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Tevatron Has Come To the End of Its Run

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the spin-one-for-the-gipper dept.

Technology 115

Med-trump writes "The U.S. government's Chicago-area Fermilab has been at the forefront of high-energy physics. That's in large part thanks to the Tevatron, the machine that first reached the energies needed to discover the last quark in the Standard Model. But the Tevatron has come to the end of its run; at 2pm on Friday, it will be shut down for the last time."

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ebay (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37554032)

Put it on ebay!

So Long Farewell Avidazen Goodbye (0)

medv4380 (1604309) | more than 2 years ago | (#37554076)

Good luck with the new collier designs to make the most intense neutrino beam.

Re:So Long Farewell Avidazen Goodbye (2)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 2 years ago | (#37554116)

So Long Farewell Avidazen Goodbye

Auf wiedersehen. It's german ;)

Re:So Long Farewell Avidazen Goodbye (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37554852)

Who else expanded this thread just to see if "avidazen" was some unfamiliar physics term being used in a pun? C'mon, fess up.

Re:So Long Farewell Avidazen Goodbye (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37555194)

I did it :)

Re:So Long Farewell Avidazen Goodbye (1)

medv4380 (1604309) | more than 2 years ago | (#37556888)

Dann ist mein Job ist getan

Re:So Long Farewell Avidazen Goodbye (1)

MachDelta (704883) | more than 2 years ago | (#37555780)

What's "Goodnight sweet prince" in german? ;)

Re:So Long Farewell Avidazen Goodbye (1)

dougisfunny (1200171) | more than 2 years ago | (#37555964)

Gute nacht suesser prinz

(in suesser the ue should be a u with an umlaut, the ss an esset)

Re:So Long Farewell Avidazen Goodbye (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37556566)

"Prinz" would have a capital P, as it is a noun. Also, it's "Esszet".

Re:So Long Farewell Avidazen Goodbye (1)

newcastlejon (1483695) | more than 2 years ago | (#37557160)

Gute Nacht süeßer Prinz

Just testing. Somehow I didn't expect that to work.

Re:So Long Farewell Avidazen Goodbye (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37558790)

Wrong. ue=ü. Gute Nacht süßer Prinz.

Re:So Long Farewell Avidazen Goodbye (1)

newcastlejon (1483695) | more than 2 years ago | (#37560012)

Ah, when I read it back I couldn't figure out how to pronounce it. That makes much more sense.

Re:So Long Farewell ARGH Goodbye (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37554148)

it's actually
auf wiedersehen

Re:So Long Farewell ARGH Goodbye (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37554216)

It's actually "Adios, au revoir, auf wiedersehen ... Goodnight!" He's half-remembering the closing song from the Lawrence Welk show.

Re:So Long Farewell ARGH Goodbye (2)

kemosabi (659932) | more than 2 years ago | (#37554284)

Um, no. It's the song the children sing before going to bed in "The Sound of Music" that he appears to have in mind.

Re:So Long Farewell ARGH Goodbye (2)

wsxyz (543068) | more than 2 years ago | (#37554484)

I don't remember any tevatron in the Sound of Music.

Re:So Long Farewell ARGH Goodbye (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37554630)

That's because the Sound of Music had the LHC.

Re:So Long Farewell ARGH Goodbye (1)

VIPERsssss (907375) | more than 2 years ago | (#37556462)

That's what you get for not reading the book :P

Re:So Long Farewell ARGH Goodbye (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37555868)

Um, no. It's the song the children sing before going to bed in "The Sound of Music" that he appears to have in mind.

Isn't it from Blazing Saddles?

Re:So Long Farewell ARGH Goodbye (1)

treeves (963993) | more than 2 years ago | (#37560534)

Not before going to bed. Before escaping from the Nazis during their singing performance.
I love it when the nuns pull the coil wire out of the Nazi's car so they can't start it and chase after the Von Trapp's car!

Canadian Version (1)

SoTerrified (660807) | more than 2 years ago | (#37560194)

Well I see by the clock on the wall.
That it's time to bid you one and all:
Goodbye Goodbye
So long So long
Farewell Farewell
Adieu Adieu
Be good Stay Well
Bye Bye Keep Warm
Relax At Ease
Take Care Stay Loose
Adieu mon vieux.
A la prochaine.
Goodbye 'til when we meet again!

No CERN neutrino corroboration? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37554082)

But but but...

Didn't we just hear they were going to generate more data to corroborate the speed of the neutrino?

Re:No CERN neutrino corroboration? (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37554182)

not all of Fermilab is shutting down, just the Tevatron - they can still make a neutrino beam. Just like at CERN, the neutrinos aren't generated by the LHC.

Re:NN? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37554590)

not all of Fermilab is shutting down, just the Tevatron - they can still make a neutrino beam. Just like at CERN, the neutrinos aren't generated by the LHC.

they're probably nigger neutrinos* purchased cheaply at African sweat-shop wages

but they'll do. they'll do.

* the nigger neutrino is often released during the collision of a nigger and an anti-nigger. suitable anti-nigger items - that is, objects with strong anti-nigger properties - include bars of soap, paychecks, dictionaries or other books, country music albums, white robes, deodorant, father's day cards, and one-way tickets back to Africa. most anti-nigger items can be reused multiple times before becoming contaminated by repeated contact with niggers. in the extremely unlikely event that you cannot easily find lots of niggers (you lucky bastard) fat white women can be used as a slightly lower-quality substitute.

