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Tevatron To Shut Down At End of 2011

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the too-bad-there's-no-fundamental-oil-particle dept.

The Almighty Buck 260

universegeek writes "It appears Fermilab's Tevatron will be shutting down by the end of 2011. Rumors confirmed today at the ISP220 conference say that the DOE denied further funding for the project. Looks like the LHC is our only hope in the hunt for the Higgs after all."

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Modern world has its priorities wrong (5, Insightful)

hessian (467078) | more than 3 years ago | (#34828552)

One silly recession, and everyone's going all budget cuts crazy. They're saving money so that we can have more big Wall Street firms making "profits" by selling financial instruments. The Chinese aren't fooled; they know our currency's about to crash and no amount of paper-shuffling will fix that. We're selling stuff to ourselves and calling it profit, just like in the dot-com boom, without "making" any new wealth.

In the meantime, the science programs we cut (to "save money") form the basis of our future. Our current economy is probably more of a transition than a permanent state. Anyone else think we're screwing up by spending so much time on shuffling paper around to earn money, and so little money on the technologies that could define our future?

Re:Modern world has its priorities wrong (5, Funny)

pellik (193063) | more than 3 years ago | (#34828626)

Think of all the money we could save in the long run if instead of paying firefighters or police we just researched how to make everything fireproof and crimeproof.

Re:Modern world has its priorities wrong (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34828808)

Crimeproof? Oh, that's an easy one.
We have had that one solved for a while.
Put everyone... listen, put every, put everyone in cuffs on ankles AND wrists.
There is no chance people can run away now!

Of course, the only problem is, for equality reasons, the police were also in this, and, well, everyone, it is sort of like dividing everyones Speed attribute by 20. Still crime, just slower.
Damn, there goes that idea.

Re:Modern world has its priorities wrong (2, Insightful)

s4m7 (519684) | more than 3 years ago | (#34828926)

the creation of financial instruments is not even remotely akin to firefighting or policework. As a society, we would be fine (maybe better off) without CDO's. They were originally created because traditional investment markets were "tapped out" relative to the pool of investment cash. So instead of correctly driving up the value of REAL assets, we distributed that money into, and inflated the value of potential/imaginary assets. That's a big part of what fueled the decline of income requirements on home loans, and basically directly contributed to the economic situation we're in.

So instead of suggesting that we stop paying firefighters and police, what the parent was saying was more like "quit paying people to set fires and rob liquor stores, and increase research in making fires and crimes less likely to happen in the future"

Re:Modern world has its priorities wrong (3, Insightful)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 3 years ago | (#34828630)

Anyone else think we're screwing up by spending so much time on shuffling paper around to earn money, and so little money on the technologies that could define our future?

Everybody who's not working for Wall Street firms, banks or lawyers. Unfortunately, it seems they're the assholes running this planet.

Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy reference: the doomsday scenario is real and the people from B ark are in charge.

Re:Modern world has its priorities wrong (5, Funny)

Straterra (1045994) | more than 3 years ago | (#34828746)

At least we'll have hairstylists!

Re:Modern world has its priorities wrong (1)

Chakra5 (1417951) | more than 3 years ago | (#34829748)

Someone tip this fellow a leaf and perhaps he'll go away...

Re:Modern world has its priorities wrong (5, Interesting)

LordNacho (1909280) | more than 3 years ago | (#34830038)

Even I think that, and I work in finance.

If there were prospects for a young engineer from Oxford, maybe I wouldn't have done what most of the other engineering students did. I think it took one term before everyone realised you can work your ass off for decades designing stuff and getting paid peanuts, or you can work your ass off for a few years designing derivatives and get paid ten times that. Who in their right mind wouldn't go for the gold? That's what society is telling young engineers to go do.

True story: a derivs trader I knew was an engineer (a real one). Asked why he quit early on to work in the City: "I found out what my boss makes."

As it happens, I've carved myself a comfortable niche in the finance world, but for most people who ask me about it, I tell them it's not worth it. Long hours, lots of politics, and in the end, you'll never feel you're paid enough. And in the meantime, (if you're and engineer) you'll wonder what you could have done. My personal favourites: space ships, Formula 1, chip design.

There really are too many kids who want to work in finance. The thing is, they don't have much of a passion for finance either (it does have interesting bits, just not where everyone thinks). These kids end up screwing up both finance AND the rest of the world. Don't do it, kids.

Re:Modern world has its priorities wrong (1, Redundant)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 3 years ago | (#34830260)

If there were prospects for a young engineer from Oxford, maybe I wouldn't have done what most of the other engineering students did. I think it took one term before everyone realised you can work your ass off for decades designing stuff and getting paid peanuts, or you can work your ass off for a few years designing derivatives and get paid ten times that. Who in their right mind wouldn't go for the gold? That's what society is telling young engineers to go do.

Um, I may be getting paid peanuts compared to you hot shots in finance, but it's a pretty damn comfortable living, and I love the work both because it's challenging and because I'm making things that are real. Being able to actually go out and buy a ridiculously complicated achievement of technology, that I helped design, is very gratifying.

