March 5, 1998
Vol. 17, No. 11

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    Committee urges U.S. participation in accelerator project

    Winstein chair of national committee on high-energy physics

    By Diana Steele
    News Office

    In a report to Congress on the status of high-energy physics, a national committee chaired by physicist Bruce Winstein recommends that the United States participate in the design, construction and operation of a next-generation particle accelerator. The 175-page report, issued on Feb. 19 by the National Research Council Committee on Elementary-Particle Physics, reflects the consensus of the particle physics community worldwide.

    "This is an exciting time in particle physics," said Winstein, the Samuel K. Allison Distinguished Service Professor in Physics. "We're at the threshold of new discoveries, such as finding out what gives particles mass and what the difference is between matter and anti-matter."

    The report outlines the types of discoveries that are likely to be made in the next 10 years using the Large Hadron Collider -- currently under construction at CERN in Geneva, Switzerland -- and also recommends that a new, more powerful facility will be needed to address the questions that the LHC will leave unanswered.

    "It will have to be an international facility," Winstein said. "We would like to participate as much as possible in the choice of technologies and in the design, and of course, those of us working in the United States would love to see it based here."

    The Committee on Elementary-Particle Physics was convened by the National Research Council's Board on Physics and Astronomy to assess the field of particle physics as part of the survey series Physics in a New Era. The survey was commissioned by the late David Schramm, Vice President for Research, who was past chair of the Board on Physics and Astronomy.

    The 19-member committee chaired by Winstein included Melvyn Shochet, the Elaine M. and Samuel D. Kersten Jr. Professor in Physical Science, and other distinguished physicists from around the nation.