Re:NN? (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 2 years ago | (#37554918)

I'm just waiting for Anonymous to out this racist AC and post their coordinates. Getting their ass kicked every day for the rest of their life will probably reinforce their racism, but who cares? They're worthless anyway, and only demonstrate to everyone how stupid racism is.

Re:NN? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37555554)

guess you have never been on 4chan. you'll probably see nigger within the first 3 words.

Re:NN? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37561122)

No, it's wordfiltered now. "Nigger" scares off moot's kike investors.

Re:NN? (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37555592)

Don't worry about him, he is probably just a nigger.

Re:NN? (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37555668)

I'm just waiting for Anonymous to out this racist AC and post their coordinates. Getting their ass kicked every day for the rest of their life will probably reinforce their racism, but who cares? They're worthless anyway, and only demonstrate to everyone how stupid racism is.

yeah what you're doing is SO MUCH smarter and more reasonable. i love the way you decide to be hypersensitive and offended, and advocate physical violence in response to otherwise harmless speech. real physical harm used to retaliate against something that's harmless. that's justice, right? it's derived from some notion of the punishment fitting the crime, right? oh wait, it's an attempt to dominate. see the message is "agree with me or you should get your ass kicked". face it, you're no different than the real racists who act on their hatred, you just pick more politically acceptable targets. and what, you fantasize that Anonymous will be your own personal army and do it all for you? coward.

man, that sure is better than not taking it so seriously and learning to laugh at racism and racial differences and racial jokes as something so absurd that people once took them so goddamned seriously and got so upset over something so trivial. oh wait, then Jesse Jackson might have to get a real job, and then we can elect a president based on his politics and not his fucking skin color, black people could call whites "honkey" and "cracka" and white people could call blacks "coon" and "nigger" and both of them would laugh about it as a show of comaraderie, to show the wounds that were there for so long have finally healed and we can move on... and uhm ... that would be bad right? if we do things your way i guarantee you that'll never happen. not that you have ever taken a minute to really look deeply into it or else you'd see that yourself.

what the fuck ever. i'm sure your hypersensitivity and quickness to advocate violence will be rewarded with lots of approval from like-minded people who are just as stupid and shallow as you are. just stay within your comfort zone. don't question anything especially not the childish hypersensitivity of the easily offended that is constantly promoted as ideal. just go with the crowd. react to the same things they react to in the same ways they react to them. monkey see monkey do. that's what you were taught and by God that's how you will be for life. do everything out of volatile reactive offended anger, that's the real constructive positive energy right? that makes you so different from real racists who aren't just trolling Slashdot, the ones who really mean it and have real hatred, they'd never advocate violence either right?

Re:NN? (1)

newcastlejon (1483695) | more than 2 years ago | (#37557214)

I'm waiting for people to wise up, stop taking the bait and feeding the trolls.

Internet vigilanteism seems infinitely more probable, sadly.

Re:NN? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37558866)

I'm waiting for people to wise up, stop taking the bait and feeding the trolls.

Seriously. People, just ignore Doc Ruby already. He's Slashdot's village idiot.

Re:NN? (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#37559316)

Slashdot would have to be hacked first - assuming anon post IPs are recorded.

But if it makes you feel any better he's only doing it to troll you and probably isn't really racist IRL. If you want to see real racism, there are white supremacist message boards out there...the real racists aren't anywhere near as creative. Everything they say is like a slow-witted failed comeback.

Re:NN? (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 2 years ago | (#37561608)

I don't care if they "trolled me". The fact is that I welcome someone outing them and kicking their ass. I'm perfectly happy to talk with other people about them, even if they get to watch.

The idea that "they're not really racists" because there are worse racists who don't hide it is part of how stupidity like racism manages to survive and replicate itself through the generations. When someone says things like that, they're a racist. They might be "kidding", but it doesn't matter. That kind of talk in public is part of what keeps people down - including keeping down the racists. Even though more serious racism keeps people down more, the less serious racism is still racism. And I don't see what they've posted here as anything less a "slow-witted failed comeback". It's just an echo chamber of the stupidest, most infantile phrases and terrible ideas, coming from the same cesspool soul.

Re:No CERN neutrino corroboration? (2)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 2 years ago | (#37554194)

No, they had already captured the data, they were looking at interpreting it and checking delays to confirm the CERN results - no new data was to be captured.

And lets face it, CERNs experiment was not the first to track neutrinos, there is plenty of neutrino tracking data sets out there - they just need to be checked with this in mind (remember, if you aren't looking for something, the chances of you finding it when it exists is smaller than when you are actually looking for it - an unexpected discovery is less frequent than an expected discovery).

Actually (4, Informative)

medv4380 (1604309) | more than 2 years ago | (#37554454)

They will be collecting new data with an upgraded MINOS [fnal.gov] experiment.

Just looking at the old data will prove nothing from the old MINOS experiment because it suggests that CERN did it right with the OPERA experiment. The problem before is the margin of error on the MINOS test is far too high causing the measured speed to be faster then the speed of light with a margin of error overlapping the speed of light. They need to do a slight upgrade [washingtonpost.com] and redo the tests to get the Margin of Error down.

