Tevatron atom smasher to close in September

Jan 11, 2011 by Lin Edwards report
Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, Main Ring and Main Injector as seen from the air. Image: Fermilab

(PhysOrg.com) -- The 25-year-old Tevatron particle accelerator in the US will end its operations in September this year since no funds are available to extend its life for three more years.

The is located at the Fermi National Laboratory () in Batavia, Illinois, and accelerates and collides protons and antiprotons traveling around a four-mile loop at almost the speed of light. The results of the collisions enable researchers to study the structure of matter.

Scientists working with the Tevatron had hoped it would be able to keep running for another three years, giving them the chance to find the Higgs boson (also known as the “God particle”) before their European counterparts using the much newer 17-mile loop Large Hadron Collider (LHC). Now they have been told the funds are not available.

The Higgs boson is of extreme importance to the Standard Model, the most widely accepted theory of physics, since the theory predicts its existence to explain how most of the known elementary particles gain mass. Scientists have been trying to detect it for decades, so far without success.

The Tevatron is funded by the US Department of Energy (DOE) and an additional $35 million is required each year to keep it operating. DOE Office of Science head William Brinkman has written to Fermilab, via the DOE High Energy Physics Advisory Panel, to say that the current challenging budgetary climate means the additional funding is not available. The Tevatron will therefore cease operations in September as originally scheduled.

The Fermilab scientists, led by Pier Oddone, had hoped the Tevatron could remain in operation to allow them to take advantage of the planned 2012 or 2013 closure of the LHC, which might have given them the chance to be first to spot the Higgs boson. The scientific advisory panel at Fermilab recommended in August that Tevatron should be kept running to 2014 despite the cost, but Oddone calculated only $15 million could be made available from the lab’s budget by delaying other projects but the additional $35 million would need to come from DOE. DOE approved the plan, provided funds were available, but have now announced they are not.

Many physicists say the Tevatron is more likely to find the Higgs boson because it has lower energy and cleaner collisions and the Higgs is thought to have a mass about 121-144 times that of a proton. The Tevatron may also be more suitable because its collisions are between protons and , while the LHC collides protons and protons, so the Tevatron can probe connections between new particles and other particles that cannot be probed with the LHC.

Dr. Oddone said the Tevatron had exceeded all original expectations and had been involved in a number of historic discoveries. Scientists working on the Tevatron will be moved to other projects and will continue to collaborate with CERN, which operates the LHC, but the future of the people involved in operating the Tevatron is not yet known.

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Sarai_RSA
3 / 5 (2) Jan 11, 2011
Yeah - saw this from their newsletter today :( On the other hand, parts will be recycled, and maybe they can use the space for a physics adventure park!
Skeptic_Heretic
4.5 / 5 (15) Jan 11, 2011
A mere 35 million and we're going to close the machine, meanwhile we have no qualms spending money on weapons we're not going to use...
antialias
4.8 / 5 (17) Jan 11, 2011
35 million is about the cost of 1/3 to 1/6 of an F35 aircraft. Priorities seem a bit weird when it comes to things like this.

Sadly killing people has a much higher priority than gaining new knowledge.
bliskater
1.3 / 5 (15) Jan 11, 2011
Why do people always bring up the military budget when speaking of science funding? All the military cuts that you can imagine won't add a dime to science. This kind of rhetoric allies itself to the political fantasy of social paradise seekers who also hate high tech science.
Skeptic_Heretic
4.5 / 5 (17) Jan 11, 2011
Why do people always bring up the military budget when speaking of science funding?
Because the two are wholly linked. What do you think military R&D funding is? Where do you think the budgeting for the DoE High Energy Physics Panel is set?
Modernmystic
4.4 / 5 (14) Jan 11, 2011
A mere 35 million and we're going to close the machine, meanwhile we have no qualms spending money on weapons we're not going to use...


I dunno I think ten aircraft carriers is one too short...let's get ONE more, just to be sure. Because you know, the rest of the world combined has like two...

:-)
bliskater
1 / 5 (8) Jan 11, 2011
You miss my point.
Why ain't I surprised?
Modernmystic
1.6 / 5 (11) Jan 11, 2011
Why do people always bring up the military budget when speaking of science funding?
Because the two are wholly linked. What do you think military R&D funding is? Where do you think the budgeting for the DoE High Energy Physics Panel is set?


