"The U.S. has achieved its leadership position through the
generous support of the American people. We renew and reaffirm our commitment
to return full value for the considerable investment made by our fellow
citizens. This commitment includes, but is not limited to, sharing our
intellectual insights through education and outreach, providing highly
trained scientific and technical manpower to help drive the economy,
and developing new technologies that foster the health, wealth and security
of our nation and of society at large."
- DOE/NSF High-Energy Physics Advisory Panel Subpanel on Long Range
Planning for U.S. High-Energy Physics
A $5 to $7 billion high-energy, high-luminosity, linear particle accelerator
is the centerpiece of a twenty-year "road map" for high energy
physics research in a report that was released on Monday. The 100-page
report is the result of a year's effort by a subpanel of 22 physicists
chaired by Jonathan Bagger of The John Hopkins University and Barry
Barish of Caltech. The report was released at the outset of a two day
meeting held in Washington, and can be read at http://bohr.pha.jhu.edu/~bagger/report.pdf.
"Our highest priority is full participation in the design, construction
and operation of this exciting new facility, wherever in the world it
is sited," the report states. Fermilab's Tevatron collider is the
world's highest energy accelerator. CERN's Large Hadron Collider, now
under construction and scheduled for operation later this decade, will
have seven times the energy of the Tevatron. The LHC will collide protons
against protons. The proposed high-energy linear particle accelerator
would collide electrons against positrons.
"We recommend that the United States prepare to bid to host the
linear collider, in a facility that is international from the inception,"
the subpanel recommends. The report carefully describes why having the
facility in the U.S. is preferred, with reasons ranging from the highly
tangible to the less tangible. "As a flagship facility for 21st
century science, the linear collider could be a centerpiece of a national
effort to boost the physical sciences," the subpanel concludes.
One of the speakers at the meeting remarked that the future of this
road map will "clearly [require] a high level decision of the federal
government." Once a decision is made to participate in the construction
of the proposed collider, decision makers will then have to consider
offshore and onshore scenarios. Financing will likely be a major consideration.
As envisioned, the new collider would cost $5 to $7 billion. If built
in the United States, the subpanel estimates that one-third of the accelerator's
cost would be provided though international contributions. Another $1
to $2 billion would come from a "realignment" of the current
U.S. particle physics program. The remainder of the funding would be
provided through an increase in federal funding for high energy physics
program. An offshore accelerator would require an estimated 10% increase
in funding, while an onshore facility would require an estimated 30%
increase in federal funding. DOE high energy physics funding has recently
been relatively stable, with FY 2003 funding set at $712 million.
International participation in the construction of the facility will
be required. A statement by the European Committee for Future Accelerators
remarked that this is "the first time that the world community
has shown such a common and unanimous view of the next steps necessary
to unravel the basic structure of our universe and on the tools to follow