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Forthcoming Project Peer Review Panel meeting – October 2020

Due to COVID-19 the October meeting of the Projects Peer Review Panel (PPRP) will now take place virtually via Zoom. The presentation and Q&A session for the proposal is still open to members of the science community to observe. The Panel will be reviewing three project proposals. Anyone who wishes to attend should contact Christopher Carlton who will send them the Zoom details for the meeting.

The proposals being reviewed, and time of review is as follows:

14th October 11.30 – 12.45 SoftWare InFrastructure and Technology for High Energy Physics (SWIFT-HEP)

The computing requirements of the highest priority projects within the HEP programme are posing significant challenges which must be addressed head-on. The four LHC experiments (ATLAS, CMS, LHCb and ALICE) recorded almost 1 exabyte of data to make groundbreaking discoveries, from the Higgs Boson to pentaquarks. Major upgrades of the LHC experiments are due to take place in the 2020s which will greatly augment their datasets, while in parallel we will see the build-up to operation of the next generation of neutrino experiments (DUNE and HyperK) with LHC-scale volumes of highly granular data.

Software development is recognised by the international community as an essential aspect to achieve the physics goals. The recent update of the European Strategy for particle physics points out that professional software engineers are needed for the future of the field and an international community is emerging around this research support area. The goal of this proposal is two-fold. (i) The funding sought will provide a direct contribution to the international effort and allow us to shape the future direction of computing and software development in the field of particle physics. (ii) A new cross-experiment collaborative environment will be established in the UK to create a framework to address common problems in software development which will serve us for the next decade and beyond.

The Panel goes into closed session for the rest of the day.

15th October 10.15 – 11.45 Cassegrain U-Band Efficient Spectrograph (CUBES): Bringing a unique capability to ESO's VLT

The four 8.2m telescopes of ESO's Very Large Telescope (VLT) are the world's most scientifically productive ground-based observatory at visible/infrared wavelengths. Looking to the future of the VLT there is a long-standing aspiration for an optimised ultraviolet spectrograph, working at high efficiency at the shortest wavelengths accessible from the ground. The Cassegrain U-Band Efficient Spectrograph (CUBES) will deliver this sought-after capability, opening a new discovery space for a broad range of astrophysics, ranging from searching for water in the Solar System, to understanding the chemical make-up of the Universe immediately after the Big Bang.

The CUBES Consortium is an international partnership led by Italy, together with groups from the UK, Australia, Brazil, Germany and Poland. STFC will take a leading role in developing the scientific goals of CUBES, and in the engineering to design and build the instrument. Engineers at STFC's UKATC and Durham University will be responsible for the design of innovative optics and detectors in the instrument that will give CUBES five to ten times the observing power of current instruments in this part of the electromagnetic spectrum. This huge gain in the so-called 'ground ultraviolet' will mean that we can access a much larger number of astronomical targets compared to current facilities. This will allow astronomers to, for instance, study the origins of more than a quarter of the chemical elements, many of which we use in our everyday lives but that can only be observed in astronomical sources in the CUBES range.

The Panel goes into closed session for the rest of the day.

16th October 10.10 – 11.00 LHCb Upgrade II: Maximising HL-LHC Discovery Potential (Bridging Funding)

The LHCb Upgrade II proposal addresses the goal set out in the European Strategy for Particle Physics of exploiting fully the physics potential of the High Luminosity LHC.

The experiment is designed to exploit the high production rate of heavy flavoured (beauty and charm) particles in LHC collisions, enabling precision searches for physics beyond the Standard Model through loop processes. LHCb Upgrade II builds on the existing infrastructure of the LHCb experiment, with upgrades to all subdetector systems and new elements that will provide capability to resolve particles from different collisions in the same bunch crossing through the use of precision timing information.

Data will be recorded at much higher rates than currently possible, leading to a broad and exciting physics programme, unmatched by any other experiment.

This proposal is for a 3-year R&D project within the UK to develop specific, strategic technologies that will enable the physics goals of LHCb Upgrade II to be achieved.

The UK groups have particular interests in addressing challenges in vertexing and tracking, charged hadron identification and data processing by developing strategic technologies, and the project is structured into work packages accordingly.

It has been agreed with STFC that the funding requests for this project be submitted and reviewed in two parts: the first covering bridging for the first year (Oct. 2020-Sep. 2021), and the second for the remaining two years (Oct. 2021-Sep. 2023) to be considered at the December PPRP.

The Panel goes into closed session for the rest of the day.

Last updated: 02 November 2020

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