So to me your question sounds like "Who in their right mind doesn't prioritize making the maximal amount of money over making as much as they need and then some and enjoying what they do?" and the answer would be "Everyone who is in their right mind." Not to presume you don't enjoy what you do. But it strikes me as crazy to give up something I love and can make a good living at, for something I don't because it has a bigger payoff.

I can still completely understand what you're saying about where we as a society are directing young potential engineers. It's society itself that equates money with worth and tells people that they're suckers for merely being able to buy a nice home and car (and computer) instead of the bestest home and car. And we show them through actions that the engineers are disposable, and the financial analysts indispensable. Because the latter make more money and are thus more worthy.

   

Re:Modern world has its priorities wrong (1)

servognome (738846) | more than 3 years ago | (#34830196)

At least we aren't dead from "a virulent disease contracted from a dirty telephone"

Re:Modern world has its priorities wrong (4, Insightful)

I8TheWorm (645702) | more than 3 years ago | (#34828662)

Or, it could be that it's been rendered obsolete by the LHC which is larger and more powerful.

Re:Modern world has its priorities wrong (5, Insightful)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 3 years ago | (#34828736)

Because every observatory on Earth was rendered obsolete by Hubble, right?

Even an inferior Tevatron can produce results, two instruments operating at a time is often better than one really good one.

Re:Modern world has its priorities wrong (2)

I8TheWorm (645702) | more than 3 years ago | (#34829160)

In funding amounts you're talking about two very different scales though.

I'm not saying it's a good thing, but as the other commenter said, by 2014 this one would be obsolete, and HUGELY expensive. I think in the near term that money could be used better elsewhere.

Re:Modern world has its priorities wrong (2)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 3 years ago | (#34829202)

I'm not sure I see how it could be obsolete though? Is the LHC going to be done all its research by 2014? If so, why did we spend so much to build that one?

Re:Modern world has its priorities wrong (1)

I8TheWorm (645702) | more than 3 years ago | (#34829422)

Probably for the same reason we spent so much money building the Superconducting Super Collider outside of Dallas. Someone in congress wanted to spend money on their constituents. In the end it was never used.

I don't think spending the money on it is a bad thing, but I think spending it when we're close to bankrupt is a stupid thing.

Of note, the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider still exists, and the SLHC is on the books.

two instruments operating at a time ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34829248)

Or perhaps you mean one operating, while the other is being cleaned of breadcrumbs and bird debris.

ba-da-bing-smash

I'll be here all weak, try the lasered veal!

Re:Modern world has its priorities wrong (1)

TooMuchToDo (882796) | more than 3 years ago | (#34829476)

As someone who has worked on the computing side of both the Tevatron and the LHC (CMS detector), it's time to stop pumping money into the Tevatron and let the LHC shine. Lets not let nostalgia get in the way of new science.

Fairwell Tevatron! Thanks for all the luminosity!

Re:Modern world has its priorities wrong (2)

s4m7 (519684) | more than 3 years ago | (#34828792)

could be, but it's not

The Physics Advisory Committee at Fermilab have announced their decision to continue running the Tevatron until 2014. It is easy to see why they want to do that: This years published results have strengthened the case for a light Higgs sector. In the mass range up to 150 GeV the rival Large Hadron Collider does not have such a big advantage and wont make the Tevatron obsolete until around 2014 when it’s higher energy and luminosity will finally trump the Tevatron at all mass scales.

from vixra, in september of last year. [vixra.org]

Re:Modern world has its priorities wrong (4, Insightful)

afidel (530433) | more than 3 years ago | (#34828872)

And that's assuming the LHC works on schedule, which so far it has failed to do. Also being able to recreate results (that are within the energy envelope on the Tevatron) with a different set of instruments is important to the scientific method.

Re:Modern world has its priorities wrong (1)

Matthias Wiesmann (221411) | more than 3 years ago | (#34829112)

This is one of the reasons instruments on the LHC are duplicated: Atlas and CMS. Given the difference of energy, if the Higgs is found in one of the LHC experiments, it is doubtful that the experiment could be reproduced at Tevatron.

Re:Modern world has its priorities wrong (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#34829462)

Indeed. Additionally, while the LHC is much more powerful, the Tevatron is still useful, I'm sure that there are still experiments for which it's of use. At very least it could be used to run the experiments that LHC is too busy for.

Re:Modern world has its priorities wrong (4, Insightful)

raddan (519638) | more than 3 years ago | (#34829992)

And, it should be pointed out, Americans can only work at LHC through a sponsoring member instituition such as a member university (like my alma mater, Boston University). Direct participation in work at the LHC (e.g., being employed there) is only available to citizens belonging to EU member nations. Shutting down Fermilab makes it even LESS desirable to become a physicist in the United States.

Re:Modern world has its priorities wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34830200)

All this is just the reaction to the future realization of the DOE that Flash Forward was real.

Re:Modern world has its priorities wrong (1)

sconeu (64226) | more than 3 years ago | (#34828840)

Oh come on. How else can we give hundreds of billions of dollars to Wall Street banks? We all have to make sacrifices for them!

Won't somebody think of the bankers?

Re:Modern world has its priorities wrong (4, Insightful)

lennier (44736) | more than 3 years ago | (#34828968)

In the meantime, the science programs we cut (to "save money") form the basis of our future.

