Why we are here Page: 2 of 6
This article is part of the collection entitled: Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports and was provided to Digital Library by the UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.
The following text was automatically extracted from the image on this page using optical character recognition software:
those of the past, it seems probable that
most of the grand underlying principles
have been firmly established and that fur-
ther advances are to be sought chiefly in
the rigorous application of these principles
to all the phenomena which come under
our notice .... An eminent physicist has
remarked that the future truths of Physi-
cal Science are to be looked for in the sixth
place of decimals."
As the ink was drying on these earnest words, Rdntgen
discovered x rays and published the epoch-making ra-
diograph of his wife's hand, Becquerel and the Curies
explored radioactivity, Thomson discovered the elec-
tron and showed that the "uncuttable" atom had
parts, and Planck noted that anomalies in the first
place of the decimals required a wholesale revision of
the physicist's conception of the laws of Nature.
We have the benefit of a century of additional expe-
rience and insight, but we are not nearly so confident
as our illustrious Victorian ancestors were that we
have uncovered "most of the grand underlying princi-
ples." Indeed, while we celebrate the insights codified
in the standard model of particle physics and look for-
ward to resolving its puzzles, we are increasingly con-
scious of how little of the physical universe we have
experienced and explored. Future truths are still to be
found in precision measurements, but the century we
are leaving has repeatedly shown that Nature's mar-
vels are not limited by our imagination. Exploration
can yield surprises that completely change what we
think about and how we think.
A. A Decade of Discovery Ahead
Over the next decade, we look forward to an
avalanche of experimental results that have the poten-
tial to change our view of the fundamental particles
and their interactions in very dramatic ways. A spe-
cial preoccupation for me is the search and study of
the Higgs boson; this is really shorthand for a thor-
ough exploration of the 1-TeV scale, which will eluci-
date the mechanism of electroweak symmetry break-
ing. We can also expect wonderful progress in flavor
physics: the detailed study of CP violation in the B
system, dramatically increased sensitivity in the ex-
ploration of rare decays of K and D mesons, and pin-
ning down the nature of neutrino oscillations. Maybe
we will at last see a C P-violating permanent electric
dipole moment of the neutron. Run II of the Teva-
tron will give us our first opportunity to regard the
top quark as a tool, and not only as an object of de-
sire. Although the interpretation of heavy-ion col-
lisions at RHIC and the LHC promises to be chal-
lenging, the heavy-ion colliders offer a real chance to
discover new phases of matter and enrich our under-
standing of QCD.
On many fronts, we are taking dramatic steps in
energy and sensitivity that will help us explore: extra
dimensions, new dynamics, supersymmetry, and new
kinds of forces and constituents might show them-
selves. (I'm conflicted about whether I'd like to see
them all at once, or in easy-to-understand install-
Experiments that use natural sources also hold
great promise for the decade ahead. We suspect that
the detection of proton decay is only a few orders of
magnitude away in sensitivity. Astronomical observa-
tions should help to tell us what kinds of matter and
energy make up the universe. The areas already un-
der development if not exploitation include gravity
wave detectors, neutrino telescopes, cosmic microwave
background measurements, cosmic-ray observatories,
7-ray astronomy, and large-scale optical surveys. In-
deed, the whole complex of experiments and obser-
vations we call astro/cosmo/particle physics should
enjoy a golden age.
Here at Snowmass, we will have the opportunity to
consider many imaginative ideas for instruments and
experiments that lie beyond our current horizon. Al-
though theoretical speculation and synthesis is valu-
able and necessary, we cannot advance without new
observations. The experimental clues needed to an-
swer today's central questions can come from experi-
ments at high-energy accelerators, experiments at low-
energy accelerators and nuclear reactors, experiments
with found beams, and deductions from astrophysical
measurements. Past experience, our intuition, and the
current state of theory all point to an indispensable
role for accelerator experiments.
The opportunities for accelerator science and tech-
nology are multifaceted and challenging, and offer rich
rewards for particle physics.
One line of attack consists in refining known
technologies to accelerate and collide the tra-
ditional projectiles electrons, protons, and their
antiparticles pushing the frontiers of energy, sen-
sitivity, and precise control. The new instruments
might include brighter proton sources; very-high-
luminosity e+e "factories" for B, r / charm, 0,
... ; a Tevatron "Tripler" based on high-field mag-
nets; cost-effective hadron colliders beyond the LHC
at CERN, represented by the Super-LHC and Very
Large Hadron Collider initiatives; and e+e linear col-
A second approach entails the development of ex-
otic acceleration technologies for standard particles:
electrons, protons, and their antiparticles. We don't
yet know what instruments might result from research
into new acceleration methods, but it is easy to imag-
ine dramatic new possibilities for particle physics, con-
densed matter physics, applied science, medical diag-
nostics and therapies, and manufacturing, as well as
a multitude of security applications. A teach-in on
July 5 will explore opportunities to become involved
in research on advanced acceleration methods.
Here’s what’s next.
This article can be searched. Note: Results may vary based on the legibility of text within the document.
Tools / Downloads
Get a copy of this page or view the extracted text.
Citing and Sharing
Basic information for referencing this web page. We also provide extended guidance on usage rights, references, copying or embedding.
Reference the current page of this Article.
Quigg, Chris. Why we are here, article, March 19, 2002; Batavia, Illinois. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc736225/m1/2/: accessed January 20, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.