Thursday, December 20, 2007

Fermilab Is In Deep, Deep Trouble

I mentioned earlier about the spending bill that just passed the US House of Representative. This news article from Science's website clearly spells out the doom and gloom picture at Fermilab. While we all know that the Tevatron will shut down after 2009, Fermilab as a facility had hoped to remain as a high-energy physics laboratory via its neutrino experiment, which include the upcoming NOvA.

Now, even its survival as a laboratory is in question after the proposed severe cuts in the budget. But I think what is frustrating is that most people would just wish that those who are in power would just make up their freaking minds! I think this sums up best:

The budget decisions, part of a $550 billion omnibus spending package that Congress approved this week, call into question the U.S.'s commitment to particle physics as a whole, says Fermilab Director Pier Oddone. "There's a policy question for the government and for Congress," he says. "Do we want to stay in particle physics or not?"

They need to decide now because with the LHC looming in the near future, they either should give sufficient funding, or simply declare that the US will no longer be in particle physics and close up shop. This way, they can take the "credit" later on in the history of human civilization as being the group of legislator responsible for killing high energy physics work in the US. Maybe that is something they want to be proud of.

Edit: More related news story on this matter.



Anonymous said...

Shut it Down!

It's old. It leaks tritium. The folks run around bumping into each other. Let Europe deal with the expense.

U.S managment have failed miserably in business and employing to keep the economy up so the Government once again will have to do the bail out. Move the millions there. It's shuttind down in 2009 anyway.

It's too small to be efffective for the science it is looking for. That's why the HLC is going online in Europe. They can fund the ILC. The U.S. cannot anymore. We can't even supply jobs right now. We can get the data from the LHC and ILC in Europe were it can be more effective.

Europe does not have economy problems. We do. Every job has been farmed out oversea's. (BY AMERICAN BUSINESSES!) and the governemt has to fix it once again.

We need better managment. Not a boson particle! Pump the millions wasted into the economy so the tons of unemployed can keep their homes.

ZapperZ said...

You seem to forget that what is "wasted" is the $300 billion that's going to the war. Funding for Fermilab and the ILC is a DROP in the bucket when compared to that. So if you think that by shutting down Fermilab you can actually save money to do other things, you are delusional.

And next time you get an x-ray or benefited from pharmaceutical discoveries that used synchrotron radiation, you need to thank high energy physics.