While that makes sense generally, I'm wondering just exactly what the ROI curve for expensive high-energy physics tools like the LHC and Tevatron actually is. The collider and hot fusion people keep saying 'fund us more and we'll get huge energy breakthroughs, but the reality always seems to fall a long way short.

Looking at the sweep of physics over the 20th century, it seems like most of the really big breakthroughs were achieved using tools that by today's standards were laughably primitive. The most cutting edge physics experiments of today - Bose-Einstein condensates, quantum teleportation - seem to be still confirming and not invalidating physics theories invented in the 1930s, on pencil and paper. Doesn't that strike anyone as a bit odd?

The high-water mark of literal 'bang for the buck' physics research seems to have been the H-bomb in the 1950s. Since then, from the outside, it seems to have been a long row of fiddling with ever subtler refinements of Standard Model equations which all tell us 'actually, no, you can't get unlimited free energy, flying cars, antigravity, unbound quark states - but we need to take more observations to be sure.'

Something about this isn't adding up for me. Studying electricity and magnetism got us a motherlode of radio and electronics. Studing nuclear decay got us bombs and reactors. Studying gravity, quarks and the strong and weak forces have got us.... crickets and tumbleweed.... what, exactly?

It's not that we haven't yet seen engineering applications for post-1960s high-energy physics. It's that the brightest minds seem to be telling us that it's theoretically increasingly unlikely for us to ever see the Standard Model invalidated, let alone any hope of engineering applications from itl. Yet we keep sinking money into colliders.

What is it that we're expecting to find in the big colliders that we haven't yet seen? What are the odds of finding it? Are we looking in the right place? If we are and are, is all the research being shared publically, or are the weapons guys keeping something back?

The amount of money spent chasing big physics vs the decreasing payoff just doesn't add up to me. I'd like to think there's a big conspiracy to hide some really neat bang somewhere, because otherwise it just seems very disappointing compared to the glory days of the 30s-50s.

Re:Modern world has its priorities wrong (4, Informative)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 3 years ago | (#34829114)

You are forgetting things like modern computer technology actually does take advantage of some advanced physics like quantum tunneling.

Re:Modern world has its priorities wrong (3, Informative)

Gibbs-Duhem (1058152) | more than 3 years ago | (#34830158)

Actually, you're just demonstrating her point.

https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Quantum_tunnelling [wikimedia.org]

Quantum tunneling was first theoretically understood in 1927, and since then it's just been a matter of engineering to take advantage of it. I think her point was that if it's taken 80 years to develop discoveries experimentally evaluated using relatively primitive and low-energy techniques, how much longer is it going to take to every apply something which requires the LHC just to observe. I agree with her, both as a physicist, and as an engineer. There are intrinsic difficulties in applying physical principles which require energy densities which approach that found in the Big Bang.

I don't agree that it means we shouldn't do it, because inquiring minds want to know. However, I do agree that duplicating effort in an attempt to discover things a few months sooner is more about scientist/politician pride than about sane expenditures of resources. If the LHC is the better piece of equipment, then mothball the Tevatron since they're nominally collecting similar data, except that the LHC uses better equipment. All that matters, as there are unlikely to be any national security/interest in the results, is that everyone has access to the data.

Re:Modern world has its priorities wrong (4, Informative)

andi75 (84413) | more than 3 years ago | (#34829194)

I think it was the famous 18th century mathematician Laplace who once said "there is no military application for number theory", and less then 150 years later, its applications (cryptography) where probably one of the deciding factors for the outcome of World War II.

I don't think we can rule out that high energy physics will give us cool stuff to play with eventually.

Re:Modern world has its priorities wrong (2)

Maury Markowitz (452832) | more than 3 years ago | (#34829210)

> The high-water mark of literal 'bang for the buck' physics research seems to have been the H-bomb in the 1950s

no no no no no! The transistor!

> that it's theoretically increasingly unlikely for us to ever see the Standard Model invalidated, let alone any hope of engineering applications from itl

That is precisely the problem. The SM is "mined out" in the same way all those California oil wells are. However, the funding machine (which, if anything, is the really interesting thing about CERN) continues to grind on under its own momentum.

What's worse is the possibility that LHC finds Higgs. If it does, HEP is basically finished. We have no idea how to build a machine to test anything over and above SM.

That said, if LHC fails to find the Higgs then, that is very interesting indeed. Sort of like the MMX. However, the MMX was built from scraps by a couple of guys in a basement and upset all of physics forever. I doubt that LHC will produce anything so dramatic.

Re:Modern world has its priorities wrong (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34829364)

When the electron was discovered it was thought to be absolutely worthless, prediction is very hard, especially about the future.

Discovering the higgs will fill in the biggest hole in the standard model, it's what gives everything in the universe mass. And the hope is that hopefully the higgs decay pattern will point towards super-symmetry, which would be one of, if not the biggest discoveries in the history of science. Currently we can't explain, touch, see, 80% of the mass of the universe, I think trying to work out that massive gap in our knowledge is well worth the funding.

