Yesterday, the US Department of Energy released a roadmap for the projects it would like to pursue over the rest of this decade. The report lays out five major priorities for the physics community and lists a set of projects that can be built to meet them. To make sure those projects are completed, it recommends an increased emphasis on funding actual construction (as opposed to technology development or research) over the next several years. All of which sounds good—until you recognize that the report’s worst-case budget scenario is better than the Obama administration’s budget request for this research.
It’s worth going through each of the five points and the projects that serve them.
Use the Higgs boson as a new tool for discovery. For the foreseeable future, the Large Hadron Collider is the only game in town for the Higgs, and the US is already heavily involved. Upgrades have been completed that will allow the LHC to reach its full design energies, and the US is committed to further upgrades that will increase its luminosity—the number of collisions per unit time—and upgrade the detectors to cope with the increased load.