BNL Physics Department Welcomes Steve Vigdor
By Sally Dawson
The Physics Department at BNL gathered on October 2 to welcome Steve Vigdor to his new position as BNL Associate Laboratory Director for Nuclear and Particle Physics. Steve replaced Peter Bond, who had previously served in this position, on September 1, 2007. The day was organized by Physics Department Chair Tom Ludlam and featured a full program of discussions of BNL Physics Department activities. The focus was on science opportunities for the future and the path towards realizing our scientific goals. The agenda and talks are posted here.
A survey of results from the RHIC experiments was present by Jamie Dunlop (STAR), Dave Morrison (PHENIX), Les Bland (Spin), and Dima Kharzeev (theory). Mark Baker discussed the BNL Physics Department effort on the ATLAS heavy ion program.
The RHIC and ATLAS computing facility serves both the high energy and nuclear communities. Michael Ernst showed the growth expected in both facilities and reminded us that the largest challenge is to provide the space and infrastructure needed for the expansion. Similarly, the lattice gauge effort at BNL has large contributions from the new lattice group headed by Frithjof Karsh, members of the RIKEN/BNL center, and the high energy theory group. Mike Creutz summarized the BNL lattice efforts.
The high energy program at BNL centers around the ATLAS experiment and the neutrino experiments MINOS and Daya Bay. Howard Gordon, Srini Rajagopalan, and Frank Paige talked about the challenges of going from the ATLAS construction project to a focus on physics, while David Lissauer presented BNL efforts towards ATLAS upgrades and other detector R&D projects. Amarjit Soni discussed the high energy theory group efforts, which are dominated by LHC physics and lattice gauge theory. The MINOS and Daya Bay efforts were presented by Mary Bishai and Steve Kettell.
One of the purposes of the symposium was to talk about possible future research efforts at BNL and so there were discussions of a future long baseline neutrino experiment using a beam from Fermilab to DUSEL (Mary Bishai), detector efforts on forward calorimeters at a future linear collider (Bill Morse), the search for dark energy with the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (Paul O’Connor), and the possibility of an electric dipole experiment with deuterium and a more precise g-2 experiment (Yannis Semertzides).
No discussion of future activities at BNL would be complete without consideration of future accelerator projects. Thomas Ulrich discussed the local BNL efforts to enunciate the physics of a future electron-ion collider, while Vitaly Yakimenko presented research at the Accelerator Test Facility, and Bob Palmer showed progress towards designing a muon collider.
Along the way, Laurie Littenberg reminded us that all seeds that are planted don’t bear fruit, but if too many grow, we need to prune. Steve Vigdor continued the theme, emphasizing the point that we have many creative ideas and opportunities for great science—the challenge is to realize the best physics program with the best science possible. We ended the day with a wine and cheese reception organized by John Millener and Liz Mogavero.