*Raises Hand*

Congress? Isn't that what the constitution says somewhere...

35 million is about the cost of 1/3 to 1/6 of an F35 aircraft. Priorities seem a bit weird when it comes to things like this.


I'm with you this far...

Sadly killing people has a much higher priority than gaining new knowledge.


How old are you??? Where have you been the last ten years? Are you honestly, REALLY that stupid?
Quantum_Conundrum
2.1 / 5 (11) Jan 11, 2011
I dunno I think ten aircraft carriers is one too short...let's get ONE more, just to be sure. Because you know, the rest of the world combined has like two...


One of the best military strategies available is to simply be so good and so powerful that no sane person would want to fight you.

In war, you don't want to be able to just barely defeat your opponent, or just barely defend yourself. you want to be able to win a fight with zero casualties.

The reason our enemies don't have as big a navy as us is because we had a head start in technology against most of the nations who actively oppose us, and now it's too late to catch up, so it's pointless for them to try.

If we scaled back our navy and airforce, the rogue nations such as Iran and N. Korea would feel emboldened and would make new forces of their own.
bliskater
1.6 / 5 (7) Jan 11, 2011
I can see you now.
You're standing in the halls of Congress, surrounded by supporters. You've gotten rid of a future nuke carrier.
Now it's time to apply the saved money into research aimed at finding the origin of the universe.
It's quiet. You look around. You're the only one in the hall.
Okay, so you've gotten rid of your carrier. If that's the important part why aren't you on an anti-military forum and not this science blog?
Quantum_Conundrum
2.1 / 5 (11) Jan 11, 2011
Since lunatics and dictators don't appear to be any less numerous today than 10 years ago, we still need an overwhelming military.

And just to bring a little wake up call, the mad cleric from Iraq, Al Saddir, is now back in power in Iraq. Much as I feared, because our political divisions in the U.S. and our "political correctness" doctrine, the evil religion of Islam continues in Iraq, with many of the exact same mass murderers in power again.

How many more times do we need to see this cycle before dummycrats and other political correctness promoters realize Islam is the root cause of the entire middle eastern problem?
Skeptic_Heretic
4 / 5 (8) Jan 11, 2011
One of the best military strategies available is to simply be so good and so powerful that no sane person would want to fight you.
And the reason why that strategy is shit is because then the crazy ones target you exclusively and they can't be reasoned with.
The reason our enemies don't have as big a navy as us is because we had a head start in technology against most of the nations who actively oppose us, and now it's too late to catch up, so it's pointless for them to try.
Well I'm not sure how useful an Afghan navy would be seeing as they're landlocked.
In war you want to be able to win a fight with zero casualties.
When not in war, the goal is to not go to war.
If we scaled back our navy and airforce, the rogue nations such as Iran and N. Korea would feel emboldened and would make new forces of their own.
You mean like the Iraqi tank corps? 5th largest in the world but we leveled them with a single battalion in about 3 hours, at night, in a sandstorm.
Skeptic_Heretic
2.3 / 5 (3) Jan 11, 2011
Why do people always bring up the military budget when speaking of science funding?
Because the two are wholly linked. What do you think military R&D funding is? Where do you think the budgeting for the DoE High Energy Physics Panel is set?
Congress? Isn't that what the constitution says somewhere...
Well that would be where the budget for the DoE is set. The panel in question is part of the same budget bucket as the LLNL, NRC, and various nuclear weapons programs. The DoE segment of the funding is a line item in our weapons research programs that are constructed for the civilian power sector.
Quantum_Conundrum
1.6 / 5 (7) Jan 11, 2011
When not in war, the goal is to not go to war


Absolutely.

Unfortunately, dictators and madmen don't play by those rules.

And yes, our MILITARY FUNDING lead to us having tanks with superior range and firepower, and planes which were so good the iraqi airforce didn't even try to fight back. This is why we lost so few casualties. If not for all this funding to make our weapons faster, stronger, and better range, we would have had 10,000 or 100,000 U.S. casualties between the first and second Iraq wars. Instead, because of our level of military technology due to our level of funding, we won easily. That's the point.

Our military isn't good enough yet, IMO.

