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SLAC-PUB-7998
A Perspective on Tau Physics

Abstract

It will soon be the twenty fifth anniversary of the discovery of the tau lepton. It has been an amazing twenty five years for tau physics and for the strong interaction physics that can be deduced from studies of tau decays. The discovery of the tau was based on the elucidation of the nature of about one hundred tau pairs. At this Fifth International Workshop on Tau Lepton Physics new results in tau physics are based on hundreds of thousands or even millions of tau pairs. In the next two decades we will see the data on tau pairs increase by at least a factor of ten. The theoretical work and theoretical understanding of tau physics and tau neutrino physics has also expanded enormously, and this theory will continue to grow in its reach and its depth. Given the vastness of this field and the recognition that there is always great uncertainty in predicting future directions and accomplishments in a scientific field; any perspective of the future of a scientific field is substantially dependent on the author's opinions and guesses. I have limited this talk to seven topics: tau research facilities in the next decades, searching for unexpected tau decay modes, searching for additional tau decay mechanisms, radiative tau decays, tau decay modes of the W, B, and D, searching for CP violation in tau decay, and rethinking the Tau-Charm factory.

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