The Future of Particle Physics in the U.S.: Challenges and Opportunities for Science Leadership

by time news

Title: U.S. Lags in Particle Physics, Experts Warn

Physicists at Yale University are warning that the United States may have to cede leadership in certain areas of particle physics, which could have far-reaching implications for the field and beyond.

The warning comes as the Department of Energy’s High Energy Physics Advisory Panel prepares to vote on a draft report urging the federal government to stay committed to ongoing projects, including boosting the collision rates of the Large Hadron Collider, continuing construction of the Vera C. Rubin Observatory, and a limited version of the Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment (DUNE).

The committee emphasized the importance of supporting early-career scientists who will eventually take over these long-term projects, emphasizing that they are the future of the field.

“Basic research is a tough sell,” said Dr. Hitoshi Murayama, a physicist involved in the report. “It’s not an immediate benefit to society.” However, he emphasized that the payoff is worth it, as particle physics has led to revolutions in medical applications, materials science, and even the creation of the iPhone and the World Wide Web.

Despite the practical benefits, Dr. Murayama noted that particle physics goes beyond its impact on society, stating that it is “really at the heart of what we are.” He added that understanding the origins and future of the universe is a fundamental human desire, transcending the boundaries of the physics community.

The draft report is set to be voted on Friday afternoon, and if accepted, the committee will focus on gaining support for the plan within and outside of the physics community, including seeking the attention of Congress to secure funding.

As the United States faces the potential of ceding leadership in particle physics, the implications for the field, scientific advancements, and humanity’s understanding of the universe are considerable.

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