We need better UAVs and robotic probes able to do urban warfare and guerilla warfare better. We have had far too many casualties to roadside bombs and other IED traps in Iraq and Afghanistan, an embarrassing number really.
bliskater
1.8 / 5 (5) Jan 11, 2011
In all these comments, not one speculation as to why science funding gets cut when it's an insignificant part of the American economy for such an important part of America's future...besides the nutty comparisons.
Skeptic_Heretic
2.7 / 5 (6) Jan 11, 2011
Instead, because of our level of military technology due to our level of funding, we won easily. That's the point.
Then why are you advocating the cutting of research funding in liu of military construction programs?
We have had far too many casualties to roadside bombs and other IED traps in Iraq and Afghanistan, an embarrassing number really.
Do you know what an IED is typically composed of? Cheap old technology rigged for maximum effect. So our super advanced technological military is being abused by the equivalent of 14th century fireworks. Stop putting money in to military devices that we're not using and put it into pure research. From that pure research you will end fighting by providing the resources, scarcity of which led to war in the first place.
not one speculation as to why science funding gets cut when it's an insignificant part of the American economy
No need to speculate, it's the ignorance and anti-science sentiment of the new House of reps.
Quantum_Conundrum
2.1 / 5 (7) Jan 11, 2011
As for money. Take a looooooong look at the ISS, which has done damn near NOTHING of any real world, practical value.

ISS: $157 billion (world's most expensive objects)

Gerald R. Ford Class: $9 billion + $5 Billion R&D

11 G. R. Ford Class: $104 billion*

* This would only happen by 2058 as the last Nimitz class will be decomissioned then.

So, the entire upcoming "Next generation" fleet of aircraft carriers of the U.S. navy for the next 50 years worth of replacements will cost 50% less than what has already been spent on the ISS.
bliskater
3.2 / 5 (6) Jan 11, 2011
You're right there. The Republican Party isn't strong on basic science compared to the Democratic party. Something that I'm somewhat ashamed of. If science were the only important issue, I'd be a Democrat But it's not. But it's like comparing a slug to a snake...both pretty low.
Modernmystic
2.5 / 5 (6) Jan 11, 2011
As for money. Take a looooooong look at the ISS, which has done damn near NOTHING of any real world, practical value.


Can't argue with that. It was a "feel good" project, so we can sing "We Are the World" with several countries and play pat-a-cake in LEO...whooopie!!

The thing is an even worse white elephant than the space shuttle was.
Modernmystic
3.2 / 5 (6) Jan 11, 2011
Stop putting money in to military devices that we're not using and put it into pure research. From that pure research you will end fighting by providing the resources, scarcity of which led to war in the first place.


Really? I think that may be a small part of it, but there are quite a few more factors than that which have lead us where we are. Moreover there are different "reasons" we're in Iraq as opposed to Afghanistan.

As to the pure reasearch, I'm ALL with you on that. Hell take 20% of the annual military budget right off the top and put it into nano-tech (or whatever).....shit all of you who love the fact that we're on top of the world right now would flip shit if we had even semi-mature nano-tech. We'd be "gods"...and no one would ever be able to catch up if we didn't want them to.
bliskater
3.2 / 5 (5) Jan 11, 2011
As for money. Take a looooooong look at the ISS, which has done damn near NOTHING of any real world, practical value.


Can't argue with that. It was a "feel good" project, so we can sing "We Are the World" with several countries and play pat-a-cake in LEO...whooopie!!

The thing is an even worse white elephant than the space shuttle was.


More ignorant comments.
The shuttle was tech marvel and was only a failure if you look at it as a business enterprise. The technology developed has been and will be invaluable.
Most of it's failures can be attributed to the same politcal views which are part of this forum.
The ISS would have been a marvelous success...if it had had a mission...again politics, not science.
Glyndwr
2.7 / 5 (7) Jan 11, 2011
Quick lets increase the nuclear arsenal...cos of some desert fighters.............TIME HAS MOVED ON.....YOU CANNOT NUKE OR SHOCK AND AWE SMALL UNTIS OF TERRORISTS FFS
bliskater
2.9 / 5 (7) Jan 11, 2011
Quick lets increase the nuclear arsenal...cos of some desert fighters.............TIME HAS MOVED ON.....YOU CANNOT NUKE OR SHOCK AND AWE SMALL UNTIS OF TERRORISTS FFS

Wouldn't need to with a real world outlook and without liberal viewpoints.
When your grandchildren are kissing the the backs of the hands of their PRC masters for something to eat I wonder how they'll view America's evil militarism.
Modernmystic
2.3 / 5 (4) Jan 11, 2011

More ignorant comments.
The shuttle was tech marvel and was only a failure if you look at it as a business enterprise.