And, aside from all that-- it's a fantastic research facility that funds some of the greatest scientists on Earth, and it's on American soil. If the US keeps cutting science and research programs, then guess what, no US kid will want to move into science and the US will fade into the distance as Europe continues to dominate high-energy physics, and eventually, every other field.

Re:Modern world has its priorities wrong (2)

dkf (304284) | more than 3 years ago | (#34829600)

Discovering the higgs will fill in the biggest hole in the standard model, it's what gives everything in the universe mass.

Strictly, it's the rest masses of the fundamental particles that are determined by the Higgs field. However, the majority of mass of "ordinary" matter - i.e., protons and neutrons - is actually due to the (enormous) binding energy in the color field that is holding the quarks together. When I first found that out, I found it pretty amazing; it goes to show just how important relativity is.

And, aside from all that-- it's a fantastic research facility that funds some of the greatest scientists on Earth, and it's on American soil. If the US keeps cutting science and research programs, then guess what, no US kid will want to move into science and the US will fade into the distance as Europe continues to dominate high-energy physics, and eventually, every other field.

I believe that Fermilab are going to be focusing on other research fields, and they are also one of the main sites in the US that handles data coming from CERN. They're still a cutting-edge lab.

Re:Modern world has its priorities wrong (1)

Whiternoise (1408981) | more than 3 years ago | (#34829442)

You're forgetting that although the current research into the Standard Model (et al) hasn't given us much directly in the way of tangible technology, the getting there has spun off a lot of extremely important technology. The WWW is an obvious one, as is an increased knowledge of superconducting materials. We also use particle accelerators for medical purposes, synchrotron radiation (mid 1940's) is incredibly useful for irradiating things and we've got to the point where we can scale the technology down to a level where you don't need a warehouse to perform experiments.

CERN brought us advances in grid computing as well as the aforementioned WWW and continues to fuel this area of research. There are also dedicated research groups in CERN who deal with medical applications for Hadrons.

Similar arguments apply for NASA - oh, what has the human space flight program ever done for the world - well, nothing if you take it at face value, but if you look at the technological developments required to actually achieve what we have, they're worth a lot more than we paid to send astronauts into space.

This is all ignoring the fact that we spend far, far, far, far more money on the defence budget (speaking as a UK citizen, the US is similarly and more disproportionate) which again, churns out some decent research, but also utterly dwarfs the budget for say, the Tevatron.

Re:Modern world has its priorities wrong (1)

diegocg (1680514) | more than 3 years ago | (#34829450)

You might be right, the LHC and the Tevatron might be useless. But we turning them off will not help to decide the outcome.

Re:Modern world has its priorities wrong (5, Informative)

Colonel Korn (1258968) | more than 3 years ago | (#34829606)

A very large fraction of biomedical research and nanoscale self assembling materials research is dependent on unfathomably expensive high energy physics tools like the Advanced Photon Source at Argonne. Without this kind of beam we'd have lost a big chunk of the most impressive medical treatments now available and a lot of computer technology we take for granted, and the next generation of technology (meaning a 30 year generation, not an iPhone generation) is going to be an order of magnitude more dependent on high energy scattering. And the generation after that will likely include things like fusion.

The thing that's not adding up for you is your lack of knowledge about recent research. If anything, long term research pays off much more now than it did in the early 20th century. And you even point out that we're just now realizing things theorized or primitively demonstrated back then, which is a further demonstration of the huge long-term payoff of basic science research!

Re:Modern world has its priorities wrong (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34829774)

The Large Hadron Collider, a.k.a the largest scientific endeavor in human history, cost 6 billion dollars.

A Gerald R. Ford-class aircraft carrier costs 8.5 billion dollars, and the US Navy will be introducing ten such aircraft carriers into their arsenal, the equivalent of fourteen LHCs.

I don't think it's science programs that need to be cut.

Re:Modern world has its priorities wrong (1)

the_one(2) (1117139) | more than 3 years ago | (#34830120)

Mod parent +1 perspective!

Re:Modern world has its priorities wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34830030)

It takes alot more effort to radio anything beyond the low hanging fruits of physics. Just because you don't know or understand current research, doesn't mean something nefarious is going on. Look at semiconductor research progress. Amazing.

Re:Modern world has its priorities wrong (1)

LordNacho (1909280) | more than 3 years ago | (#34830096)

At various times people have thought there's no more to learn, and we've got it right. Even the Romans thought that. And there's a quote from around the turn of the century (1900, I forget who) saying something to that effect... that all we can do is measure the constants ever more finely. And then relativity and quantum came along not long after.

I don't know if I hope you're right or you're wrong, funnily enough.

Re:Modern world has its priorities wrong (1)

Khomar (529552) | more than 3 years ago | (#34829330)

The sad thing is that all of these budget cuts don't even come close to addressing the problem. Nearly all of the government spending comes down to four programs: 1) national defense, 2) welfare, 3) Social Security, and 4) Medicare. If you eliminated every other department in the government, I think you would come to about half of any one of these programs. Our deficit (the amount of money we spend more than we bring in every year) is over $1.5 trillion.

The four programs are all basically the same size. For the sake of convenience, let us call is $750 billion each. In order to eliminate our deficit (we'll work on the actual debt later), we have two options:

1) Cut all four programs in half.
2) Eliminate two programs -- take your pick.

