showing here is by no means my own. I am only one of many hands getting to take part in the plan to build the Liquid Argon neutrino detector known as MicroBooNE. While I am trying my best to take on leadership roles in some of these tasks (e.g. be a person that knows what is going on and can get yelled at if things aren’t going smoothly), there are many people who are planning and leading the charge and I am just one of many helping hands.

Wires being mounted on the electronics board

The first of the tasks I got to do much earlier in the spring was to take part in the fabrication of part of the wires that will be at the heart of the MicroBooNE detector. From February till May of this year I aided and helped lead the effort to complete the Y-plane wires that will serve as the collection plane for the MicroBooNE detector. This was a very interesting, yet incredibly tedious, task of using a special made machine (made at Brookhaven Labs) to measure and wind > 3840 individual wires and place them on an electronics board (also designed and fabricated at Brookhaven…see I told you I was only a small cog in the wheel) before storing them and shipping them to Fermilab where they await to be mounted in the detector. Along the way we performed various strength and strain tests all in preparation for their final use in the detector.

All the Y-Plane wires awaiting transport to Fermilab

After landing back at Fermilab in the early summer (with a brief layover in Japan for Neutrino 2012 conference) I began to take part in the massive efforts that were going on to sort / clean / and prep all the various large and small parts that were starting to arrive from the various machine shops and industrial companies that will eventually make up the MicroBooNE detector. These efforts were being lead by Jen Raaf (a Fermilab Scientist) along with an army of undergraduates, graduates, and post-docs. An article was even written in Fermilab today (see link here) highlighting some of the work.

However, don’t let the fancy picture fool you…this was a lot of hard work. From scrubbing massive pieces of steel to remove grime and particles to cleaning and coating thousands of individual bolts, this massive effort required MANY man hours and lots of dirty clothes and long days. I, along with many other people, aided in a good part of the cleaning efforts as well as some of the sorting and transporting, but a lot of credit has to go to Thomas Strauss from Bern who really threw himself into the task of getting these parts cleaned, labelled and transported .

Finally, with a all the parts needed to begin the full scale construction, MicroBooNE began to come together last week at large scale. The first part of the detector that was to be assembled is what is known as the “anode frame” and is one of the back parts of what makes up the large rectangular TPC detector.

This too was no small undertaking and took the hard work of technicians from Lab F at Fermilab, scientists from Brookhaven Labs, graduate students and post-docs (myself included) and even the spokespeople of the MicroBooNE collaboration in order to get all the various parts to fit together and have any hope of being square and parallel.

Freshly cleaned large steel parts for the TPC

Like most things in life, the judicious application of banging mallets, pulling of chains, and the screwing of allen wrenches eventually got the anode frame assembled and in place in the construction tent currently living in the D0 collision hall at Fermilab.

While the construction work is far from being done, I thought it would be fun to share a flavor of all the exciting things that are taking place as I get the chance to share in my first large scale construction of a particle detector. You can follow all the excitement, thanks to Fermilab visual media services there is a live streaming webcam of the construction tent which can be viewed here: http://vmsstreamer1.fnal.gov/live/MBWebcam.htm

1000's of bolts freshly cleaned and awaiting moly-coating


All the people hard at work getting the frame together (when all else fails, swing the hammer harder!)

The (nearly) completed anode frame




Shameless Plugging

Thursday, July 12th, 2012

Homer Wolfe (CDF)

So a good friend of mine, former Quantum Diaries blogger, and exceptional scientist, Homer Wolfe from The Ohio State University, is doing a live chat today about what the world of physics looks like now that we (may have) found the Higgs. The chat is taking place at 2pm (CT) 3pm (EST)

You can find a link to the live chat here:

Homer has an exceptional ability to provide a wonderful understanding of very complex physics that is accessible to even those “not in the know”. Even more, his broad knowledge of science and physics in particular should make this discussion very interesting and entertaining. (He is also an exceptionally funny person…so expect some good humour too)

Following the live chat, Homer is also giving a special Joint Experimental-Theoretical physics seminar at Fermilab on the results from CDF (Collider Detection at Fermilab) that was presented at ICHEP (physics conference) this last week. I highly encourage anyone at Fermilab to take this opportunity to go see his talk. He is an exceptional speaker and will be sure to add a great flair to the results from CDF.


So that is my shameless plugging of a very good friend who is one of the most talented physicists I have ever known.




Physics at work in the real world

Sunday, April 22nd, 2012

So if you are a reader of this blog, chances are you already have some sort of propensity towards liking the subject material in physics regardless of it the immediate impact of the subject material at hand will “build the better mouse trap,” so to speak.

However, it has been my experience that most people do not have such an interest in physics. Worse still, from my experience as a teaching assistant and tutor, people will always come back to this question:

“When am I going to use this in the real world”

When this question comes up, as it inevitably does when trying to convince someone to find the coefficient of friction for a block sliding down an incline plane, I am always left reaching for the “problem solving skills” answer more than any other answer. So you can imagine my delight when I stubled upon at article in Wired UK that showed a real life example of someone using their knowledge of physics to beat a traffic ticket that was given in error. (See article here)

Basically, by utilizing his understanding of angular and linear velocity Dmitri Krioukov of  the University of California was able to lay out the argument that because of the police officers position and difficulty we have discerning linear velocity from angular velocity when observing from a distance perpendicular to the direction of motion the police officer mistakenly thought that Dmitri failed to stop at a stop sign.