It was an unqualified ****ing disaster. Two of them blew up and the costs that they were supposed to save and then ended up INCREASING are the reason we CAN'T EVEN SEND AN MAN TO ORBIT when we sent one to the MOON in the 1960's. You don't know what the hell you're talking about with respect to this, really you don't.

bliskater
2 / 5 (2) Jan 11, 2011

More ignorant comments.
The shuttle was tech marvel and was only a failure if you look at it as a business enterprise.

I think that you're describing yourself.
I watched the moon landings, all of them. I watched the shuttles budget get cut time and again during it's development. I read the simple minded reasons for that. I read of and considered the alternatives.
where were you?

It was an unqualified ****ing disaster. Two of them blew up and the costs that they were supposed to save and then ended up INCREASING are the reason we CAN'T EVEN SEND AN MAN TO ORBIT when we sent one to the MOON in the 1960's. You don't know what the hell you're talking about with respect to this, really you don't.


Starbound
5 / 5 (2) Jan 11, 2011
The reason science gets no funding is because it is typically not an important matter in political discourse (i.e. probably not many science lobbyists, unsuccessful science PR campaign etc.). Sadly in the US there seems to be a social stigma against science and that is why we are falling behind.

WE [Scientists and engineers] are the smart ones but we must seek to cast aside our stereotype as arrogant intellectuals and replace it with an image of balanced, capable individuals who are fit to be leaders in society.

Pieces of this include a focus on communication with the general public and organizational infrastructure needed to wield political clout.
DoubleD
5 / 5 (2) Jan 11, 2011
I dunno I think ten aircraft carriers is one too short...let's get ONE more, just to be sure. Because you know, the rest of the world combined has like two...


To fight and conquer in all your battles is not supreme excellence; supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemy's resistance without fighting.
-Sun Tzu, the Art of War

One of the best military strategies available is to simply be so good and so powerful that no sane person would want to fight you.

In war, you don't want to be able to just barely defeat your opponent, or just barely defend yourself. you want to be able to win a fight with zero casualties.


To fight and conquer in all your battles is not supreme excellence; supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemy's resistance without fighting.
-Sun Tzu, the Art of War
antialias
5 / 5 (5) Jan 11, 2011
How old are you??? Where have you been the last ten years? Are you honestly, REALLY that stupid?

No, but the F35 is a local air superiority fighter. Given that the US has never been under air attack (and is likely - due to its isolated position on the globe - to remain so there is no point for even having such a fighter.

The reason science gets no funding is because it is typically not an important matter in political discourse

thereason is that defense contractors pay kickbacks. science institutions don't.
Skeptic_Heretic
3.7 / 5 (3) Jan 11, 2011
Given that the US has never been under air attack
Uhm.....

Pearl Harbor.

I hate to argue with you on that point, but the US has certainly been under air attack.
Mira_Musiclab
5 / 5 (2) Jan 11, 2011
Hope they don't just simply scrap the thing. Granted LHC is a lot more powerful, but I'd hope to see universities and labs take control of it instead for more novel experiments that the others won't have the time for..

(preferrably, not more creative methods of vaporizing the planet)
avafeas
not rated yet Jan 11, 2011
3 more years of experiments for $35 million, and yet all the billionaires the world over prefer to give their money away to charities that generate better PR. Where is the justice in that?
Modernmystic
1.3 / 5 (4) Jan 11, 2011

No, but the F35 is a local air superiority fighter. Given that the US has never been under air attack (and is likely - due to its isolated position on the globe - to remain so there is no point for even having such a fighter.


LOL. Thank GOD you're not a military strategist. My house has never been broken into...does that mean we don't need locks?

*rolls eyes*
Modernmystic
3 / 5 (2) Jan 11, 2011
3 more years of experiments for $35 million, and yet all the billionaires the world over prefer to give their money away to charities that generate better PR. Where is the justice in that?


