Major US atom-smasher closes after 25 years (Update)

Sep 30, 2011
A life-sized photo of the Tevatron particle accelerator's detector hangs from a beam near a wall-sized door bearing the signatures of those who built it on a yellow circle at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory on September 22. Fermi will shut down the Tevatron on September 30, 2011, marking an end to the era of big physics in the United States.

A powerful US atom-smasher that was the world's biggest particle collider for nearly a quarter-century closed forever on Friday, solidifying Europe's place as the world leader in physics.

The Tevatron began its collider work in 1985, as part of the US Department of Energy's Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, and its shutdown comes at a tough time for budget-squeezed US science and space programs.

Tevatron has been overtaken by a more powerful atom smasher -- the world's largest -- the Large Hadron Collider, built on the French-Swiss border by the European Center for Nuclear Research (CERN), a consortium of 20 member nations.

But in its day, the Tevatron made some major contributions, including the identification of the top quark in 1995 and the discovery in 2000 of the tau neutrino, an elusive piece of the Standard Model of Physics.

Now the only part of the Standard Model left to identify is the Higgs-Boson particle which, if it exists, is believed to give objects mass. The Tevatron helped physicists narrow down where it might be, but could not find it.

The Tevatron, which cost about $50 million per year to operate, also led to a host of more concrete advances, chief among them the widespread use of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machines for medical diagnosis.

A Fermilab spokeswoman said there are no layoffs directly tied to the shutdown.

"Of the 600 scientists on the Tevatron, many will continue to analyze Tevatron data for the next two years and many are moving to other Fermilab experiments," said Elizabeth Clements.

American physicists will now concentrate on more precise -- and less expensive -- questions at home and work with CERN on high-energy projects like the search for the Higgs-Boson, sometimes called the "God" particle.

The Tevatron has made "significant contributions to our understanding of the building blocks of the universe and how they work and fit together," said Pier Oddone, director of the Fermi Laboratory, at the closing ceremony.

"But while one era is now ending, another is beginning at Fermilab," he said.

"As we move forward into a post-Tevatron era, our laboratory will continue to remain at the forefront of science with our leading experiments with very intense beams of particles, strong participation in the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, and array of experiments that seek to understand dark matter, dark energy and the nature of ultra-high energy cosmic rays."

Fermilab scientists are currently building a dark energy camera, which will be able to scan the galaxy faster than any other telescope and aims to discover why the expansion of the universe is speeding up instead of slowing down.

They are also constructing the world's most powerful neutrino beam, which could help explain why the universe has more matter than antimatter and expand our understanding of its most abundant particles.

And there is Project X which -- if it secures funding -- aims to be the world's most intense proton accelerator. Construction could start in the next decade, Oddone said.

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User comments : 24

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Zeno
not rated yet Sep 30, 2011
Who's gonna test the for FTL neutrinos now?!
MorganW
4.8 / 5 (5) Sep 30, 2011
We reached to the deepest place on Earth in 1960. We walked on the moon in 1969. We shut down the Tevatron in 2011. We're defunding NASA and scuttling the space shuttle. Is this the beginning of the End? Or did it already end in the 70's?
Vendicar_Decarian
2.7 / 5 (7) Sep 30, 2011
The end of America started in 1980 with the Election of Ronald Reagan, America's first president suffering from Alzheimer's disease.

Reagan's Republican Borrow and spend policies put America on the fast track to ruin.

epsi00
5 / 5 (9) Sep 30, 2011
well, if the US spent a bit less on wars and a bit more on science, research it would still be the leader but the US has become a nation with far more 4 star generals than Nobel prize winners...
jalmy
2.5 / 5 (8) Sep 30, 2011
Which language would you rather be speaking. Cantonese, Russian or maybe Farsi?
TTcarnal_force
not rated yet Sep 30, 2011
It is a pity, the U.S. funded science expeditions are now a thing of the past. I fear this will certainly not be the last article of its type.
NotAsleep
1 / 5 (2) Sep 30, 2011
"...solidifying Europe's place as the world leader in physics."

I thought there was more to physics than atom smashers...
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (6) Sep 30, 2011
Which language would you rather be speaking. Cantonese, Russian or maybe Farsi?

Why? None of these countries ever wanted to take over the US.
None of these countries ever had (or have) a military that was geared towards offense (the US is basically the only country in the world who has an offensively dispositioned military...with maybe the exception of Israel)
Callippo
1 / 5 (1) Oct 01, 2011
Is this the beginning of the End? Or did it already end in the 70's?
Yes, if we wouldn't implement the cold fusion soon. Human civilization needs to switch its energy production paradigms, which are still based on fossil fuel burning. The US society is a fossil (fuel based) society, too dependent on the regimes, which are actually hostile to it.
jalmy
1 / 5 (4) Oct 01, 2011
Which language would you rather be speaking. Cantonese, Russian or maybe Farsi?

Why? None of these countries ever wanted to take over the US.
None of these countries ever had (or have) a military that was geared towards offense (the US is basically the only country in the world who has an offensively dispositioned military...with maybe the exception of Israel)


There is no such thing is an offensive or defensive military. A gun is a gun, it has no motive or moral distinction. The wielder decides how the weapon is wielded. Every single one of those countries is or has been directly opposed to the American way of life and thinking. It is exactly our guns that prevent the rest of you cattle from being dominated by those who would do so. Everyone wants everyone else to see things their own way. Why do you stand against those who fight to maintain yor ability to have an oppinion?
Gezza
not rated yet Oct 01, 2011
Sort your shit out DoE. This thing can run for many years to come and still be at the front end of physics
Gezza
1 / 5 (1) Oct 01, 2011
jalmy,
You are a retard. It is your guns that have caused most of the hatred that currently exists in this world at the moment. The world would be a much safer place without "your guns". Just look at the police brutality that has happened at the Wall St protests. Its wrong for it to happen in China, Egypt, Lybia, Iran, N. Korea.... and you will give the usual BS about liberty, freedom of speech and democracy. But freedom of speech in US, lets hit them with pepper spray and arrest their free-speaking, non-violent protesting arses.

