Scientists look to the next decades of particle physics in the United States

Today, more than 600 particle physicists from nearly 100 universities and laboratories gathered at the Minneapolis campus of the University of Minnesota. Over the next nine days, this diverse group of experts, who study the most fundamental components of our universe: energy, matter, space and time, will dream big. They will list the most pressing scientific questions in the field and consider the experiments needed to answer them.

“Particle physics answers some of the most important and fundamental questions in all of science,” said Michael Peskin, one of the organizers of the meeting, organized by the Division of Particles and Fields of the American Physical Society. “By coming together to discuss these issues from multiple angles and techniques, we can identify opportunities for our field.”

Held once or twice a decade, this baseline planning exercise – within the particle physics community known as the “Snowmass Community Summer Study”, after the Colorado location of the studies previous summer – will lead to a document of about 300 pages that evaluates and summarizes the particles. possibilities of discoveries of physics.

“We all bring different and reinforcing reasons why high-energy physics is important and should be supported,” said Steve Ritz, one of the meeting organizers. “There is clear evidence that there is more to discover; we have deep questions to answer.

With input from the U.S. Department of Energy and the National Science Foundation, insights emerging from the Snowmass process will inform the U.S. Particle Physics Project (P5) Prioritization Group as it creates a new strategic plan for future US investments in high energy physics. .

“The P5 process takes the scientific vision of the community and turns it into an achievable and executable plan over a 10 to 20-year period,” said Jim Siegrist, director of the Office of High Energy Physics at the Office of the Department of Energy. ‘energy. science.

The strategic plan will provide a cohesive path forward, establishing a strong position from which the U.S. high-energy physics community, in collaboration with the international community, can answer big scientific questions and improve our understanding of nature. .

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