Briefing book for 2020 update of European Strategy for Particle Physics

The particle physics community in Europe is in the midst of updating the European Strategy for Particle Physics. The latest input is a newly published 250-page physics briefing book, the result of an intense year-long effort to capture the status and prospects for experiment, theory, accelerators and computing for high-energy physics.

The CERN Council first initiated the European Strategy process in 2005. It was updated in 2013 and the latest update was launched in 2018. In a truly collaborative initiative, the particle physics community submitted 160 contributions, and discussed the potential merits and challenges in an open symposium in Granada, Spain, in May. This briefing book now distills inputs to provide an objective scientific summary, which will form the basis of final discussions early next year.

An important element of the European strategy update, given the long time scales involved, is to consider which major collider should follow the LHC. The Granada symposium revealed there is clear support for an electron-positron collider to study the Higgs boson in greater detail, but four possible options at different stages of maturity exist: an International Linear Collider (ILC) in Japan, a Compact Linear Collider (CLIC) or Future Circular Collider (FCC-ee) at CERN and a Circular Electron Positron Collider (CEPC) in China. Also considered are design studies in Europe for colliders that push the energy frontier, including a 3 TeV upgrade of CLIC and a 100 TeV circular hadron collider (FCC-hh).

The vast bulk of the briefing book details the current physics landscape and prospects for progress, including physics beyond the Standard Model and dark-sector exploration. It stresses the vital roles of detector and accelerator development as well as computing and instrumentation, with an emphasis on energy efficiency. The diversity of the global theoretical and experimental programme is a strong feature to tackle ongoing puzzles in particle physics.

With this latest input to the process, the next steps involve drafting recommendations in Bad Honnef, Germany, in January, with their submission for the approval of the CERN Council foreseen in Budapest, Hungary, in May 2020.

Read more in the full CERN Courier article.

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