Open your eyes, dickhead. Smell the coffee. Its people with an opinion like yours that cause most of the problems in the world today. US is not a Super Power. Shit, Its not even a power anymore.

I just hope that they can continue to do good science.

They could even prove that the world is older than God. Heresy, I know, but proberly true.
Vendicar_Decarian
3 / 5 (2) Oct 01, 2011
"Sort your shit out DoE. This thing can run for many years to come and still be at the front end of physics." - Gezza

Defunding and closing the DOE has been a Republican goal for the last 40 years.
jalmy
1 / 5 (3) Oct 01, 2011
jalmy,
You are a retard.
q]

I'm a retard? Every single point you made was wrong, and stupid!!!
1. The U.S is not a super power or a power anymore.
Are you stoned? Still the number 1 economy on earth. Still the number 1 military on earth. China now being the second biggest economy at 1/3 smaller. Period.

2. "It is your guns that have caused most of the hatred that currently exists in this world at the moment"
Again a 100% stupid, fictional statement. I'm sorry to tell you this but the hatred in the world is still being caused by the same things that have always caused it. Individual greed and power lust times the population of humans on the planet. The U.S and it's policies arent making the hatred that exists in the hearts of man. Hippocritical dunces like you pointing fingers are. The police brutality you mentioned again the choice of an individual, not a nation. You are a douche, and a stupid one at that.
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (1) Oct 01, 2011
There is no such thing is an offensive or defensive military.

Well, there are military systems which are used to project power. There are systems that can be used to invade a country and there are systems that can be used to simply deter such invasion.

A prime example of an offensive system is a aircraft carrier. This is a vessel that can be used for such an invasion. Note that neither China nor Russia has any (Russia has one but it is a "missile cruiser with aircraft" rather than a fully fledged aircraft carrier). China has no navy to speak of.

Every single one of those countries is or has been directly opposed to the American way of life and thinking.

Sorry, but that is US propaganda pure and simple. I invite you to go to these countries and build an opinion of your onw (I have been to both countries...and the US). You will quickly notice that there is still plenty of propaganda in US news/history books (as has been in the Soviet Union era on the other side)

sender
not rated yet Oct 02, 2011
more cheap parts to build space fountain systems ^_^
Lantern5
1 / 5 (1) Oct 02, 2011
I knew that the Tevatron accelerator of the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory will be closed. Why waste that expensive equipment? We all know that toxic waste and nuclear waste are a big problem. Could we use the Tevatron magnets to create a magnetic catapult that will allow us to launch capsules weighing five kilos, loaded with nuclear waste into the sun?
Suppose you can not use the machines in the Tevatron in a linear configuration to a magnetic catapult. However, the creation of a magnetic catapult to launch payloads into space is vital to the colonization of space at low cost.
With the short NASA's current budget is essential to understand that a magnetic catapult is the tool that can accelerate the conquest of space.
Callippo
not rated yet Oct 02, 2011
Why waste that expensive equipment
Don't affraid, it will not be closed at all, just rebuilded to another collider.

http://arstechnic...ture.ars

antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (2) Oct 03, 2011
Could we use the Tevatron magnets to create a magnetic catapult that will allow us to launch capsules weighing five kilos, loaded with nuclear waste into the sun?

Short answer: no

Long answer: no

The two technologies you are talking about (horizontal colliders and vertical/angled railguns) are completely different
Lantern5
1 / 5 (1) Oct 03, 2011
Turning to the magnetic catapult: Anyway, the power supply systems, the team of computer systems could be used and if we change the magnetic coils, maybe work.
Remember Newton's calculations, a projectile launched at 40000 miles per hour, then reaches escape velocity. Read the book of Frederic Golden: colonies in space (1977)
Also read the novel "The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress" by Robert A. .. ¿Heinlein?
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (1) Oct 03, 2011
Just look at the specs of the two systems. You're proposing to turn a (circular) microscope into a (linear) railgun.

Just because both use magnets doesn't make one a basis for the other. That's like saying: "Lawnmowers use fuel and rockets use fuel. Therefore I should be able to easily turn my lawnmower into a rocket."

Sometimes it's easier to just build a rocket from scratch instead of trying to rework a lawnmower until it can land on the moon.
Vendicar_Decarian
1 / 5 (1) Oct 04, 2011
"You're proposing to turn a (circular) microscope into a (linear) railgun." - Antialias

That's easy.

I once turned a refractpr telescope into a mirrored scope. The conversion started with me throwing out the refractor and ended with me purchasing a new mirrored telescope.

Conversion went easily.
Vendicar_Decarian
2.3 / 5 (3) Oct 04, 2011
"1. The U.S is not a super power or a power anymore." - Jalmy

Correct.

"2. It is your guns that have caused most of the hatred that currently exists in this world at the moment" - Jalmy

Correct again.
Skepticus
1 / 5 (1) Oct 07, 2011
The Tevatron, which cost about $50 million per year to operate...


...means 500 mil in 10 years, more or less the level of income of a SINGLE Wall Street bastard, and they shut it down. Peanuts in comparison with what the Pentagon has spent over the last 10 years. Which shows how America has begun to go bankrupt morally and financially.

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