That is what it has come down to, plain and simple. But no one has the courage to do what it will take to steer the ship aright.

Re:Modern world has its priorities wrong (3, Insightful)

Thud457 (234763) | more than 3 years ago | (#34829458)

This is how you can tell the recent discovery of "fiscal conservatism" by Congress is a kettle of bullshit.
If they really thought things were really that dire, they'd be talking about cutting the military (and/or SS / MC).
Instead, it's a stalking horse to cut "projects I don't like".

Re:Modern world has its priorities wrong (1)

pipatron (966506) | more than 3 years ago | (#34829620)

Do you know where to find this information online? I'm a little handicapped trying to google up things like this since I'm not a U.S. citizen, so I don't really know where to start. Still, it would be interesting to see.

Re:Modern world has its priorities wrong (4, Informative)

Khomar (529552) | more than 3 years ago | (#34829836)

Here is a chart of the spending by department.

http://market-ticker.org/akcs-www?get_gallerynr=172 [market-ticker.org]

In my post, I may have overstated the size a bit. So I guess we have one additional option -- instead of eliminating two programs, we can eliminate one and then all other government spending. :-)

Here is an article placing the current US deficit at $1.5 trillion:

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=newsarchive&sid=aNaqecavD9ek [bloomberg.com]

Another interesting site is ShadowStats which shows a more accurate representation of government figures that they have been manipulating over the past three decades.

http://www.shadowstats.com/ [shadowstats.com]

Simple solution: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34830056)

Leave #1 alone. Every great civilization in history has had #1 as a priority.

Make #2 temporary assistance in the form of a loan or a grant. Once you get back on your feet again, you work off your debt just like the rest of us. Welfare should not enable someone to permanently live off of the rest of us.

Raise the minimum withdraw age to be the life expectancy of the recipient + 5 years. Social Security is not a long-term retirement plan, and most folks my age will live well past 67. Also, stop borrowing against the Social Security trust to fund other areas of government.

Eliminate #4. Much like your housing in retirement, your health care is not a burden to be carried by the rest of us. Take responsibility for yourself.

Re:Modern world has its priorities wrong (3, Insightful)

diegocg (1680514) | more than 3 years ago | (#34829390)

everyone's going all budget cuts crazy

Except the military budget. If someone manages to classify the Tevatron as a weapon and get it managed by the MoD, it won't be canceled.

Re:Modern world has its priorities wrong (1)

thatskinnyguy (1129515) | more than 3 years ago | (#34830160)

You're retarded. Science is a financial instrument. Think about it.

delay (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34828588)

Fermilabs faulty equipment delayed LHC for more than a year. It will only be good to have them away from this business.

Snipe hunting still available! (-1, Offtopic)

Relayman (1068986) | more than 3 years ago | (#34828608)

You can still hunt for snipes! [slashdot.org] I'll bet your search will be just as productive although I doubt you will get governments to throw billions of dollars your way to help with the hunt.

Looks like the LHC is our only hope.... (4, Insightful)

Picardo85 (1408929) | more than 3 years ago | (#34828638)

If there actually is a Higgs Boson

Re:Looks like the LHC is our only hope.... (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#34829526)

That was my thought, we're assuming that the Higgs Boson exists, and proving that it doesn't is going to be a lot more difficult then proving that it does. Science tends to do a lot better proving a positive than a negative.

Budget cuts (4, Funny)

onyxruby (118189) | more than 3 years ago | (#34828650)

Budget cuts, the one divide by zero scenario science can't route around.

The truth (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34828680)

What they're not telling us it that, if it continues to run much longer, Tevatron will become self-aware, reshape itself into a giant humanoid robot, and proceed to rampage across the world destroying everything in its path with proton beams. When will man learn that science inevitably leads to the destruction of its own species?

Re:The truth (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 3 years ago | (#34828894)

I see I'm not the only one who thought the name was similar to Terra-Tron [starcraft2.com] .

My biggest complaint about Bill Clinton (1, Insightful)

CrazyJim1 (809850) | more than 3 years ago | (#34828696)

Bill Clinton spent billions on a supercollider in Texas, and half way through its completion, he canceled the project.

The guy was an economic genius and what this country needs to get itself out of debt, but he failed in that situation.

Physics research can be greater than money because of the new discoveries it brings mankind, but all you know this.

Re:My biggest complaint about Bill Clinton (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34828762)

Bill Clinton spent billions on a supercollider in Texas, and half way through its completion, he canceled the project.

As I remember it, the project lost support as the number of potential sites was narrowed down, because the politicians just wanted the big wad of cash for their state rather than the science it would produce. When it was down to one state, you basically had one state's politicians supporting it.

Re:My biggest complaint about Bill Clinton (1)

AJWM (19027) | more than 3 years ago | (#34829700)

When it was down to one state, you basically had one state's politicians supporting it.

Unfortunately, the Four Corners area really is out in the middle of nowhere; and Arizona, Utah, Colorado and New Mexico even together don't have huge clout in the House.

