Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Why the US Should Spring for a New Particle Accelerator

Harold T. Shapiro explains in SEED "Why the US Should Spring for a New Particle Accelerator". He writes, ...
The US must develop a compelling bid to host the International Linear Collider in order to safeguard American science.
Sounds good to me. It's in all our best interests that America maintain an active presence in international front-line science. Besides, it's quicker for Canadians to fly to the US than to Geneva. :-)

The photograph shows workers celebrating the connection of the first sector of the Large Hadron Collider in Geneva on November 10, 2006. It won't be long now 'till they start bashing things together. That's what physicists do these days and it cost a lot of money. Biochemists can smash things for much less money.

1 comment:

  1. If you want to get a tour of the CERN facilities, you need to book a year or more in advance, it seems. I found that out after winning a one-week trip to Switzerland and putting CERN on my itinerary. We took the bus out there anyhow, and even Microcosm was closed as well (gah!). At least we got to eat in the cafeteria (the specials of the day are seriously labelled Proton and Neutron)

    Sitting there at the table with my fiancee, you just got a real sense of the science buzz of the place, especially when you overheard someone in earshot and could make out the language.

    It's a giant campus on top of being a particle accelerator site, and with the general level of diffuse... yes, I'd call it excitement... I can't help but think that's good for science.

    For them to build something stateside that's equivalent, I would HOPE they choose the campus route. I'd be mildly worried that they'd get too paranoid and cap access in an oppressive way, enough to take the creative edge off the place.

    They'd probably build it in the desert or something, too. That would still give Geneva the upper hand (it really is a gorgeous place, apart from the graffiti).

    Still, it would be better than what they have now :)

    I'm looking forward to the LHC. I'm willing to place friendly bets that they don't find a Higgs boson, and a larger friendly bet that they find no supersymmetric particles.

    Biochemistry is still on much better experimental footing than physics these days :)