The CERN Council Strategy Group is putting together a document proposing a European stategy for particle physics, in a process to be completed this July. As part of this process, earlier this week the group held an Open Symposium at Orsay, and the presentations are now available on-line.
I’ve often written here about possible future plans for particle physics in the US, but these presentations give an excellent overview of what is going on in Europe, where the situation is quite a bit better than here. Several of the presentations discuss possible upgrades to the LHC: the SLHC (increased luminosity), the DLHC (doubled beam energy using more powerful magnets), and the LHeC (colliding electrons or positrons with protons, like HERA at DESY, but with 1.4 TeV center of mass energy). Pretty much all the presentations are worth taking a look at, several of them involve an impressive amount of work in putting together a lot of information into a very professional PowerPoint format.
The one presentation about particle theory is by Nigel Glover and compares the performance of European and American theorists by looking at citation counts. There’s a lot of interesting data, much of it showing American dominance, but keep in mind that there is a strong “Witten effect” in the data, since he is by far the most influential theorist around, especially in terms of number of citations.
Back here in the U.S., on Monday the Bush administration is releasing its FY2007 budget proposals. An outline of the DOE budget lists an 8% increase in HEP spending to $775.1 million, as well as full funding for RHIC. The NSF should also see a sizable increase as part of the so-called American Competitiveness Initiative. The folks over at Cosmic Variance are experiencing some cognitive dissonance.