Coming soon: plan for the future of particle physics in the United States

This week marks the end of a multi-step community planning process that will shape the coming decades of particle physics in the United States.

On Thursday, the Particle Physics Project Prioritization Panel, or P5, will present its report — which provides the strategic plan for the next 10 years in the context of an overall 20-year vision for the field — to the High Energy Physics Advisory Panel. HEPAP advises the Office of Science of the Department of Energy and the Mathematical and Physical Sciences Branch of the National Science Foundation.

The plan will have major implications for the future of U.S. research into the Higgs boson, neutrinos, dark matter, dark energy, and inflation, as well as as-yet-unknown particles, interactions, and physical principles. .

The US particle physics community has held workshops and meetings to gather feedback on what the direction of the next decade of particle physics should be.

Most notably, the physicists held a year-long community planning exercise called ‘Snowmass’, culminating in a nine-day workshop (pictured above) in July and August 2013. The physicists wrote a report of several thousands of pages detailing issues, challenges and insights. discussed in the areas of experimentation, instrumentation, computing, education and outreach, and theory.

Building on this community effort, the 25-member P5 panel is tasked with developing strategic advice for funding agencies and has pursued numerous community interactions while working to shape the best paths forward under three possible budget scenarios. The panel consists of 20 members from universities and laboratories across the United States as well as five members from Canada, Europe and Japan.

The High Energy Physics Advisory Committee, after accepting the report, will submit it to the Department of Energy and the National Science Foundation.

Information about the meeting and how to participate via webcast is available on the HEPAP website.

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