Elementary particle physics, as underscored in the National Academy of Sciences report, Revealing the Hidden Nature of Space Time: Charting the Course for Elementary Particle Physics (also known as EPP-2010), has long been regarded as a major scientific discipline in the broader enterprise of the physical sciences and, as such, worthy of strong government support.
As the Academy report further noted, particle physics is entering an era of unprecedented potential. It is poised to take significant steps toward answering some of the most compelling science questions ever asked. How did the universe evolve from its primal origin, and what is its future? What is the essence of dark energy and dark matter? What are the fundamental characteristics of space and time? And how did mass originate?
Particle physics, the American Physical Society further observes, has been a successful driver of intellectual excitement and technological advancement, helping to sustain American leadership in discovery and innovation for half a century. Therefore, within the framework of a balanced national program in the physical sciences that recognizes the need for advancing the frontiers in both large and small science, the American Physical Society strongly endorses the chief recommendation of EPP-2010:
“The United States should remain globally competitive in elementary particle physics by playing a leading role in the worldwide effort to aggressively study Terascale physics.”
To achieve that end in the context of successful international collaborations on large scientific facilities, the American Physical Society, consistent with the recommendations in EPP-2010: ·
- Urges the Administration, acting through the Department of Energy and the National Science Foundation; and Congress, acting through the authorization and appropriations committees, to provide the American share of the “risk capital” for research and development (recommended in the National Academy report) leading to an engineering design and cost basis for the International Linear Collider project; and
- Further urges the Administration and Congress, to offer to site such a project in the United States, if the outcome of the research and development effort is satisfactory.
(Adopted by the Council on November 5, 2006)
Category: National Policy