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Wednesday. An Important Day. April 26, 2006

Posted by gordonwatts in physics, politics, science.
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Why? Because the particle physics 2010 report will be released. They will even do a webcast of the release (can I download it as a podcast!?). This report attempts to look at the major questions facing particle physics over the next decade or two. This report is put together by the National Academies of the Sciences.

Figuring out priorities for expensive projects is difficult. And, as you might imagine, many people are heavily invested in these projects before they get to the point of actually getting funding for them. And, as you might expect (especially today) there are more good ideas than money. Sorting that into a coherent set of priorities is like watching sausage being made. Ugly!

Here at UW we are lucky enough to have a member of the P5 committee — a committee charged by the Department of Energy Office of Science  (hey — quantum diaries is still posted on that page!) Particle Physics division with recommending what projects the DOE should fund. Should we do the International Linear Collider? How about the LSST (a large telescope project that UW is playing a major roll in)? How about Nova (a neutrino experiment)? As this person put it "no matter what, even with this 7% proposed budget increase in this year's science budget, there is no way to do everything. People are going to hate us!"

One place P5 will be taking its queues from is this 2010 report… Though I'm looking forward to the future, I'm hoping that 2010 pushes the ILC and the LSST — two projects I really like. Nova is great too, it just doesn't personally excite me as much.

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