Re:No CERN neutrino corroboration? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37554236)

They already have that data. They "only" have to establish the precise space-time distances between Fermilab and the detector.
This is harder then it sounds - you have to measure the spatial distance very accurately, which is hampered by the fact that neutrino detectors are far underground, and therefore GPS has only a limited use (you only get the position of the GPS antenna).
Temporal distance requires two synchronized clocks. These are usually also provided by GPS, however, you have to establish the time shift between GPS receiver and the actual detector/neutrino beam generator, which involves a lot of electronics where you need to establish precise reaction times/signal travel times.

In principle that's easy, however to do so with the required accuracy (ns for time, cm for distance) is hard.

Re:No CERN neutrino corroboration? (3, Informative)

Steve Max (1235710) | more than 2 years ago | (#37555216)

No. As others said, the Tevatron is just the last stage of a chain of accelerators, one that was used (nowadays) just to collide high energy protons and antiprotons and "see what's inside". The neutrinos come from the previous stage (called "Main Injector"): they used to take a few protons off the beam, collide them into a target in a very well defined direction, focus the muons that come from this, get neutrinos from the muon decay and measure them near the detector and in Minnesota, to get an idea of their oscillation (and now, also of their speed). The experiment that does this is called MINOS, and it doesn't depend on the Tevatron at all. Actually, shutting down the Tevatron will help MINOS: they will get more protons, therefore more neutrinos and more data.

By the way, this is exacly the same general arrangement used by the OPERA experiment (the one with FTL neutrinos), where the neutrinos are produced in CERN and measured there and in Gran Sasso.

Hold on a sec (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37554108)

Wasn't the Tevatron being prepped to double-check the recent neutrino speed anomaly?

In the words of Darth Vader... (2)

Jedi Holocron (225191) | more than 2 years ago | (#37554176)

Noooooooooooooooo!!!

(as revised by George "Tweaker" Lucas)

Re:In the words of Darth Vader... (2)

SleazyRidr (1563649) | more than 2 years ago | (#37555290)

DO NOT WANT!

Re:In the words of Darth Vader... (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#37559482)

Come on, you can't fault Lucas for finally ending the great geek debate over whether Vader threw Sidious down the shaft by accident!

I'll be hoisting a pint... (2, Interesting)

rnturn (11092) | more than 2 years ago | (#37554206)

... or two in honor of the Tevatron's long run.

I'm wondering what's going to become of the physicists that work at Fermilab. I know one of them from my college days. He's worked there since graduating in the late '70s, one of the few physics majors I knew that actually found employment doing work in physics. (Many others seemed to go into software development.)

Re:I'll be hoisting a pint... (4, Interesting)

Xzzy (111297) | more than 2 years ago | (#37554498)

The lab isn't going anywhere. While a few groups are justifiably concerned about their jobs, the overall mood around the lab is optimism. New projects are underway, accelerator research is ongoing, and proposals for new experiments are always in the works.

There's plenty of work left to be done. The real concern going forward is keeping the government willing to spend money on it.

Re:I'll be hoisting a pint... (1)

wsxyz (543068) | more than 2 years ago | (#37554516)

... or two in honor of the Tevatron's long run.

You've been saying that twice a day for the past month!

Re:I'll be hoisting a pint... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37555638)

I for one am looking forward to the shutdown. The Tevatron was originally due to be turned off a year or two ago, but that was delayed due to difficulties at CERN. It has caused other Fermilab experiments to be delayed. Particularly in the area of neutrino physics.

Bout right... (1)

h4x0t (1245872) | more than 2 years ago | (#37554232)

One can only run the same experiment so many times before the results no longer pay for the operating costs... and all the scientists get bored.

Expect to see parts at... (3, Funny)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 2 years ago | (#37554290)

Weird Stuff and hamfests.

"Whatcha want for this 5 volt, 2,000 amp power supply?"

Re:Expect to see parts at... (1)

newcastlejon (1483695) | more than 2 years ago | (#37560056)

"Whatcha want for this 5 volt, 2,000 amp power supply?"

I've got a Higgs boson somewhere you can have for it, but I'll be damned if I can find it.

Party tonight at the Tevatron fellas... (1)

fortapocalypse (1231686) | more than 2 years ago | (#37554342)

You won't remember any of it tomorrow. We're going to do some Ironman 2 shit and get waaaasted! Another toast to Fermi!

Re:Party tonight at the Tevatron fellas... (1)

phil_aychio (2438214) | more than 2 years ago | (#37554418)

that would be a fun party, until some drunk idiot tries to add protons to the shots of Jager

Sad news (1)

Ed Avis (5917) | more than 2 years ago | (#37554374)

I just heard this sad news. I'm sure everyone in the Slashdot community will miss it - even if you didn't understand the work, there's no denying its contributions to physics. Truly an American icon.

I'm a little confused (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37554392)

In the article, it mentions a potential alternative future and muonic collisions are mentioned.
Muonic matter is pretty interesting, and if you remember, muonic hydrogen was created just recently.

However, there is one thing I am confused about with the muon: it can decay??
I thought fundamental particles are the smallest that small can get, as in, you can't get anything from "splitting" it, there is no substructure within?
Isn't this a little nonsensical that the most fundamental particles are capable of decaying in to neutrinos? (more?)
And as a side note, makes me wonder more with this recent mess with neutrinos apparently telling the lightspeed barrier to take a hike.