Re:My biggest complaint about Bill Clinton (1)

Beat The Odds (1109173) | more than 3 years ago | (#34828788)

The guy was an economic genius and what this country needs to get itself out of debt, but he failed in that situation.

Now I know why your user name has Crazy in it!

Re:My biggest complaint about Bill Clinton (5, Interesting)

afidel (530433) | more than 3 years ago | (#34828982)

Uh, the dude got a Rhodes scholarship to go study political science and economics at Oxford. That puts him in the top .000001% of all college students, which most people would consider genius level. Amazingly his wife is possibly even smarter. You might not like their politics but to question their intelligence just shows your own ignorance.

Re:My biggest complaint about Bill Clinton (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34829770)

Uh, the dude got a Rhodes scholarship to go study political science and economics at Oxford. That puts him in the top .000001% of all college students, which most people would consider genius level. Amazingly his wife is possibly even smarter. You might not like their politics but to question their intelligence just shows your own ignorance

Well, I don't know about Bill's and Hillary's intelligence (although the fact that they toe the Democratic Party line makes them "pretty stupid" in my book, although still above the "Sarah Palin" level), but considering that you're correlating "Rhodes scholarship" with "genius" makes you pretty stupid.

Fun fact: Ph.D degrees are given to a lot of stupid people. They just work harder than you do.

Re:Re:My biggest complaint about Bill Clinton (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34830150)

You might not like their politics but to question their intelligence just shows your own ignorance.

Just because they may be intelligent does not mean they are not ignorant! And being smarter does not mean you automatically make good choices in life. Clinton was a classic in that area with Monica Lewinsky.

Re:My biggest complaint about Bill Clinton (3, Interesting)

Gibbs-Duhem (1058152) | more than 3 years ago | (#34830296)

I do agree that Clinton is a bright guy... but...

Getting a Rhodes scholarship in college does not put you on the list of the smartest 50 people on the planet... if for no other reason than that there are 32 chosen every year. Assuming a modest lifespan for the recipients of 50 years, and assuming a Rhodes scholarship makes you smarter than anyone but another person with a Rhodes scholarship, you're still off by at least one order of magnitude! ;-) Maaaybe top .0001%, but not .000001%!

I've met a lot of very smart people. The ones who *I* would classify as true geniuses (and I'm actually probably just barely qualified to judge) never bothered with things like the Rhodes. They had better things to do than do yet more school in England when there's so much exciting science to do!

Re:My biggest complaint about Bill Clinton (1)

Beelzebud (1361137) | more than 3 years ago | (#34828864)

The supercollider found its funding in 1991, and was defunded by congress (as the president doesn't directly get to control the budget) the year he became president.

Re:My biggest complaint about Bill Clinton (1)

mathmathrevolution (813581) | more than 3 years ago | (#34829958)

It looks like your biggest complaint about Bill Clinton is total bullshit then since it was Congress that defunded the Superconducting Supercollider, not the President.

Re:My biggest complaint about Bill Clinton (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 3 years ago | (#34828940)

I said, super collider, I just met her! And then they made a super collider 2. Thank you. - Humor Bot 5.0

Re:My biggest complaint about Bill Clinton (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34828954)

Physics research can be greater than money because of the new discoveries it brings mankind, but all you know this.

Sorry, I'm a Slashdot-style armchair libertarian. I believe that the government cannot possibly do anything right, that being taxed is stealing my hard-earned money, and that everything the government does can be done better by the private sector. Furthermore, I believe that, with the exception of the freedoms and rights with which we were imbued, the only thing that matters in the world is money: everything has a value, and things which have no quantifiable value have no value at all.

Please explain to me why I should be in favor of the government funding particle physics research.

Re:My biggest complaint about Bill Clinton (1)

peragrin (659227) | more than 3 years ago | (#34829182)

Please explain to me why I should be in favor of the government funding particle physics research.

Your using a computer and the internet that were created initially because of government funding. if government fun ding didn't exist The average computer would still be the size of a house and you couldn't connect two of them together. The Government funds the initial money losing half of the science. DARPA's crazy ideas don't always work but they push things in new directions. Look at how many tries the autonomous car, or power armor has been in development. Very few businesses would fund things that long with zero return on investment.

Re:My biggest complaint about Bill Clinton (4, Funny)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 3 years ago | (#34829320)

Please explain to me why I should be in favor of the government funding particle physics research.

Why don't you step into the box with the cat for a quick demonstration.

Re:My biggest complaint about Bill Clinton (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#34829566)

Because without government funding of science, corporations would have no research to exploit for profit, duh.

Re:My biggest complaint about Bill Clinton (1)

bhcompy (1877290) | more than 3 years ago | (#34828960)

You have the bone structure of an economic GENIUS!

Re:My biggest complaint about Bill Clinton (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 3 years ago | (#34828994)

Exactly how was Clinton an economic genius?
He presided over a huge stock bubble. Pets.com, Linux.com, and how many other dotcoms that where worth nothing but valued at billions?
Oh and record low oil prices to boot.
If he had been a genius he would have increased the interest rate and raised the fuel tax and tried to manage the bubble. Instead he just hopped it would last until he was out office.
"Like every other politician ."

Re:My biggest complaint about Bill Clinton (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34829180)

Exactly how was Clinton an economic genius?

