Neutrino Platform

Postcards from the Energy Frontier by Prof Jon Butterworth

Do strategies make a difference?

On Monday we had a meeting of UK particle physicists at the shiny new Institute of Physics building (beta version here, well worth a visit if you are in the Kings Cross area) to discuss the ongoing update of the European Strategy for Particle Physics.

This was a chance for the UK particle physics community to react to the week-long international “open symposium” we had in Granada recently. There are strongly held opinions, open minds, facts established and in some cases more information needed. The process continues.

It is easy to be cynical in the middle of a strategising talk-shoppery, wondering how much difference the whole thing might really make. But the last strategy (PDF). led to several real changes and actions, one of which was the creation of the CERN “neutrino platform“. This has, amongst other things, allowed European particle physicists to participate strongly in the DUNE experiment in the US. And without the protoDUNE detector, Anastasia would have nowhere to sing the song, see above. Strategy matters.

Feature image credit to CERN

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Professor Jon Butterworth is a physics professor at University College London and a researcher on the ATLAS experiment at CERN involved with, amongst other things, the discovery of the Higgs Boson. He is the author of two popular science books Smashing Physics and A Map of the Invisible. Postcards From the Energy Frontier is the successor to Jon’s hugely successful blog for The Guardian, Life and Physics. He is @jonmbutterworth on Twitter.

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