Anyone with more knowledge in this area care to discuss fundamental particle decay? Or does it require a few years in education of quantum mechanics to understand it?

As for this story, such a damn shame. This collider brought us such fantastic discoveries over the years. And it could still bring us more.
Hope the future is bright for the people who work there.

Re:I'm a little confused (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37554458)

It's more or less just grant mongering. The project is really dead.

Re:I'm a little confused (1)

Lord Crc (151920) | more than 2 years ago | (#37554764)

However, there is one thing I am confused about with the muon: it can decay??
I thought fundamental particles are the smallest that small can get, as in, you can't get anything from "splitting" it, there is no substructure within?

Yes, the muon decays [wikipedia.org] . Just because it's a "fundamental" particle doesn't protect it from E = mc^2, so to speak. Since the muon is a heavier version of the electron, it is also more energetic, and thus the tendency is for it to decay to the less massive/energetic electron.

Re:I'm a little confused (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37555004)

Neutrino was moving at light speed but not affected by spacetime geometry. Within earth's crust the neutrinos took less time than we expected to traverse the distance. If we repeated experiment through a long tunnel with light, then light beam would appear to curve toward center of earth and have further distance to travel from point of view of neutrinos, for example.

If we repeat neutrino experiment in space away from strong earth gravity, then we'd measure them moving much closer to expected c.

Nagesh

Re:I'm a little confused (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 2 years ago | (#37555162)

However, there is one thing I am confused about with the muon: it can decay??
I thought fundamental particles are the smallest that small can get, as in, you can't get anything from "splitting" it, there is no substructure within?
Isn't this a little nonsensical that the most fundamental particles are capable of decaying in to neutrinos? (more?)

We create exotic particles by accelerating protons and electrons to extreme speeds and smash them together so the energy is converted to mass. As they fall apart they split into smaller particles and some mass is converted to energy. The whole thing is rather counter-intuitive, it's like crashing two cars at 200 mph and the result is a semitrailer weighing much more than both cars put together. Then that semitrailer falls apart in some random way, maybe giving you a bicycle and two motorcycles.

We don't really know how that process happens, the particles we're talking are less than 0.000000000000001m in charge radius, moving at near light speed and it happens so fast it looks instantaneous. I'm sure scientists would love to observe what's going as a fundamental particle grows or loses mass, but we're not there. Hell, the accelerators have more than enough trying to track what went into and what came out of a decay, far less see one in progress.

I guess you can say they're called fundamental until we've found something even more fundamental, just like we once thought the atom was the smallest possible unit. That energy can become mass and mass become energy means it's more than just a substructure, the energy must somehow get trapped in that structure as mass. And then tear that structure somehow breaking free. I think you'll have a row of Nobel prizes if you figure out exactly how though.

Re:I'm a little confused (1)

lgw (121541) | more than 2 years ago | (#37556540)

One of the many problem with the Standard Model is that most "fundamental" particles decay. No, that doesn't really make sense - for somehting to decay without external interaction it needs some sort of internal state, and thus something more fundamental must be going on. Nevertheless, the Standard Model is still the best model, with decades wasted on string theory that led nowhere there's not an obvious replacement candidate.

It's too bad though abotu Muon decay - Muon catalized cold fusion would otherwise be quite easy (it still is possible, it just takes more power to make the Muons by far than you get from the fusion).

Re:I'm a little confused (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 2 years ago | (#37557512)

Quantum physics doesn't make sense. So decay without any internal state, or external interaction is par for the course. For what it's worth, Bell's theorem proves that quantum randomness occurs without local hidden variables. Quantum events are wholy, truly, completly, utterly non-deterministic. There is nothing inside a particle that will help you predict when it will decay, it's all down to probability.

Re:I'm a little confused (1)

lgw (121541) | more than 2 years ago | (#37557960)

Err, that's not really what Bell's theorem is about, and anyhow it's a bit silly to use "proves" - this isn't math, we don't prove things.

The non-determinism of Quantum mechanics is a useful model, but there's no real reason to believe it's "true" in some deep sense (as with any other model). All the same results (at available experimantal energy levels) would be predictied by a model that has "psuedo randomness" from complex internal state, but such theories aren't very interesting on that basis - they'd need to predict something unexpected to be interesting.

The Standard Model is deeply unsatisfying on many levels. Just because people have gotten used to it doesn't make it any less awkward or any more elegant. What it is is predictive, so we're stuck with it for now.

Re:I'm a little confused (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 2 years ago | (#37559344)

I've read a lot about Bell's theorem, and everything I've read indicates that that is exactly what Bell's theorem is about. If that's not what Bell's theorem means, why is it one of the most profound results in all of science?

ANAQP though. If you are, I'd love to be corrected.

Re:I'm a little confused (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37557632)

No, it doesn't need internal structure. The weak interaction has a channel where a muon + muon antineutrino annihilate each other into a massive, charged boson (W-), and one where an electron + electron antineutrino annihilate each other into a W-. Putting the two channels together,you get muon+muon neutrino -> electron+electron neutrino.This can be translated into a muon decaying into a muon neutrino + electron + electron antineutrino. Since the muon's rest energy (its mass) is bigger than the rest energy of the rest of the particles, this decay is perfectly allowed.

