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Title: Particle Physics in a Season of Change

A digest of the authors opening remarks at the 2011 Hadron Collider Physics Symposium. I have chosen my title to reflect the transitions we are living through, in particle physics overall and in hadron collider physics in particular. Data-taking has ended at the Tevatron, with {approx} 12 fb{sup -1} of {bar p}p interactions delivered to CDF and D0 at {radical}s = 1.96 TeV. The Large Hadron Collider has registered a spectacular first full-year run, with ATLAS and CMS seeing > 5 fb{sup -1}, LHCb recording {approx} 1 fb{sup -1}, and ALICE logging nearly 5 pb{sup -1} of pp data at {radical}s = 7 TeV, plus a healthy dose of Pb-Pb collisions. The transition to a new energy regime and new realms of instantaneous luminosity exceeding 3.5 x 10{sup 33} cm{sup -2} s{sup -1} has brought the advantage of enhanced physics reach and the challenge of pile-up reaching {approx} 15 interactions per beam crossing. I am happy to record that what the experiments have (not) found so far has roused some of my theoretical colleagues from years of complacency and stimulated them to think anew about what the TeV scale might hold. We theorists have had plenty of time to exploremore » many proposals for electroweak symmetry breaking and for new physics that might lie beyond established knowledge. With so many different theoretical inventions in circulation, it is in the nature of things that most will be wrong. Keep in mind that we learn from what experiment tells us is not there, even if it is uncommon to throw a party for ruling something out. Some non-observations may be especially telling: the persistent absence of flavor-changing neutral currents, for example, seems to me more and more an important clue that we have not yet deciphered. It is natural that the search for the avatar of electroweak symmetry breaking preoccupies participants and spectators alike. But it is essential to conceive the physics opportunities before us in their full richness. I would advocate a three-fold approach: Explore, Search, Measure! The first phase of running at the LHC has brought us to two new lands - in proton-proton and lead-lead collisions - and we may well enter other new lands with each change of energy or increase of sensitivity. I believe that it will prove very rewarding to spend some time simply exploring each new landscape, without strong preconceptions, to learn what is there and, perhaps, to encounter interesting surprises. Directed searches, for which we have made extensive preparations, are of self-evident interest. Here the challenge will be to broaden the searches over time, so the searches are not too narrowly directed. Our very successful conception of particles and forces is highly idealized. We have a great opportunity to learn just how comprehensive is our network of understanding by making precise measurements and probing for weak spots, or finding more sweeping accord between theory and experiment.« less
Authors:
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
1036288
Report Number(s):
FERMILAB-CONF-12-035-T
arXiv eprint number arXiv:1202.4391; TRN: US1201349
DOE Contract Number:
AC02-07CH11359
Resource Type:
Conference
Research Org:
Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (FNAL), Batavia, IL
Sponsoring Org:
DOE Office of Science
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
72 PHYSICS OF ELEMENTARY PARTICLES AND FIELDS, 72 PHYSICS OF ELEMENTARY PARTICLES AND FIELDS; FERMILAB COLLIDER DETECTOR; FERMILAB TEVATRON; HADRONS; INVENTIONS; LUMINOSITY; NEUTRAL CURRENTS; OPENINGS; PHYSICS; SEASONS; SENSITIVITY; SYMMETRY BREAKING Experiment-HEP, Phenomenology-HEP