Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Nuclear Fallout

Some people know it, some don't, but there was just an important meeting in Galveston, TX last week, in order to develop the priorities for the nuclear physics Long Range Plan. These priorities are crucial for all of us nuclear physicists since they determine the priorities of the community -- in order -- for the Department of Energy to use to make the hard choices in lean budget years. I've just been sent a powerpoint of the final recommendations, which are officially public and open for discussion. Let's make discuss.

Without further ado, here are the recommendations -- in order:
  1. We recommend completion of the 12 GeV Upgrade at Jefferson Lab. The Upgrade will enable new insights into the structure of the nucleon, the transition between the hadronic and quark/gluon descriptions of nuclei, and the nature of confinement.
  2. We recommend construction of the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams, FRIB, a world-leading facility for the study of nuclear structure, reactions and astrophysics. Experiments with the new isotopes produced at FRIB will lead to a comprehensive description of nuclei, elucidate the origin of the elements in the cosmos, provide an understanding of matter in the crust of neutron stars, and establish the scientific foundation for innovative applications of nuclear science to society.
  3. We recommend a targeted program of experiments to investigate neutrino properties and fundamental symmetries. These experiments aim to discover the nature of the neutrino, yet unseen violations of time-reversal symmetry, and other key ingredients of the new standard model of fundamental interactions. Construction of a Deep Underground Science and Engineering Laboratory is vital to US leadership in core aspects of this initiative.
  4. The experiments at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider have discovered a new state of matter at extreme temperature and density—a quark-gluon plasma that exhibits unexpected, almost perfect liquid dynamical behavior. We recommend implementation of the RHIC II luminosity upgrade, together with detector improvements, to determine the properties of this new state of matter.
Number 4. Ouch. More on this to come.

(cue Jimmy Webb's "Galveston"...)

1 comment:

Corey said...

Where would eRHIC be on this list?