Petronzio says he hopes that the Italian ministry will agree to a construction schedule early next year and that SuperB will start taking data around 2016. The construction of SuperB is contingent on the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) contributing the machinery of PEP-II, which would be worth more than €100 million. However, David MacFarlane, SLAC's associate director for particle physics and particle astrophysics, says the lab and the agency are onboard with the project: "Both DOE and the laboratory are fully committed to supplying the equipment requested."
Whether U.S. physicists will be able to fully participate in the Italy project is another matter. To support such participation, DOE officials will have to find some room in the agency's already tight $810 million particle physics budget. But David Hitlin, a particle physicist at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena who has been involved in the project since its inception, says that SuperB presents DOE with a scientific bargain. "DOE can be a major player in the project for a relatively small amount of money by leveraging the in-kind contribution" of the equipment, he says. For the moment, Hitlin says he's just happy that the project seems to be coming to fruition: "It's nice that it's real."
THe US is losing grounds on high energy physics experiments. And no one seems to be concerned about it. Might as well give these equipment to those who appreciate their importance. So Merry Christmas, Italy!