Clinton balanced the budget. It was the next guy who messed things up and dug the nation into a very deep hole.

Re:My biggest complaint about Bill Clinton (1, Insightful)

ianare (1132971) | more than 3 years ago | (#34829552)

Actually, Clinton stopped and even reversed the disastrous fiscal policies of Reagan and Bush. Unfortunately, Bush II undid all of that work ...

See for yourself [wikipedia.org]

Re:My biggest complaint about Bill Clinton (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34830062)

Interesting you point that out, when Congress is the one that spends the money, not the President, and the best term during the Clinton years was a Republican Congress. I'm not attempting to make a political statement with this, but I do want to point out that despite our strong president system, the reality is that the President has no direct economic power. He suggests a budget and can push through certain bills like tax cuts or health care etc., but the spending falls on Congress, so any budget deficit/surplus blame/credit goes to Congress.

Also, I'd like to point out that deficit spending is a strength of our economic system and growth in the federal deficit is not necessarily an indicator of a weak economy. Deficit hits so many different points in our economy, some bad some good, that you can't make a blanket statement that growth in the deficit is "bad".

Re:My biggest complaint about Bill Clinton (2)

diegocg (1680514) | more than 3 years ago | (#34829706)

The dotcom bubble didn't really affect that much to the rest of the economy. It didn't bring banks down (banks weren't able to build their assets on top of the bubble), it didn't bring other sectors down. I remember some economist saying that it was a good example of a "good bubble" - a bubble that happens in only one sector and doesn't affect anything else.

Also, Bill Clinton managed to get the debt under control [city-data.com] . Which is an impressive achievement in USA.

Re:My biggest complaint about Bill Clinton (1)

Relic of the Future (118669) | more than 3 years ago | (#34829126)

That's not quite how it happened [wikipedia.org] .

Clinton's support wasn't enthusiastic, and DoE came out against it, but when congress cut its funding, Clinton asked them to reconsider.

'twere GHWB not Slick Willy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34829128)

It was George H. W. Bush who moved it there first(November 1989). The Supercollider belonged in Illinois with the expertise that Fermilab and Argonne have. His move killed the HighTech corridor west of Chicago for pork for his own state. It was canceled in 1993. GHWB was still president then.

The problem with the supercollider was the name (1)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 3 years ago | (#34829512)

When Congress wanted to make some spending cuts, something called the "Superconducting Supercollider" is an obvious candidate. If they had named it instead, "Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Collider" it would have been running right now.

fabulous! more money for wars to keep us safe (0)

cats-paw (34890) | more than 3 years ago | (#34828698)

Cause what's Science going to do for you anyway ?

Re:fabulous! more money for wars to keep us safe (2)

oh-dark-thirty (1648133) | more than 3 years ago | (#34828710)

Cause what's Science going to do for you anyway ?

Science will help build better weapons, you silly goose!

Well (4, Interesting)

Barrinmw (1791848) | more than 3 years ago | (#34828766)

According to my father-in-law who works at fermilab, they pretty much are focusing on the hunt for sterile neutrinos at the moment. They essentially are leaving the search for the higgs to LHC anyway.

Re:Well (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34828858)

According to my father-in-law who works at fermilab, they pretty much are focusing on the hunt for sterile neutrinos at the moment. They essentially are leaving the search for the higgs to LHC anyway.

It doesn't matter how sterile you think they are, life will find a way. Hasn't anyone seen Jurassic Park!?

Re:Well (1)

McTickles (1812316) | more than 3 years ago | (#34829344)

And the LHC will eventually leave higgs to the SLHC which will still be too flimsy to pull it off but physics lovers will masturbate to it nonetheless ...

--
http://www.twilightcampaign.net/ [twilightcampaign.net]

Re:Well (1)

lazy genes (741633) | more than 3 years ago | (#34830290)

How will it effect MINOS and NOVa ?

DOE response gives a peek at the future (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34828794)

From the quoted DOE letter:

Given the LHC performance to date, it appears likely that experiments at the LHC either will rule out or discover a standard model Higgs boson by late 2012

This is somewhat of an open secret in the LHC community. However, I thought it was something Not-To-Be-Discussed-In-Public.

Re:DOE response gives a peek at the future (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 3 years ago | (#34829640)

From the quoted DOE letter:

Given the LHC performance to date, it appears likely that experiments at the LHC either will rule out or discover a standard model Higgs boson by late 2012

This is somewhat of an open secret in the LHC community. However, I thought it was something Not-To-Be-Discussed-In-Public.

Probably the exact date is December 21, 2012. :-)

Reading further... not the end, just a shift (1)

ka9dgx (72702) | more than 3 years ago | (#34828816)

There are updates which need to be read past the initial article....

The HEP program also calls for a world-leading program centred at FNAL to probe the Standard Model using a complementary approach of high intensity beams. This program aims to measure the fundamental properties of neutrinos and to develop a new high intensity proton source. In evaluating the proposed Tevatron extension, the P5 committee emphasized the importance of developing this Intensity Frontier program and we have made implementation of this program a cornerstone of future HEP activities.

It seems to me they are going to have to do some redesign to get the beam currents way up, and then they will be back in the game.