If you have been near a railroad track crossing when a train is coming you’ve likely experienced this. Often when the crossing gates come down you look down the track and see a train in the distance that appears to be approaching very slowly. As the train gets closer is seems to be speeding up until it passed directly in front of you when it seems to have reached maximum speed. Of course the truth of the matter is that the linear speed of the train is constant, while what you are observing is the angular speed which gives you the illusion that the train was moving slower and then accelerating as it comes closer.

This is in fact one of the reasons car accidents occur when cars attempt to “beat” a train across the tracks. We are really bad at estimating the actual speed of the train and thus the train appears to “speed up” and cross the tracks much quicker then we anticipate.

Using this as the building block for the argument Krioukov traces out the basis of how the police officer mistakenly thought that he failed to come to a stop. As he states in the abstract of his paper he published on the arxiv


We show that if a car stops at a stop sign, an observer, e.g., a police officer, located at a certain distance perpendicular to the car trajectory, must have an illusion that the car does not stop, if the following three conditions are satisfied: (1) the observer measures not the linear but angular speed of the car; (2) the car decelerates and subsequently accelerates relatively fast; and (3) there is a short-time obstruction of the observer’s view of the car by an external object, e.g., another car, at the moment when both cars are near the stop sign.

Taken from the paper found here: http://arxiv.org/pdf/1204.0162v1.pdf

What I found so great about this is that using little more then simple geometry and basic kinematics he convincingly argues how this easy mistaken can be made and using simple (and rather well drawn) graphs makes his compelling argument. Finally, i am left with a serious example that is easy to follow and according to the Wired UK source resulted in the defendant not having to pay the $400 ticket. So for all those non-physics people that somehow found their way onto this blog….STUDY YOUR KINEMATICS! It may just save your driving record.


Long Baseline Neutrino Experiment hit before it starts

Friday, March 23rd, 2012

So as many are finding out today the world of High Energy Physics (HEP) in the US is having its future further blurred with the announcement from the Office of Science directors announcement that the Long Baseline Neutrino Experiment (LBNE) that

“we cannot support the LBNE project as it is currently configured…(this decision) is a recognition that the peak cost of the project cannot be accommodated in the current budget climate or that projected for the next decade”

This is pulled from a letter from Office of Science Director Bill Brinkman  (found here)

While I can’t say this is a particularly surprising result given tight budgets and tough political climate as well as the projected $1.5 billion price tag of LBNE…it is very disheartening when I read “for the next decade

Science Insider (article linked here) does a nice job of explaining the

“latest twist in the long saga to build an underground lab in Homestake”

I think to say that this decision, the recent shutdown of the Tevatron, and the rough forecast of the budget makes the stakes very high for Fermilab and the future science at this lab.

Next week is a Directors review of the LBNE project  (http://lbne.fnal.gov/reviews/CD1-review-top.shtml) here at Fermilab where I am sure much discussion and planning will get thrashed out in the coming days.


Tevatron might be shutdown…but still has something interesting to say

Saturday, February 18th, 2012

As discussed in this blog post in Scientific American (see blog post here) the Tevatron experiments may have a few last interesting things to say when it comes to the Higgs Boson at the March meetings.

At the American Association for the Advancement of Science meeting Collider Detector at Fermilab (CDF) spokes person Rob Roser said that we can expect “something interesting” coming from the Tevatron in the coming month.

Now normally I don’t get into the excitement of “hints” of the Higgs because now it seems you can’t sneeze with out causing a “3-sigma” deviation in you data. However, if we are to take the last results from the LHC seriously and there is an intriguing deviation around 125 GeV for the Higgs search the data from the Tevatron might be very well suited to being sensitive to seeing evidence for the Higgs.

Atlas results for the search for the Higgs boson with an intriguing "peak" around 125 GeV

For me, this only goes back to a debate that was going on almost a year ago, and this was whether or not we should extend the run of the Tevatron. One of the more compelling arguments that was made was exactly the scenario that is playing out and goes something like this…

“If the Higgs is low mass as other experimental results suggest then the Tevatron is well posed to be sensitive to the Higgs mass and can provide a completely independent discovery of this elusive particle and aid in measuring many of the properties of the Higgs and unlock many of the mysteries to the universe and the origins of mass.”

However, this didn’t compel enough people to make this happen, so we are left with this opportunity for the Tevatron to contribute to the Higgs search at a maximum of 3-sigma confirmation due to limited data samples.

Now of course this whole discussion is predicated on the fact that the Higgs lives in a low mass range (if it lives anywhere) all of which is not proven anywhere yet…

So this is just to say that the Tevatron is/was a great experiment and is still actively contributing to the discovery process unfolding every day in High Energy Physics and we should all stay tuned for this possible independent confirmation or refutation of the claims of where the Higgs boson may live.

Some great posts about the Higgs from my fellow bloggers:

Why do we expect a Higgs Boson? Part II Unitarization of Vector Boson Scattering

It Might Look Like a Higgs, But Does it Really Sing Like One?