Vision for HEP

Vision for HEP Poster
Click image for larger view

The Office of High Energy Physics promotes a broad, long term particle physics program at three interrelated frontiers of particle physics. The office supports current operations and experiments and research and development for future facilities and experiments.

  • The Energy Frontier directly explores the fundamental constituents and architecture of the universe. Here accelerators produce the highest-energy particles ever made by man; collisions of these particle beams produce unusual and new particles. Sophisticated detectors observe the final state particles, providing insight into the fundamental interactions and windows to the conditions of the early universe.
  • The Intensity Frontier, accessed with a combination of intense particle beams and highly sensitive detectors, offers a second, unique investigation of fundamental interactions. Neutrinos, though ubiquitous in the universe, are elusive and require populous beams and vast detectors to observe. Measurements of the mass and other properties of neutrinos have profound consequences for understanding the evolution of the universe. Observations of rare processes, that require exquisitely sensitive detectors as well as intense beams, also explore high energies, providing an alternate, powerful window to the nature of fundamental interactions.
  • The Cosmic Frontier reveals the nature of dark matter and dark energy by using particles from space to explore new phenomena. Cosmic rays in the earth’s atmosphere, neutrinos from the sun, and gamma rays from deep space, are some of the known natural sources. Searches are also underway for alternate explanations of dark matter and energy. Observations of the cosmic frontier reveal a universe far stranger than ever thought possible. The new techniques at the cosmic complement the accelerator-based research of the other frontiers.

These scientific frontiers form an interlocking framework that addresses fundamental questions about the laws of nature and the cosmos.