Tevatron will not have extended run

In September we reported that the Tevatron would continue running until 2014 in order to discover the Higgs Boson. Some of us thought this was not a great idea because the LHC will soon overtake the Tevatron and continuing to run the Tevatron would detract from other important physics projects at Fermilab. In fact the main question mark over the continuation was the lack of funds. Now it has been confirmed that there is indeed insufficient funds to cover the extra expense and the Tevatron will end its search for the Higgs and other new physics at the end of 2011 as planned.

Meanwhile physicists at the LHC are trying to make up their minds whether or not it would be a good idea to extend next years run into 2012 to delay the long shutdown. This would give the LHC a better chance of finding the Higgs earlier. Without the extended life of the Tevatron some of the will to do this may have faded, but there is still good reason to do it if the LHC can produce significantly more luminosity in 2011 than previously anticipated. In the end it may come down to technicalities such as the problem of extra radiation that would make repairs during the long shutdown more dangerous if the LHC runs for longer. These are issued due to be discussed soon in Chamonix this month.



9 Responses to Tevatron will not have extended run

  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by ComPod. ComPod said: Tevatron will not have extended run wie sieht's dann für den LHC aus? [...]

  2. Lawrence B. Crowell says:

    It seems a bit unfortunate the Tevatron is not scheduled to run through the LHC close down period. Some physics might be garnered during this down time.

  3. Ray Munroe says:

    The closing of the Tevatron is a shame, but the cancellation of the SSC was a greater blow to American science. I sent letters to my Congressmen and President Clinton in support of the SSC (I like Texas, and would have liked to live and work there…), and received a response from Clinton’s office on linen paper (they could afford expensive stationary, but not science – when did we forget that basic science research can lead to new technology and new industries?). I was so depressed that day that I stayed up until 1am explaining to my wife why supercolliders are important. At 1am, I thought she understood all of Particle Physics, but she forgot it by the next morning…

    I was excited about the U. of Michigan’s Tevatron research on the light SUSY Higgs. They have a few more months to pull something relevant together. The LHC will eventually out-class all Tevatron data. But on the short term, Tevatron may have a better shot at a light SUSY Higgs.

  4. Bill K says:

    Ray, I certainly share your thoughts on the SSC. Its cancellation was a great setback. It happened for a number of reasons. Before it was built there had been a lengthy tug of war over the site to be chosen, and regional resentment over this lingered. Even at an early stage of construction the SSC was experiencing large cost overruns. The argument was made that we could not afford both the SSC and the space station at the same time, and the space station would provide opportunities for science in many areas. (In retrospect it has not turned out to be as useful as we thought, and soon the US will no longer have a way of getting to the space station.)

    But the bottom line was politics, and what really caused the SSC’s demise was a lack of favorable public relations. Publically I’m afraid the SSC was regarded as a bad joke. See by comparison what a terrific job CERN has done to maintain public awareness and enthusiasm for the LHC.

    I wonder how the SSC would have fared even if it had been completed. Back then, the large-scale use of superconducting magnets was a revolutionary idea. Even now 15 years later, the LHC’s magnets have caused more than one problem. And the SSC’s design luminosity was 10^33/cm2/sec. By comparison it’s 10^34 for the LHC’s design (but we have not reached 10^33 yet.) Mainly I wonder how the primitive (!) computing that existed in 1995 could have kept up with the SSC’s data stream.

  5. Lawrence B. Crowell says:

    I sort of got the shaft from the SCC cancellation. I think the program design would have evolved with the construction. The data management would have been more centralized, involving CRAYs and Connnection Machines as large data conduits. The LHC has more of a distributed network approach. Yet I think it would have likely worked. The SCC was just a larger version of the LHC, which as I recall was supposed to reach 40TeV. The SCC would have likely had beam up by the early 21st century. The bugs to be worked out would have been bigger, but I think by now we would have the Higgs, SUSY and would be looking into soft black hole and AdS problems.

    The US went for the space station as a diplomatic machine. It is a high profile system whereby astronauts from various nations can perform prolonged weightless gymnastics. It also provided a place for the space shuttle to go, which in turn was used to build the ISS. We needed the ISS to keep the shuttle program relevant, and the shuttle program is needed to keep the ISS aloft — tautology anyone? The whole manned space program is highly dubious.

  6. Philip Gibbs says:

    The ISS cost so much it is hard to even quantify, but $100,000,000 is the order of magnitude. Most of the science it has done is studies of how people can live in spacem so it is only of use if we spend even more ludicrous sums of money on further manned space flight projects.

    The SSC would have overrun in cost but it could never have cost that much. It’s science would also have been hard to put a value on of course. Much of the economic value of such projects is in education, employment, development of technology and international ties and nobody seems to do a study on how much these things are worth. The science itself has a large entertainment value with some benefits for e.g. medicine that might have been achieved more cheaply by other means.

    In my opinion the future of manned spaceflight now rests with the commercial sector and will depend on how many rich people are willing to pay (and risk their lives) for a trip in space. Colliders and space telescopes will have to continue to be paid for out of taxes.

    • Lawrence B. Crowell says:

      The ISS has cost $150Gig. Only next month the AMS will be installed on it, so there could finally be some real science. Of course this could have been built from the beginning as a stand alone satellite.

      The commercial space stuff is a subsidized industry, all in the great tradition of American defense industry. I live not far from an intended space port. This is where Rutan’s Spaceship #2 is going to take people into suborbit. This all amounts to a very expensive carnival ride for the very wealthy. And it is subsidized to the hilt. All it will take is for it to crash and some really rich guys have their bones scattered across Dona Anna county to put the kibosh on that. The SpaceX stuff looks a little more realistic, but it too is subsidized.

      Once again the myth of the free market.

      The point of Hubbles and LHC is for our enlightenment. The real measure of a civilization is not the quotes on its markets, but in its arts and sciences.

  7. [...] ser menos, muchos medios se han hecho eco de esta triste noticia. Recomiendo Philip Gibbs, “Tevatron will not have extended run,” viXra log, January 10, 2011; Lubos Motl, “Tevatron will shut down in [...]

  8. [...] ser menos, muchos medios se han hecho eco de esta triste noticia. Recomiendo Philip Gibbs, “Tevatron will not have extended run,” viXra log, January 10, 2011; Lubos Motl, “Tevatron will shut down in September,” The [...]


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