High-energy physics gets DOE funding

August 6, 2021, 7:01AMNuclear News

The Department of Energy’s Office of Science (DOE-SC) on August 2 announced a plan to provide $100 million over the next four years for university-based research on a range of high-energy physics topics through a new funding opportunity announcement. The objective of “FY 2022 Research Opportunities in High Energy Physics,” sponsored by the Office of High Energy Physics within DOE-SC, is to advance fundamental knowledge about how the universe works.

Competitively awarded funding will support research and experiments that explore the frontiers of high-energy physics, which requires some of the world’s most advanced instuments. Other projects are aimed at further developments in particle physics theory, advanced particle accelerators, and new detector technologies, which scientists will use in continued explorations of the subatomic world. The DOE expects selected projects to include both experimental and theoretical research into topics such as the Higgs boson, neutrinos, dark matter, dark energy, and the search for new fundamental particles and forces.

“High-energy physics plays a role in many major innovations of the 21st century,” said Steve Binkley, acting director of the DOE’s Office of Science. “America must keep its competitive edge, which is why we’re investing in the scientists and engineers advancing basic physical science today to drive the new breakthroughs of tomorrow.”

Letters of intent to apply are due by August 31. Applications are due by October 5.

NAS focus on high-energy-density physics: The National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Mathematics is beginning a new congressionally requested study focused specifically on high-energy-density physics, which has critical applications in areas such as inertial confinement fusion and the stewardship of the nation’s nuclear weapons stockpile. The “Assessment of High Energy Density Physics,” sponsored by the DOE’s National Nuclear Security Administration, will identify key challenges and science questions and propose ways to address them in the coming decade.

The study committee is seeking input from the research community on key areas of scientific interest, potential new directions, and workforce/funding issues. Virtual town hall meetings are scheduled for August 11 and August 16. The study committee is also inviting public input on the future of high-energy-density science by September 17. Input can be in the form of white papers or informal comments.

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