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Tevatron Has Come To the End of Its Run 115

Posted by timothy
from the spin-one-for-the-gipper dept.
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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Tevatron Has Come To the End of Its Run

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  • Good luck with the new collier designs to make the most intense neutrino beam.
    • So Long Farewell Avidazen Goodbye

      Auf wiedersehen. It's german ;)

    • 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!

  • by Anonymous Coward

    But but but...

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

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      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.

    • 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

      • Actually (Score:5, Informative)

        by medv4380 (1604309) on Thursday September 29, 2011 @11:28AM (#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.

  • by Jedi Holocron (225191) on Thursday September 29, 2011 @11:04AM (#37554176) Homepage Journal

    Noooooooooooooooo!!!

    (as revised by George "Tweaker" Lucas)

  • by rnturn (11092) on Thursday September 29, 2011 @11:06AM (#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.)

    • by Xzzy (111297) <sether@t[ ]h.org ['ru7' in gap]> on Thursday September 29, 2011 @11:32AM (#37554498) Homepage

      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.

    • by wsxyz (543068)

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

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

    • by Anonymous Coward

      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.

  • 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.
  • by ackthpt (218170) on Thursday September 29, 2011 @11:12AM (#37554290) Homepage Journal

    Weird Stuff and hamfests.

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

    • "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.

  • You won't remember any of it tomorrow. We're going to do some Ironman 2 shit and get waaaasted! Another toast to Fermi!
  • 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.
  • Tevatron will be resurrected as... GALVATRON!

  • 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.

    • by crgrace (220738)

      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

      • by Doc Ruby (173196)

        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.

        • by crgrace (220738)

          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.

          • by Doc Ruby (173196)

            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.

            • by lgw (121541)

              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: (Score:3, Informative)

                by Doc Ruby (173196)

                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 hone

                • by Anonymous Coward

                  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.

                • by lgw (121541)

                  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

                • 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

                  • by Doc Ruby (173196)

                    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 re

                    • by lgw (121541)

                      No, SS does not have treasury bonds in the usual sense. It only has a record-keeping entry of no economic value (the "special bonds" it holds can't be sold).

                      Many people are confused by this. It's just as ig you had borrowed all of the money from your 401K. You still have an asset in your 401K at that point (the loan to your self), and there's even interest associated with it, but it has no economic value - because you can only take another dollar out if you yourself put that dollar in.

                      The SS trust fund i

                    • Yes, there's $2.5T in the trust fund -- about five years worth of benefit payments at current rates. The fund is tapped only when current income is insufficient to pay benefits -- tapped for relatively small amounts the last couple of years due to substantial drop-offs in revenue caused by higher unemployment and the payroll-tax holiday. I agree with you that SS is solvent, and can be solvent forever with small adjustments, but it's still very much a pay-as-you-go system, not a savings system.

                      Note that
                    • by Doc Ruby (173196)

                      No, it can't sell the bonds, but it collects the interest on them as they mature. Thereby investing SS funds in the safest investment available, especially over the long times that represent a career saving for retirement.

                      That is not as if you borrowed the money from your 401K. The loan (from SS to Treasury) is not to "itself", because without that loan the Treasury wouldn't have that money. Treasury and SS are different, since Treasury doesn't carry any savings, and simply because they are independent of e

                    • by lgw (121541)

                      There's effectively only one pool of money now. SS can'r pay anyone, can't send a single check, without funds from taxes or borrowing. Why is that hard to understand? The SS trust can't sell its "bonds" - the only way it can spend a dime is if that dime comes into the federal government through the usual channels.

                      And treasury debt stopped being "really low risk" this summer. It's now "relatively low risk", which is a different thing entirely (other sovereign debt sucks more).

                      But that aside, we have an i

              • by lennier (44736)

                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.

                • by lgw (121541)

                  Equality of opportunity is the enemy of equality of outcomes. America was built on the former. Socialism is all about the latter.

                  Few people actually demonise the poor, but many like me feel that charity-at-gunpoint is just wrong, both morally evil and unsustainable in a democracy. Sadly, we've all but lost the non-government charities for the old and poor these days, unless you attend a church you trust financially (which certainly isn't the norm these days).

    • by cosm (1072588)
      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.
  • by presidenteloco (659168) on Thursday September 29, 2011 @12:15PM (#37555062)

    in yet another science and technology field.

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

    • by crgrace (220738)

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

    • 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?

    • by SLi (132609) on Thursday September 29, 2011 @02:38PM (#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.

      • 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.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        That too happens mainly 1) in African banana republics and 2) the USA

        Excuse me... but shouldn't that be 1) the USA and 2) in African banana republics

  • 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 ;)

  • 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.
  • I wonder what happens to all the liquid helium in the system. Isn't it worth on the order of 100k USD? Perhaps it could be sold of and turned into a scholarship?

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