The Rare Symmetry Violating Processes (RSVP) project is a proposed experiment at Brookhaven that would have two components. One, “MECO” would search for neutrinoless conversion of a muon to an electron, observation of which would indicate new physics beyond the standard model. The other component, “KOPIO”, would try and measure the decay rate for neutral kaons to a pion, neutrino and anti-neutrino, a CP violating decay whose rate is predicted by the standard model.
Last fall the NSF had allocated money to start building the experiment, which was projected to cost $158 million. The idea was to use the AGS accelerator at Brookhaven, which in recent years has mainly been used as an injector for the heavy-ion collider RHIC. It seems though that revamping the AGS for use by RSVP may cost a lot more than people had originally thought, pushing the cost of RSVP up to as much as $300 million. The potential cost of RSVP is being reviewed, and HEPAP has been asked to evaluate the results that RSVP may be able to achieve at different levels of funding. According to Michael Turner, head of mathematical and physical sciences at the NSF, “We will reevaluate [RSVP’s] scientific value, its cost, and then make a decision.”