[IPNS Workshop] Report on “Current Particle Physics and its Perspective”

On December 21, 22, and 23, a three-day workshop entitled “Particle Physics Today and Tomorrow” was held at KEK.

The Standard Model of particle physics describes the properties of the elementary particle. Still, it does not provide satisfactory answers to questions such as the origin of the universe, the nature of dark matter, the mechanism of symmetry breaking by the Higgs boson, and the origin of flavour structures. Currently, researchers worldwide promote various projects, both large and small, to try to elucidate the fundamental laws of physics.

This workshop is designed to provide a birds-eye view of the current streams of particle physics, enable participants to recognize the current status of ongoing experiments while discussing the future prospects of the field in the following decades, and think together about the future that this discipline should pursue.

21 young researchers at the forefront of experimental and theoretical research speak about “the present and future of particle physics” and include not only the prospects of their own projects but also the future of the field and the development of the discipline, including synergies with other fields. In this workshop, we asked the speakers to present their ” personal views” rather than report on the group’s achievements and future prospects as representatives.

The larger the experiment, the more likely it is that the lectures on the experiment results will be in the style of a solid and efficient summary of the results of the entire group. Data from particle physics experiments, which are the culmination of advanced technology, are essential in pursuing the fundamental aspects of nature. Because the message from the collaboration should be as accurate as possible, conference talks are subject to strict checks. On the other hand, there are fewer opportunities to talk about the mindset of the researchers actually participating in the experiments and what they care about in their research. In this workshop, we decided to emphasize this individual perspective.

Each speaker interpreted this unusual request in their context, and the talks became lively, ranging from the world within “just a one-meter radius” of the speaker to the size of the universe. Observing the sessions and the breaks, a good chain of events occurred: the speakers’ expression of their personal vision generated great enthusiasm in their talks, and those who heard them naturally wanted to express something of their own, stimulating the discussion. Many participants said the workshop reminded them of the natural importance of discussing future projects beyond their positions, roles, and responsibilities. The importance of leadership is often talked about when promoting particle experiments. Still, if a future opens up from a bottom-up approach, the seeds of that future are probably sown in this kind of workshop. This workshop was an excellent first step toward nurturing and fruition.

239 people registered for the workshop, and 84 responded to the post-workshop questionnaire. Most were satisfied with their participation and indicated they would like to participate in similar workshops. We also received a lot of thoughts and feelings in the free writing section. Let’s have fun talking again in a few years!