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The Almighty Buck Science

US Particle Colliders In Need of Funding 133

Posted by samzenpus
from the keeping-the-lights-on dept.
DevotedSkeptic writes "When the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) in Switzerland seized the world record for the highest-energy collisions in 2010, it also sealed the fate of the leading US particle collider. The Tevatron, at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Batavia, Illinois, was closed the following year to save money. Now, physicists at another US physics facility, the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC) at Brookhaven National Laboratory in Upton, New York, are trying to avoid a similar end. On 13 August, researchers at the ALICE heavy-ion experiment at the LHC at CERN, Europe's particle-physics lab near Geneva, announced that they had created the hottest-ever man-made plasma of quarks and gluons. This eclipsed the record temperature achieved at RHIC two years earlier by 38%, and raised uncomfortable questions about RHIC's future. Tribble still hopes to avoid having to close any of the three facilities. In 2005, he notes, a similar crisis was averted after an advisory committee laid out the dire consequences of flat funding for the future of US nuclear science. In the end, Congress came through with the budgetary increases required. 'What we want to do here is to spell out what will be lost under different budgets,' he says. His committee is planning to hold a final meeting in November, in time to influence the budget requests from US funding agencies for the next fiscal year."
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US Particle Colliders In Need of Funding

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 31, 2012 @09:20AM (#41189035)

    I just went on a RHIC tour on August 5th with my son. The tour guide said that one of the things that was special about the RHIC was that it can smash atoms of different types. For example they said that they could smash a gold atom into a uranium atom which is not possible at any of the other particle accelerators. I am just a layperson so I don't know if this is really unique but the tour was absolutely awesome. I thought that I would only be able to see this from a distance. But the tour guides (grad students) let you climb all over this thing and take pictures and ask lots of questions - they were very patient. I got to poke my head right into the business end of this thing. Very cool.

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