Now it’s official: Italian Government Funds the Super-B December 23, 2010Posted by apetrov in Particle Physics, Physics, Science.
So it is official. According to Roberto Petronzio (INFN President), “The Ministry for Education, University and Research [of Italy] has decided to select the SuperB project conducted by the Italian National Institute of Nuclear Physics (INFN) as one of its “flagship projects” in Italy over the next few years and has delivered an initial funding for 2010 as a part of a multiannual funding program” (see here from interaction.org site).
This was first announced by Marcelo Giorgi (Super-B spokesperson) on December 18 at the closing of the XV SuperB General Meeting in Caltech (“SuperB has been approved and funded by the Italian government. Approval has been announced in a closed session of the CERN council. We should expect press releases with announcements from INFN and the Italian minister of science and education within the next few days,” see here). The announcement was a bit unexpected — many of my colleagues even believed that the project would never be funded, especially in such difficult times. But it happened!
This is s very good news for flavor physics. The Super-B experiment is a high-intensity B-factory, which is designed to look for glimpses of New Physics in rare decays of B- and D-mesons (for professional description of the physics case, see here; for Conceptual design Report (CDR) see here). It is a descendant of the SLAC B-factory experiment BaBar — almost literally, as parts of the accelerator and BaBar detector will be disassembled at SLAC and delivered to Italy and reassembled there. This is done as part of the US strategy of moving scientific expertise in high energy physics from the US to Europe and Asia (which started with plowing most other high energy physics programs in favor of the linear collider program that was never funded in full… actually, it is not even mentioned that often nowdays — partially because of the excitement over LHC) along with scientific leadership in that area :-).
So these are the exciting times for the SuperB collaboration! One important thing is that the site for the experiment is not yet chosen. Currently the possibilities include a green site at Tor Vergata or exciting site of the Frascati Lab of INFN near Rome. So hey have their work cut out for them.