*looks around* I don't see it. I know the LHC is likely to answer questions this facility can't, however I do think that 35 million is a small price to pay for the potential science that could be done there.
Pyle
4.7 / 5 (3) Jan 11, 2011
Wake up people. The only reason we need all of these weapons is because we feel the need to project ourselves across the globe.

We are in Iraq and Afghanistan because our Republican Administration used 9/11 as an excuse to grab oil. They lied to us to invade Iraq. We are still in Afghanistan because they chose to build a pipeline rather than take bin Laden.

MM -
if we had even semi-mature nano-tech. We'd be "gods"...and no one would ever be able to catch up if we didn't want them to.

You are one scary individual. Unfortunately with both nano-tech and AI the day is coming.
Pyle
4.7 / 5 (3) Jan 11, 2011
3 more years of experiments for $35 million, and yet all the billionaires the world over prefer to give their money away to charities that generate better PR. Where is the justice in that?

I agree, partially at least.

Part of the problem is short view versus long view. PR plays some part, but don't be too cynical. Travelling the globe you see suffering on a large scale. Unfortunately we don't have the means to fix every disaster or stop people from abusing, raping, murdering, etc. each other everywhere. As a result "billionaires" send money to Darfur, Haiti, etc. to help alleviate suffering.

The long view approach would be to fund research that helps us eliminate suffering forever.

There is some middle ground. Stop the most atrocious acts currently occurring, but we also need to throw money at Tevatron, nano-tech, AI, etc. to shift the focus of our previous R&D approach - How do I kill more of "them".
trekgeek1
4.1 / 5 (10) Jan 11, 2011


How many more times do we need to see this cycle before dummycrats and other political correctness promoters realize Islam is the root cause of the entire middle eastern problem?


It's not just Islam, it's Judaism and by extension, Christianity. It takes two to tango, or in this case, two to argue over who's god promised them their lands. It's also our fault for selling weapons to the region for so long. Truthfully, we need to stop funding anyone over there since spending one cent of our money on a holy war is a clear violation of church and state. We are funding a war based on who's imaginary friend is stronger. It's sick, stupid, and tolerated because too many wackos in this country think it's necessary to fulfill ancient prophecies of the return of Jesus. See how wonderful it is when people welcome the end of days as the necessary conclusion to a story? Wouldn't it be nice to view regional destructions as bad no matter what?
dgreyz
not rated yet Jan 12, 2011
It seems you guys just need better morality more than anything else.
Still a pity Tevatron will close, perhaps if just everybody collects a few buck here n there..?
Pyle
5 / 5 (4) Jan 12, 2011
It takes two to tango, or in this case, two to argue over who's god promised them their lands.

Actually, that is the beauty of our western Ghodly religions. Live and let live just isn't the focal point. "It's Us and Them. That's all there is."

The answer is to educate and advance. Ignorance can be remedied. Elevate those lowest among us and give everyone a stake in a productive world economy. As we progress technologically we'll be able to include everyone.
holoman
not rated yet Jan 12, 2011
Colossal Storage / API Inc. would like to know
if collaboration interest ?

mysticfree
not rated yet Jan 15, 2011
Sounds like someone needs to hold a bake sale or two and earn their dollars from me instead taking them.
Skepticus
5 / 5 (1) Jan 16, 2011
Domestic economy woes, burdens of wars in ME, and a continous lifeline to Israel are draining on everything else. Bolstering military strength and power projection capabilities while reducing basic researches is a dangerous one. The strength the US military has came from continous technological developments of basic researches. Emboldened by technological superiority and power to make wars whenever it suits the political agendas, while neglecting the foundation of that of power is short-sighted. The Tevatron case shows the US is already stretched too thin. Political ideology push has to be backed by real economic strength. China is flushed with money, building aircraft carriers, stealth fighters and orbital anti-ship missles without having any war to waste money on, and all the US can do is look on and make disparaging comments about their "technological inferiority and backwarkness".
Skepticus
not rated yet Jan 16, 2011
(Cont.)
The same goes with Iran. It is obvious with the administration's moves is that nation of Muslim crazies-that has wowed to wipe the ME beachhead Israel off the map-is NOT ALLOWED WHATSOEVER to have nuclear technologies of any sort, unless bought and controlled from US's allies, NPT wordings be damned. So lame sanctions are applied, instead of having the power to finish it off decisively and explain it to the world latter when the dust has settled. This forces Iran to learn harder faster and produce domestic hardware and software, will eventually like the West-shunted China in the 50's, nuclear self-sufficient. Then, all the Israelis and US can do is look on and make disparaging comments, again...Without real economic strength to drive technology research and development superiority, "paper tiger" is what we will get. Past glories can only carries so far.
Baseline
5 / 5 (1) Jan 16, 2011
All religions are bad for social progress because they all teach intolerance. They all make it clear that their followers have the obligation to convert anyone they encounter who is not of the same faith.

