The Tevatron at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory will be shut down later this year after the Batavia-based lab failed to win additional funding from the Obama administration.
Once the world’s largest atom smasher — technically, a proton-antiproton collider — the Tevatron was scheduled to cease operations this year with the recent startup of a much more powerful accelerator known as the Large Hadron Collider, which straddles the border of France and Switzerland.
But with Tevatron running glitch-free and still producing useful research on the elementary building blocks of matter, Fermilab sought an additional $35 million a year to keep it going another three years, a proposal endorsed last year by a U.S. Department of Energy advisory panel on high-energy physics research.
However, the Energy Department last week notified the University of Chicago, which runs the lab for DOE, that the additional funding would not be included in the soon-to-be-released White House budget request for the fiscal year starting Oct. 1.
This is very sad. A long (LONG) time ago I took a series of Saturday classes out at Fermilab and learned about high energy physics and the Standard Model. It was fascinating.
This is a huge loss for the area, including Chicago. Fermilab employs some of the smartest people on the planet. People who were good to have in the neighborhood to work on things like solar power, new batteries for cars, LED lighting, improved windmill design, and the like. Many of these people will now leave the area. Dreadfully, many will head to Silicon Valley or Texas.
It’s sad Obama, our home town hero, couldn’t find a mere $35 million in the entire federal budget to keep this place running for another three years.
I say we fire half the aldermen thus saving more than enough to keep the Tevatron going.