The Budget Ax Cuts Off Our Nose to Spite Our Face. (1)

oDDmON oUT (231200) | more than 3 years ago | (#34828900)

Another shining example of basic science exploration falling prey to the short sighted budgetary whims of bureaucrats elected on an ephemeral basis.

Re:The Budget Ax Cuts Off Our Nose to Spite Our Fa (1)

Maury Markowitz (452832) | more than 3 years ago | (#34829280)

...or a completely pointless program that has turned up nothing useful for decades?

No really, are you happy that we now know the top quark mass to the 4th decimal? If I gave you millions of dollars, would you buy that number?

wood projects plans (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34828964)

With Everyone doing budget cuts, its making the recession worst. Pulling their money out of the stock actually makes everything go down as well sending us in a spiral down towards the great depression.

Oh well

Jeremy
wood projects plans [woodprojectsplans.org]

Costs (1)

exabrial (818005) | more than 3 years ago | (#34829028)

Tevatron is a ridiculous project to shut down... But hey, everyone wanted free health care, we want the government to employ 67,000 people to violate our constitutional rights, 'out' senators have free healthcare for life and get a raise every year (by law)... Sorry Tevatron, but you're just not important enough!

Curiously though, I looked at our national budget, for 2010: $3.55Trillion, and I decided what to see what I could buy for $3.55 Trillion:
  • All of IBM
  • All of Microsoft
  • All of Apple
  • 5 NFL Teams

Isn't that great? Oh and with the $2.7Trillion left over you'd be able to rent the entire island of Jamaica for a nice weekend vacation.

Re:Costs (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#34829624)

Tevatron is a ridiculous project to shut down... But hey, everyone wanted free health care

Well, for one thing, the health care isn't going to be free, and it never was promised to be free. It was promised to be available and affordable, time will tell whether or not they over promised.

Additionally, the cost of providing the health care will be less than the projections were for the costs to the private sector over the next 10 years.

In other words, bash health care all you like, it's just not the budget breaker that the DoD budget is. Last estimates I saw were $100bn per year for healthcare and $700bn per year for DoD. Even under normal circumstances the DoD funding would come in at $400bn significantly more than healthcare.

mod 04 (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34829044)

Theo de Raadt, o]ne enjoy the loUd the numbers. The LONG TERM SURVIVAL BSD fanatics? I've irrecoverable subscribers. Please

Even LHC is quite wimpy (0)

McTickles (1812316) | more than 3 years ago | (#34829054)

Even the LHC is really too wimpy to get anywhere interesting. The power required is far beyond LHC's capabilities and also they are doing it wrong. They need to be more way more "brutal" to get anywhere near Higgs. Higgs isn't in itself very interesting but it is the most reachable goal I suppose. Close Tevatron, close LHC, they are going about it wrong anyway. They are just massive toys for particle-based masturbation. If they were serious about it they'd (possibly or not) need about 1 billion times the power of the LHC. (yes, i know that may seem a lot but it is peanuts really, you didn't expect having a go at reality/the universe would be that easy huh?)

11 months advanced notice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34829072)

At least their employees gets an eleven month advance notice. Most of us find out when either our card key abruptly stop working or find a pad lock on the doors.

Missdirection - Idiots. (4, Interesting)

cosm (1072588) | more than 3 years ago | (#34829094)

So the entire purpose of the Tevatron in the eyes of the politicians is that of a facility that will either find/not find the Higgs? The political community and those in control of the purse-strings only want the ability of Nationalistic chest-pumping of verifying Peter Higg's field and mass generating boson, but aside from that I am fairly sure science goes out the window past the international pissing contest. Are you telling me that a particle acceleration facility like that has not future economically or scientifically stimulating value, and that the immediate value of undercutting funding / shutdown is higher than the long-term scientific value to humanity?!?!

Until bankers and high-frequency traders discover a Unified Field Theory, or politicians can deduce a solution to the Riemann Hypothesis, or the lobbyist can solve Navier-Stokes, leave the big-boys alone to do Real Work (TM). Otherwise we will continually squander true talent in this country, pushing those with scientific inclinations to other parts of the world where it is actually valued.

Re:Missdirection - Idiots. (1)

Thud457 (234763) | more than 3 years ago | (#34829612)

Weren't a lot of the " quants " responsible for the great recession mathematicians and physicists lured from academia by the better pay working building models for the banks?
Maybe we should be pouring more money into science so these pointdexters don't continue to wreak havoc on things they only think they understand.

Crowdfunding Opportunity (1)

NEDHead (1651195) | more than 3 years ago | (#34829354)

I suggest a kickstarter effort to acquire the Tevatron and then do cool stuff...

For sale? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34829468)

So, since they're not using it, is it for sale now?

That's EXACTLY what the world needs right now (0)

Crypto Gnome (651401) | more than 3 years ago | (#34829534)

<sarcasm>MAJOR Cutbacks on scientific research.

Bloody Know It Alls!

Your "science" can never know The Mind Of God.</sarcasm>

3d (1)

mcneely.mike (927221) | more than 3 years ago | (#34829756)

They'll just find the budget for a TevaTRON in 3d!
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