Tuesday, August 21, 2007

'X' Marks Fermilab Future

With the Tevatron shutdown looming and the International Linear Collider still a dream away, Fermilab is making its own effort to survive by proposing an intermediate project called Project X. It is meant to be a project that allows for the lab to remain in operation, continues to produce fundamental science, and also allows for the engineering expertise that is eventually needed for the ILC to be tested.

Fermilab's long-range ambition is to host a mammoth project called the International Linear Collider, but that idea will take decades to bring to fruition. Project X would incorporate many of the technologies needed for the ILC, yielding new experimental opportunities and potentially strengthening Fermilab's chances of landing the bigger device.

"This would be a world-class machine at a cost that is much lower than the ILC," said Fermilab Director Pier Oddone.

Of course, as the article has stated, everyone, including Fermilab officials, are aware of the possible downside to such a proposal and especially if it gets built. Certainly there's a perception that Fermilab may not get the ILC if this gets built, and that Project X may be a "light" version of the ILC, the same way RIA got downsized by half of the cost and morphed into an "Advanced Exotic Beam Laboratory".


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