If you believe that Christianity does not fall into the above statement then you must not have attended many churches lately because one of the most common rants that can be heard is to hear a homophobic preacher tell his congregation about the evils of homosexuality.

Religions only serve as a means to separate us and to give reason to fear and hate others of different teachings. Most importantly they all serve to try and retard the progress we can achieve through scientific research and discovery because science has the power to dispute their beliefs.

Baseline
5 / 5 (1) Jan 16, 2011
Cont.

One of the key factors in developing the worlds most powerful military was the development of technical knowledge needed to construct the advanced weaponry we produce. This is of course the result of well funded scientific research and weapons development programs.

The problem for the US is that we have failed to invest in education as a priority and that is what will cost us in the long run. The trouble is we have already lost the race and we are just too damned arrogant to have realized it yet.
frajo
5 / 5 (1) Jan 16, 2011
that nation of Muslim crazies-that has wowed to wipe the ME beachhead Israel off the map
No, they never vowed so. Either you are reading unserious sources only or you are a lying propagandist.
I know, nearly all western media tell the same lie. That's because they are western media.
The west is doing with Iran what the German nazis were doing with the Jews before they massacred them.
frajo
5 / 5 (2) Jan 16, 2011
All religions are bad for social progress because they all teach intolerance.
Two universal (by use of universal quantifiers) statements in one sentence. It suffices to show the existence of one contradicting example per statement.
Ad "bad for social progress":
Buddhism was created for the sake of social progress in a society tormented by the caste system of Hinduism.
Ad "teaching intolerance":
The polytheism of ancient Greece embedded several foreign gods and goddesses into their Pantheon. Notably Isis (from Egypt) and Adonis (from Phoenicia).
They all make it clear that their followers have the obligation to convert anyone they encounter who is not of the same faith.
No. While I was raised as a member of the RCC nobody ever told me of such an obligation. On the contrary, I've been taught that you need not necessarily be RC to lead a "godly" life, and that even atheists would be able to do so. Depending on how they behave towards their fellow human beings.
sender
1 / 5 (1) Jan 17, 2011
Could throw it for use to beam power experiments in space fountain systems and relays.
antialias
5 / 5 (3) Jan 17, 2011
Thank GOD you're not a military strategist. My house has never been broken into...does that mean we don't need locks?
There is a wide range between 'not needing a military' and 'spending more on military issues than the rest of the globe combined'. And in that range there is certainly the scope for reducing the military expenditure by the landing gear of one not-so-badly-needed fighter in order to have the Tevatron operate another 3 years and do original science with potentially untold benefit for humanity.
tauseefkhan
not rated yet Jan 17, 2011
nice view
fulely
1 / 5 (2) Jan 19, 2011
New Discovery in Lightning, I found the antimatter in nature and need to duplicate its lightning creation. I know after my six year research that its totallly possible and I need a collider to do it with. I have even named this after myself for the lack of a name by science. This is a new discovery and just in time to pull the collider out of hock.
RELATIVISTIC PERTURBATION MANTLE after my initials RPM. I was born to do this! I found a 12' sphere that falls apart above thunder storms and releases 500 gallons of Liquid Oxygen and a massive charge of electrons I believe to be antimatter. This is a dimensional object as well, after its birth it stays around for a short while displaying holographic stunts and then disappears only to return as the creater of a Sprite that was guessed at its manufacture by a Stanford Proff.. I have witnessed all necasary events to duplicate this massive undertaking which is quit easy if you understand its complexities.