Since 1983, the United States’s most powerful atom smasher has created particle collisions and provided particle beams to fixed target experiments and test beam areas.
Image Credit: Department of Energy
Last Friday, we watched the last soap opera. At 2 PM today (Friday, 30 September) Fermilab whirls the last particle around its 4 mile electromagnetic track.
Bureaucrats will say that the 17 mile Large Hadron Collider makes the smaller facility outside Chicago obsolete. Hence, there is no reason to fund the Tevatron even though Fermilab will still have 2,300 particle scientists. Of course the real reason is money. Why fund it when the Europeans are funding their project?
Sheesh. The future of civilization depends upon discovering an energy source to replace petroleum. Discovering something about the Higgs boson could be huge, even if it doesn't result in anti-gravity shoes.
But we are short-changing fundamental energy research in the name of austerity. I hope next Friday I'm not writing about another last ... something. Unless of course, it is about the last recession.