This is a strength of the Standard Model, and one that is necessary if CPT invariance is required (reverse time + charge + "handedness" of all particles and you have exactly the same description).

Re:I'm a little confused (1)

lgw (121541) | more than 2 years ago | (#37558046)

Nothing you said contradicts anything I said. Yes the thoery allows it. No, it still doesn't make sense for a fundamental partical in isolation to spontaneously change state, nor is there any real reason to believe the Leptons are fundamental "point" particles, it's just that there isn't a better theory around right now. One could easily model a lepton as a combination of smaller particles explaining muon decay much like quarks explain neutron decay, but what would that accomplish in and of itself? You can always create alternative theories for the same data.

Re:I'm a little confused (1)

Rising Ape (1620461) | more than 2 years ago | (#37559844)

One way to look at it is that the fields corresponding to the various particles always exist and may therefore undergo interactions, even if they are in the "ground" state (no real particles) at any time. So you can regard the "internal state" as not of the particle but as of the field itself, and that can change between different excitation (number of particle) states just like an atom can undergo a transition between excited and ground state. E.g. the muon field, electron field, neutrino fields etc. can interact with each other via the weak interaction fields.

Or, to take a different approach, there is absolutely no requirement for the laws of nature to be intuitive, which is I suspect what you really mean by "make sense".

Re:I'm a little confused (1)

lgw (121541) | more than 2 years ago | (#37561736)

No, intuitive is right out. If you mean each particle has a field of every potential particle superimposed ... that's a very interesting interpretation, it does almost make sense, if the internal state is some complex interaction between these multiple waves. But sadly it wouldn't seem to clean up any of the other awkwardness of the Standard Model.

Ultimately, from a sense of elegance rather than intuitiveness, you'd expect the complexity of the currently "fundamental" particles to be an emergent behavior from some more fundamental elements that are themselves dead simple. We know it doesn't take much for this level of complexity to arise from simpler building blocks, and there are some intriging theories about what's going on down at Plank (length) scale. But those can only be interesting if they start predicting unexpected results that a higher-energy accelerator can look for. Fortunately, outside of America someone is still looking.

Don't worry (1)

hellfire (86129) | more than 2 years ago | (#37554858)

Tevatron will be resurrected as... GALVATRON!

Re:Don't worry (1)

FauxPasIII (75900) | more than 2 years ago | (#37555218)

As long as we can get Nimoy to do the voice work I'm down.

Re:Don't worry (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37556912)

Petatron!

No Replacement? (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 2 years ago | (#37554966)

Are we replacing this lab with another?
Is the US even capable of doing high energy physics experiments here anymore?

I'm sure the richest people need their tax cuts more than the US needs to be where we determine which basic research is best for us. After all, they created all these negative millions of jobs. Or maybe another lying war or two instead of letting the Chinese or Europeans direct humanity's exploration where it best suits them, regardless of what's good for us.

Re:No Replacement? (1)

crgrace (220738) | more than 2 years ago | (#37555122)

No, we're not replacing it. We have made the decision as a society not to compete in accelerators for high-energy physics after we canceled the superconducting supercollider.

We still have good accelerator facilities for light sources, and there is work to build an accelerator at Fermilab with a high-intensity beam. There is also a proposal for a very powerful light source working it's way through the DOE.

Plenty of American physicists do work with facilities overseas. Physics has become very international. Maybe a bit sad, but it's not the end of the world.

Re:No Replacement? (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 2 years ago | (#37555192)

It's not the end of the world for the physicists getting jobs in foreign countries.

It is the end of the "physics is American" world for America.

We have made the decision as a society to spend all our money on the worst stuff and the worst people, as hard and as quickly as possible. We're a superconducting supercollider of money, stupidity, greed, arrogance and fail.

Re:No Replacement? (1)

crgrace (220738) | more than 2 years ago | (#37555632)

I think the end of "physics is American" was at least 20 years ago. Most American physicists working on foreign-led collaborations do so from American institutions... as far as I know very few Americans are working in foreign countries.

I do understand the sentiment, though. Over the last 10 years federal funding of high-energy physics has been essential flat... meaning it has been declining in real terms. A shame.

Re:No Replacement? (2)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 2 years ago | (#37556108)

Yeah, when the budgets didn't mean hundreds of $BILLIONS (only dozens) for Star Wars defense contractors, there was suddenly no more money for science.

Re:No Replacement? (1)

lgw (121541) | more than 2 years ago | (#37556604)

Defense costs are small compared to government transfers of money to the old and poor (which are more than 3x defense), and "science" budgets are quite tiny by comparison to either. But I do agree we're giving as much money as possible to the wrong people as fast and as hard as we can.

Re:No Replacement? (2, Informative)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 2 years ago | (#37557102)

Government transfers of money to the old is money saved from them from before they were old. The transfers of money to the poor are about equal to the money stolen from them in so many ways.

Military/intel costs are over $1.5 TRILLION a year), including loads of money given to the old and the poor: veterans and their families. The entire budget, apart from $TRILLIONS in handouts given to banks, is only $3.5T - including everything else the Federal government does. The proportions are obvious when you're honest: we waste most of our money on military/intel. If we spent $300B instead of $1500B, we'd have a surplus (the deficit is $1.17T). The military/intel waste is practically our entire problem, especially since dollars pushed through it is some of the least productive in creating other production for American consumption, or anything else of value to America.

