comment on APS Neutrino Study Report

From: John G. Learned <>
Date: Tue Sep 28 2004 - 20:17:15 CDT

Dear APS Neutrino Study Writing Committee, Hamish and all:

Two areas of comment on the report....

One quick and relatively trivial remark about the Figure 1: I think we
should change the "SuperK confirms the atmospheric deficit" to "SuperK
sees evidence that muon neutrinos oscillate". The point is of course,
that the previous anomaly could have been due to many other causes than
oscillations, which is why muon neutrino oscillations were not taken too
seriously until June 1998, and the now most cited experimental paper in
particle physics from SuperK.

And the "atmospheric deficit" is incorrect as it stands anyway... the
conundrum was not due to an atmospheric neutrino deficit, as in fact there
was none when comparing to the flux models then available, but the anomaly
was in the ratio of muon to electron events. "Kamioka II and IMB see
atmospheric deficit" should be changed to something like "IMB and Kamioka
see anomaly in atmospheric neutrinos". (I would put IMB first since they
made the initial observation, while Kamioka should be first in the
observation of supernova neutrinos).

Generally, congratulations to all you writers on a VERY impressive job
overall. And many thanks to you writers for you hard work on a typically
thankless job.

Secondly, that said, I would complain a bit about what I perceive as the
tilt towards the scientific interests of the writing committee in lower
energy neutrinos and accelerator studies (probably unavoidable in any
group of committed and passionate scientists). In the grand conclusions I
would have put a bit more emphasis upon the fact that it is only we in HEP
who can undertake the job of beginning neutrino astronomy and that we
ought to be pursuing this on many fronts, particularly at high energy.
There is also a bit of inappropriate (to me) nationalism, since this
report will be widely read elsewhere the neglect of foreign projects (not
that many anyway) could have negative unintended consequences for our
international colleagues.  For example, it is to me incorrect that
ICECUBE/AMANDA are mentioned prominently while the other large high energy
neutrino astronomy projects ANTARES, Baikal, NEMO and NESTOR are largely
Note that in the map in Figure 7 lists only those with "significant" US
participation, neglecting ANTARES (which has US collaborators I believe,
eg. Larry Sulak of BU) and NESTOR (whose electronics were made at LBL for
example, and to whom we donated all the surplus DUMAND gear).  To be
consistent I would think the map might show all the projects mentioned in
the list which follows the map on the next several pages (including the
Indian experiment, INS, T2K, Double CHOOZ, and SAGE for example), and
several other should be added (Baikal, ANTARES, NEMO, NESTOR).
At the very high end of the cosmic ray energies there are now published
limits from unmentioned radio detection projects (in which we in Hawaii
are involved... so you see my bias) GLUE, FORTE', and from ocean acoustic
detection in SAUND (Stanford).  (And all three are exclusively US
projects, by the way).  These ongoing projects have the best limits at
present on the highest neutrino energies and in fact cripple some theories
of the origin of super-GZK paricles (eg. Z bursts, topological defects).
Ignoring these experiments, which you might justify as being due to their
not requiring enormous investment, seems incorrect to me not only from the
standpoint of fairness and balance, but also from the goal of pointing out
to people who read the report the richness and span of the field, the
amount of activity and creativity in new techniques being explored.
There is also no mention of the new project under discussion for
emplacement in a salt dome, SALSA.  For this there may be more
justification, since it is not well formulated yet, though discussed at a
number of neutrino meetings; but no presentation was made to the group
about SALSA as far as I know.  Many in RICE and ANITA see SALSA as a
possible future route for high energy neutrino exploration.... seems to me
it ought to be mentioned, particularly as there is now some stirring in
Europe for something similar (and if we do not move on it soon we will see
yet another US particle astrophysics initiative going offshore).
Anyway, my carping about neglect of my favorite subject of high energy
neutrino astronomy aside, you all are to be congratulated on a heroic
effort.  I would hope you can ameliorate the lack of mention of HE Nu
projects a bit, and maybe offer some encouragement in the conclusions for
all of us would-be neutrino astronomers.
Best wishes,
On Mon, 27 Sep 2004, Ed Blucher wrote:
> Date: Mon, 27 Sep 2004 06:12:55 -0500
> From: Ed Blucher <>
> To:
> Subject: APS Neutrino Study Report
> Dear Colleagues:
>     We have posted a draft of the neutrino study final report from the
> writing committee (Janet Conrad, Steve Elliott, Stuart Freedman,
> Maury Goodman,Andre de Gouvea,Boris Kayser, Josh Klein, Doug Michael,
> Hamish Robertson, Chair) on our web site:
> A briefing of the funding agencies is scheduled for late October.
> We learned this weekend that the report will shortly be made final (possible
> within a week).  We had expected there to be a final opportunity
> for comments from the full community, but it appears that this is it.
> Please send any comments to us ASAP, and we will pass them along to
> Hamish et al. In addition to reviewing the recommendations, please be sure to
> read over the executive summary of our working group report in the appendix.
> We will post an updated version of our working group report soon.
>                                          Best wishes,
>                                          Gabriela and Ed
Received on Tue Sep 28 20:17:21 2004

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