Gerald Eigen

Since 1984 I have been working at SLAC collaborating in several high-energy physics experiments (MARK III, SLD, BABAR). In 1984, I obtained my PhD from Munich University working with the Max Planck group in the CUSB experiment at Cornell University. I measured four of the six Chi(b) states in the bottomonium system for the first time in exclusive decays with two photons. With a Lynen fellowship from the Alexander von Humboldt foundation I moved to Caltech joining Hitlin's group where I performed glueball searches in MARK III and worked on the lead liquid Argon calorimeter for SLD. I remained at Caltech for about ten years continuing as a senior research fellow and as Heisenberg professor (awarded by the German Research Council) until I was appointed full professor in Bergen in 1995, since I enjoyed the scientific atmosphere at Caltech and SLAC so much. In SLD, I was heavily involved with liquid Argon prototype testing and with the construction of half of the electromagnetic calorimeter modules. I joined the B factory activities from the beginning and started R&D on CsI crystal readout and radiation hardness tests. I developed a particle identification system for BABAR based on aerogel threshold Cherenkov counters that were studied in test beams. During the BABAR R&D phase I performed tau and B analyses in Barish's group at CLEO. Here, my interest in rare decays started, which has continued till today. Since these decays are suppressed in the Standard Model, they are sensitive to new physics. For example, our results of electroweak penguin decays produced a lower limit on the new physics scale of a few TeV. In Bergen, I joined first DELPHI and later ATLAS while remaining still active in BABAR. I also got involved in calorimeter R&D based on particle flow ideas in connection with a linear collider. So presently, my focus is on ATLAS physics (analyses with multi-muons) and a calorimeter prototype construction in SuperB plus a remaining activity in BABAR to publish four papers shortly.

In BABAR, I have been convener of the radiative penguin analysis working group and served on the speaker's bureau. Presently I serve as a member of the publication board. I am a referee for PRL, PRD and NIM since many years. I was appointed Norwegian representative to the restricted ECFA last year, which coordinates activities in Europe, visits member states to review their particle physics programs and provides help with securing funding from the funding agencies. I have been co-convener of several calorimeter conferences, and physics conferences. I was part of the team that produced the original BABAR physics book and am involved now with the physics book of the B factories. Due to my calorimeter expertise I was asked by SuperB physicists to design an endcap electromagnetic calorimeter for SuperB.

I have been impressed with the particle physics community working at SLAC. Since it is a lot of fun to work with excellent scientists, I continued with BABAR after I moved to Bergen. BABAR has been the best collaboration I worked in because of high quality analyses, excellent organization and the production of many stimulating ideas. Since the turn-over of SLAC from a high-energy physics laboratory to a photon science laboratory, high-energy physics activities have suffered considerably. Certainly, atro-particle physics activities have started that are successful. This is a great achievement. However, despite any active high-energy physics experiment located at SLAC, several SLAC physicists and many collaborators are still active in BABAR, but their support is dwindling. There are several SLAC activities in SuoerB. So far there is DOE support for only one year. SLAC machine physicists would be interested in participating in the construction of the SuperB collider. I think that the success of SuperB machine crucially depends on the expertise and skills of SLAC machine physicists. There is evidence of building a successful machine and it seems natural to get these experts involved. Thus, their participation is crucial. The R&D activity for calorimetry at a linear collider was also cut. So there is only one SLAC activity working in ATLAS that receives sufficient (?) support. I would work hard to convince the DOE and politicians that SLAC should also receive support for high-energy activities. One way of getting support is by extending the outreach activities. I think it is important to share achievements with the public, not necessarily only by press conferences but by special posters and articles. In particular, it is important to attract students in high schools already. I think SLUO can play a useful role here, because if the public is excited about science the politician have to support it. Space physics has profited from this effort for quite some time.

High-energy physics has produced many important results and led to several important spin offs. SLAC results produced three Nobel laureates and BABAR results on CP violation led to the Nobel award to two Japanese theorists. In addition, high-energy physics experimentalist receive training and expertise in many different areas and thus become attractive to many other fields. I think that even photon science and astro-particle physics may profit from an active well-supported high-energy physics community at SLAC. Since it looks very promising that the Higgs boson may be discovered at CERN in 2012, proposals for a new elecron-positron linear collider will be on the table quickly. For the US to play a major role in this effort, enough experts at SLAC must remain, experimentalists as well as machine physicists. Without sufficient funding for high-energy physics at SLAC in the next few years this will be difficult, since SLAC will become less attractive for postdoc in high-energy physics.

Other issues for visitors at SLAC are travel costs for attending meetings. One point is accommodation. The opening of the SLAC guest house was certainly a major improvement. However, the rate since it opening has almost doubled. Other laboratories like CERN provide affordable rates in their guesthouse. I think SLUO should negotiate lower rates for SLAC visitors. I noticed that the quality of the SLAC cafeteria has deteriorated recently. One of my colleagues got sick after eating lunch in the cafeteria. I think SLUO should take up issue as well.