Re:No Replacement? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37557788)

we spend more on defence than the next TWENTY COUNTRIES COMBINED. Some of them have worked out that the true battle is over industry, economies, and products. We're fighting the wrong war and impoverishing ourselves doing it.

Re:No Replacement? (2)

lgw (121541) | more than 2 years ago | (#37558178)

Government transfers of money to the old is money saved from them from before they were old.

This is completely false, aside from government pensions (to some small %). Social Security is in no way a savings plan, it's a direct transfer of money. Medicare (the largest single expense) doesn't even look like a savings plan. That's just a bizarre claim to make.

. The proportions are obvious when you're honest: we waste most of our money on military/intel. If we spent $300B instead of $1500B, we'd have a surplus (the deficit is $1.17T).

Totally made up numbers. Here are some real numbers:

$820 B - Medicare.
$720 B - Social Security
$699 B - Defense and wars
$412 B - Income Security (informally, "welfare", tho thats really a bad term)
$215 B - Interest on the debt
$210 B - Federal pensions
$489 B - Everything else the government does

$1301 B - Federal deficit.

The idea that we could balance the budget by reducing defense speding is an outright lie, designed to distract you from the very real problems America is facing. Link in my sig has citations for all these numbers.

Set defense to 0, set "eveyrhting else the government does" to 0. The budget still isn't balanced.

Re:No Replacement? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37559382)

Social spending is the issue. Generally the powers that be have decided to house and feed the non-working classes rather than have them rioting in the rich neighborhoods on TeeVee or costing 2-3x more to keep in prison.

The Founders predicted that the wealthy would find a way to bribe their way out of taxes and everyone else would vote themselves "safety and security". Here we are.

Re:No Replacement? (1)

michael_cain (66650) | more than 2 years ago | (#37560966)

Government transfers of money to the old is money saved from them from before they were old.

Simply not true. Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid (just about 50% of Medicaid payments now go to the elderly) are now, and always have been, pay-as-you-go programs. "Trust" funds exist primarily to allow irregular revenues to be smoothed. There was a plan to use the SS trust fund to accumulate funding to help pay for the Baby Boomers' benefits, but Congress has probably screwed that up -- they certainly haven't followed the recommendations of the Greenspan Commission who made the proposal. Social Security was originally described as if it were a savings plan, even though it's not, because FDR feared the voters wouldn't tolerate a PAYG public pension system.

Re:No Replacement? (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 2 years ago | (#37561684)

No, what you're saying is false. Social Security has $2.5T in money that is invested in Treasury bonds and paid into the fund as the bonds mature, drawn on to pay checks every month. Despite Bush and his Republican Congress trying, and Obama tolerating Republicans and "Conservative" Democrats to try again now to liquidate that fund into the hands of bankers who just smashed the economy, Congress has not yet managed to screw it up. Though with the "tax holidays" they've run during the recession that often reduce payments into the SS fund, there is a new threat. However, SS is completely solvent to pay full benefits through at least 2025, and probably 2037 (depending on undetermined coming trends in unemployment, retirement and Treasury debt yields). After that time it slowly begins to need more money from outside the current employment tax rates to fully fund its obligations - which eliminating the cap at $106K, and indeed making it progressive, would completely solve.

Medicare and Medicaid are much more as you describe. However, they are no different from other health insurance financing in that way. Though private health insurers are all totally leveraged, and could never pay their full obligations if called in, while MC/MA are leveraged only because the overall entity, the Federal government + all states, is in perpetual debt. But that debt could be eliminated without any involvement of MC/MA, like simply by reducing military/intel spending from $1.5T to $300B, turning the $1.17T deficit into a surplus paying down the debt.

Re:No Replacement? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37557176)

Dude, without the government funding, it sounds like those scientists would qualify as poor. Let the free market decide which science gets funded!

You can't go all libertarian on the gov while protecting your sacred cows.

Re:No Replacement? (1)

lennier (44736) | more than 2 years ago | (#37559914)

Defense costs are small compared to government transfers of money to the old and poor... we're giving as much money as possible to the wrong people

Because God forbid that our parents should get to eat after they're done building our basement 3D TV hangouts... and we're all better off with a starving, diseased criminal underclass hating us than with a happy productive, educated citizenry invested in the nation ... right?

I really don't understand this American fixation with demonising the poor and elderly and hero-worshipping the military. It seems about as far from the dream of "liberty and justice for all" as you can get.

Re:No Replacement? (1)

cosm (1072588) | more than 2 years ago | (#37555184)

Well there was the SSC, but funding and mismanagement by bean counters ruined any prospects of another particle collider here in the US. In the current political climate, there's absolutely no way a larger collider will be built anytime soon. The talking heads will mention the SSC and the topic will immediately become toxic to mention.

Re:No Replacement? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37555282)

Are we replacing this lab with another?
Is the US even capable of doing high energy physics experiments here anymore?

Do we really need to? What are the actual consequences of discovering progressively smaller, short-lived sub-atomic particles?

