NSAC to recommend closing BNL Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider facility

Jan 30, 2013 by Bob Yirka report

(Phys.org)—A panel of experts on the Nuclear Science Advisory Committee (NSAC) has decided to recommend closing the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC) in New York. The move comes after budget cuts for physics research via the Department of Energy, (DOE) in the United States, has led to making hard decisions regarding which facilities to continue to fund, and which to cut. As of 2007, the DOE was responsible for funding three major nuclear research facilities with a budget standing at $547 million.

The panel found itself tasked with choosing between three very expensive projects. The first, RHIC, has been in operation for approximately 10 years and revolves around studying what happens when heavy ions are smashed together (inside twin ) and the incredibly hot temperatures that result. Closing the facility would mean shutting down the last big collider in the U.S. The second project, the Continuous Electron Beam Accelerator Facility (CEBAF) in Virginia is currently under renovation. Researchers there accelerate to the point where it becomes possible to study the proton and its particles, e.g. quarks, etc. The third project, currently under construction in Michigan is called the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams (FRIB) – its mission will be to study exotic nuclei.

Ultimately, the decision came down to what made the most sense financially. Money has already been allocated to CEBAF ($310 million), thus shutting it down would have meant throwing away the initial investment. And FRIB has received a lot of funding from the state of Michigan, thus it was seen as safe. RHIC, on the other hand, because it competes with the , seemed more expendable because research done there might in some ways be replicated.

The committee's recommendation isn't the final word on the matter, of course, but officials at the DOE have in the past tended to follow the guidelines of its own recommendation committee, which in this case will almost certainly mean the shuttering of the RHIC facility. Doing so, many in the field, have lamented, will mean loss of physics jobs, lost research opportunities, and perhaps, a degrading of the edge the United States still holds in nuclear .

Explore further: A two-stage trap for single protons leads to measurement of their magnetic properties

More information: www.bnl.gov/rhic/
www.tvworldwide.com/events/DOE/130128/default.cfm

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User comments : 16

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chardo137
3.5 / 5 (6) Jan 30, 2013
This is just sad. U.S. commitment to basic science is not what it used to be.
Maxb500
3.3 / 5 (14) Jan 30, 2013
This is irrelevant Republicans say. Military spending needs to be increased further.

Who cares if Europe is number 1 in physics with the large hardron collider or their enormous European XFEL facility now under construction. Or the enormous European Spallation Source (ESS) that is now approved for construction. Who cares if the Europeans and Chinese are connecting more and more cities to high speed rail. Who cares if Europe will invest another billion Euro`s to Graphene research and yet another Billion Euro`s to begin developing the worlds first human brain on a computer. Who cares if Europe is building the worlds largest telescope the European Extremely Large Telescope. Who cars if Europe is leading with the ITER Fusion facility. Who cares if US infrastructure is further falling behind from bridges to airports to road quality.

NO. What matters is military spending, Guns, bashing Gays and global warming lies, Tax cuts, Creationism. In other words all the things of Success and Truth.
be4r
3.7 / 5 (9) Jan 30, 2013
If you completely cut NASA and our national research labs from existence, do you know how long it would fund the government for? One hour. Seriously, look it up.
Sanescience
3.9 / 5 (9) Jan 30, 2013
Nobody likes less money. Everyone likes more money. People vote for politicians who will give them what they want. There are more people who want immediate social services than long term benefits of science and technology funding. Therefore politicians will craft budgets accordingly.
gesit
1 / 5 (2) Jan 31, 2013
I think this is a good decision, we should more scientific and less political
am_Unition
5 / 5 (7) Jan 31, 2013
Hey, let's continuously complain about the lack of U.S. students pursuing science degrees and then de-fund the shit out of science.

That'll motivate them.
ValeriaT
2.6 / 5 (5) Feb 01, 2013
Maggnus
1 / 5 (1) Feb 01, 2013
White House Petition: http://wh.gov/VYxq


I like it. I don't think it has much merit, yet it is definately something worth looking at closely. Call it undying optimism.
ValeriaT
1 / 5 (3) Feb 01, 2013
I don't think it has much merit
Huh? I'd say instead, it's actually the most important research at all.
ValeriaT
5 / 5 (2) Feb 02, 2013
Physics Nobel Prize laureate Steven Chu is leaving the chair of the U.S. energy secretary and blasting the climate-change skeptics..
typicalguy
5 / 5 (1) Feb 02, 2013
If there is still good research to be done, why defund it? Operating the facility is fairly cheap compared to the cost of building it. It's built, why throw it away? Considering the military spends 2 billion dollars a day, I have to agree with others here, the country's priorities are screwed up.
Maggnus
1 / 5 (1) Feb 02, 2013
Huh? I'd say instead, it's actually the most important research at all.


You meant "of all" I'm certain. No, because there has been no provable success with the technology as of yet, not with standing several years of testing. It appears to be unlikely that it will work.

Having said that, there are some interesting claims being made. Unfortunately none of the claims have been demonstrated to work under close scutiny, and there has been zero scrutiny under scientific rigor to date. The claims are further tainted by the reputations of the persons making them.

I hope it works, but I'm not confidant it does.
VendicarE
not rated yet Feb 02, 2013
With Tea Bagger Republicans calling for the abolution of the federal government, with the exception of maintaining America's military campaigns of global mass murder, there will be exactly $0 left to conduct any research of any form.

"U.S. commitment to basic science is not what it used to be." - chardo

Libertarians and Randites insist that basic research must be done by corporations.
VendicarE
not rated yet Feb 02, 2013
Perhaps America's $16.5 trillion dollar debt has something to do with it.

"If there is still good research to be done, why defund it? " - TypicalGuy

Numbers - even those derived through accounting - have consequences.
VendicarE
5 / 5 (1) Feb 02, 2013
Martini and Rossi have already done the detailed research and it has been found that they are Frauds.

"Assign the Department of Energy to do a Thorough Evaluation of Low Energy Nuclear Reaction (LENR) Technologies" - ValeriaT

How much fraud will it take you to realize the same?
VendicarE
not rated yet Feb 02, 2013
Max is right of course, and it doesn't take a rocket scientist to realize it.

Yet 50% of Americans continue to vote for the treason that is Libertarian Republicanism.

"What matters is military spending" - MaxB500

Destroying the nation is intentional of course.

Google "Starve the beast".