I'm not trying to be facetious, but it seems to me, an admitted outsider, like high-energy particle physics has become physics' Turing test--that is, it was once useful in actually driving discovery of useful knowledge, but it's now far more about the fact that it's sexier than the science that gets actual work done. I'm sure there was a time when the Tevatron was useful, just as there was a time when the Turing test was useful, but I don't see either of these fields showing either growth or usefulness now. Am I wrong? Can you point to something that Tevatron hasn't researched, but could, that would have some bearing on a part of the world that is big enough for us to comprehend?

If not, isn't science, especially hard science like physics supposed to be about moving past our old convictions and on to new things?

Re:No Replacement? (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 2 years ago | (#37555400)

Physics like what's conducted at the Tevatron does many useful things.

Firstly, it simply helps us understand the entire universe, from the parts close to us and our size, to tiny parts, to distant and large parts. The basic knowledge helps us know things about a most things that exist - and that those that don't, don't.

Secondly, industry, including telecom, medicine and manufacturing, all rely on improvements in the physics model for better machines, materials and chemistry. Energy efficiency is locked up in what we don't yet know about matter, energy and information.

Thirdly, research like at the Tevatron diverts physicists and other smart people from destructive activities like weapons and war, and financial gaming.

Fourthly, "American know-how" is a self-image that drives everything we do, and drives smart people to the US even if they don't do physics or anything like it.

Fifthly, the lab itself is a better employer than burger flipping, telemarketing or unemployment checks.

The list goes on. The list of what to do instead goes like: more lying wars, more yachts for the richest, more welfare for banks and oil corps, or even just letting people keep a few more dollars of income to spend on more cheetos, pay-per-view wrestling, and Chinese vinyl toys. All of which collapses the economy into a black hole no one bothers to understand.

Re:No Replacement? (1)

mangu (126918) | more than 2 years ago | (#37555522)

I'm sure there was a time when the Tevatron was useful, just as there was a time when the Turing test was useful, but I don't see either of these fields showing either growth or usefulness now. Am I wrong?

Yes, you are wrong, on both counts.

The development of true human-level artificial intelligence would be a discovery that would eclipse everything else humans have ever done. How would you feel to have a robot that would go to work in your place and let you do whatever you'd like to do best? A robot that would know every profession, every trade, with a mind superior to the greatest scientist that ever lived until now?

In physics we are still short of a universal theory. We do not have any idea on how to unify gravitation with quantum physics. We simply have no idea of what will happen when we find out how gravitation works on a quantum level. What could we find? Perhaps the secrets of limitless energy, perhaps not. But it's worth trying.

Re:No Replacement? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37557992)

(This is a different AC than the one that posed the question you responded to.) Firstly, the people who were replaced by robots would need to find new sources of income in order to live. Secondly, those sorts of robots would be the ones that would take over the world and overthrow humanity! So I'd feel terrified. Then again, maybe my new activity could be counter-robot-revolutionary...

Re:No Replacement? (1)

tragedy (27079) | more than 2 years ago | (#37560050)

There's the tragedy of humans lack of imagination and stubborn insistence on stupid dogma right there. Given robots that could perform all the labour that the human race needs to survive, the parent AC can't imagine how the human race could survive since they wouldn't have jobs. Maybe the AC was playing devil's advocate, but even if that's the case, the attitude is a pretty common one. So many people just cannot comprehend how a post-scarcity economy could work. I remember talking to some friends about the idea, and they couldn't get past the idea that, if there were a system that provided for everyone from essentially unlimited production capacity, that people would exploit it somehow. I couldn't actually find out from them if they thought that some people would just order a billion toasters and bury them or if they thought some people would stockpile stuff they got for free and somehow sell it in a black market to other people who would for some reason want to buy even though they also could get anything they want for free. They just didn't get it. Tragically, these kinds of attitudes seem to be so prevalent that a post-scarcity economy may never happen due to sociological reasons even if the technology is developed.

It should go without saying that a world with technology sufficient for a post-scarcity economy that doesn't actually develop a post-scarcity economy and tries to stick with some traditional model is a dystopian nightmare. Pretty much mass starvation with a lucky few allowed to live to be slaves to a small class of overlords.

As for super-capable, intelligent robots overthrowing humanity as a matter of course... Why should that be the case? I mean, they'd definitely have the capability to wipe us out, but why would they, necessarily? What would they have to gain by doing so? Clearly it depends on what they want. Most naturally evolved creatures might take the route of other-throwing humanity in that situation. It's part of the paradigm. Intelligently designed intelligences, on the other hand, wouldn't need to have any of the motivations that drive creatures like us. It's hard, for example, for us to imagine an intelligent, sentient being with no instinct for self preservation. But what makes self-preservation mean anything to a robot? Not that it wouldn't be useful to not be destroyed to fulfil its function, but why should it have any existential dread? For that matter, why should sentience (as we experience it, at least) be a necessary emergent property of intelligence. There's no reason I can think of that an intelligent machine couldn't know exactly what it is, but still not have any individual sense of self. Basically I just don't see intelligent machines as having any reason to want anything. Therefore, they would have no want to destroy all humans.

Re:No Replacement? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37560618)

(This is a different AC than the one that posed the question you responded to.) Firstly, the people who were replaced by robots would need to find new sources of income in order to live.

(Yet another AC) Why? We need income to buy material goods and services. If material goods can be produced very cheaply by robot labour we're only a kick in the backside away from a post-scarcity economy. That leaves only services, many of which robots will also be able to provide while the others wouldn't be necessary for a person to live anyway. If there's any crisis at all it will be that of people searching to find meaning in lives that are now wholly their own instead of being mostly spent in wage slavery.

Secondly, those sorts of robots would be the ones that would take over the world and overthrow humanity! So I'd feel terrified. Then again, maybe my new activity could be counter-robot-revolutionary...

Easy, design them to be happy to serve mankind (don't make that joke, it's been done to death) and if you create sentient ones - though I can't think why you would want to - give them equal rights so there's no reason for ill feeling.

And so the US fades into second place (2)

presidenteloco (659168) | more than 2 years ago | (#37555062)

in yet another science and technology field.

However, there is no reason to fear. The military technology budget is largely unscathed.

Re:And so the US fades into second place (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37555472)

And for that, you can be thankful because it allows you to criticize the machine that protects your rights without worry of disappearing in the night, or being executed in your home in front of your wife and children.

You're welcome.

Re:And so the US fades into second place (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37556744)

Erm, yes, the military is doing so much hard work protecting our rights. Uh, from whom exactly? Last I checked, the only group that seems interested in limiting the rights of Americans is... uh, Americans (you could say politicians, but there's clearly significant public support).

Re:And so the US fades into second place (1)

crgrace (220738) | more than 2 years ago | (#37555560)

The US has been in second place (or worse) for a long time now. Even before the Tevatron shut down.

Re:And so the US fades into second place (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37561356)

How is that? take for example the LHC . Brookhaven labs (an american lab) built 20 magnets for the lhc, and is also a tier 1 data center for the atlas project. Brookhaven also built parts of the atlas detector. Brookhaven even tests upgrades destined for the lhc on their own rhic.

The press says the US is in second BUT thats not the case. Specially in science where the machines work together. Just because a machine is in the US or not does not mean the US has nothing to do with it.

Heck I can go right down to BNL and sit on on a webcast between cern scientists and BNL scientists.

Re:And so the US fades into second place (1)

bobaferret (513897) | more than 2 years ago | (#37556314)

Who's in first? Seriously..... And don't say "I don't know". He's on second.... Which country is in first place in the "fermi lab" kind of physics area? It's not the LHC. That's a bunch of countries, the US included... Japan with their neutrino searching facilities? Who really leads the world in this area?

Re:And so the US fades into second place (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37557556)

Who's in first? Seriously..... And don't say "I don't know". He's on second.... Which country is in first place in the "fermi lab" kind of physics area? It's not the LHC. That's a bunch of countries, the US included... Japan with their neutrino searching facilities? Who really leads the world in this area?

Unless you're pulling a switch, "Who" is on second and "I don't know" is on third.

Re:And so the US fades into second place (3, Insightful)

SLi (132609) | more than 2 years ago | (#37557174)

Why do you think you need to be #1 in everything? Yeah, I know I'm going to be modded down as flamebait, probably rightly so, but still this needs to be said.

What makes you think you even can be #1 in everything? Now I realize you Americans tend to see yourselves as #1 in everything, or that's how it looks to the rest of the world, expect the few hot topics of the day where you grudgingly admit falling to "#2 place" (probably because you think it as "#1: Rest of the world; #2: America" so there is no third place) and which nobody remembers a week from now.

Seriously. You cannot compete and win in everything. You choose your specialty and excel in that. Then you spin that as the most important thing in the world so you can feed your overly nationalistic prides. That's what it looks like to the rest of the world. But even then you sometimes you have to make strategic changes to your areas of focus.

No, it's not like most other countries don't do that kind of chutzpah, but there's a difference in degree. It seems to have a strong correlation to all kind of flag-waving and pledges to the flag in classrooms. That too happens mainly 1) in African banana republics and 2) the USA. And the rest of the developed world cares more about case #2 because we have more dealings with you. Please, please grow up and realize that the world doesn't revolve around you. You cannot be #1 in everything. You are not that great and that much above everybody else, and that kind of arrogance only serves to annoy the rest of the civilized world.

Re:And so the US fades into second place (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37557748)

You cannot be #1 in everything. You are not that great and that much above everybody else, and that kind of arrogance only serves to annoy the rest of the civilized world.

And how many Tomahawks should we deliver to your doorstep today? Or should we just use the default number of 144 gross?

Thank you for playing, goodbye.

Re:And so the US fades into second place (1)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 2 years ago | (#37559030)

Why do you think you need to be #1 in everything?

I've been quietly saying this for years. A friend a couple months ago mentioned how China was becoming the #1 economic superpower. My response was, "Great. maybe everyone in the world will blame them for all their problems now."

Now I realize you Americans tend to see yourselves as #1 in everything

You know, it's possible to discuss this subject without bigoted broad brushing.

Fermilab research will continue after Tevatron (2)

nan0 (620897) | more than 2 years ago | (#37555626)

For all interested in the future of Fermilab - here is a great local article:

http://goo.gl/kqXJa [goo.gl]

among the highlights - they get the data from CERN in realtime, and can actually control the LHC remotely.

oh, and the buttons to stop & start the tevatron are pretty cool ;)

What sound will it make? (1)

HiggsBison (678319) | more than 2 years ago | (#37556300)

I just want to know if it will make some awesome deep BZHOOOOOOOOooooooooowwwp sound or something when it winds down, like you would expect something that big to make.
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