BATAVIA, Ill. (WBBM/CBS) – Federal funding cuts are turning off power to a landmark particle accelerator at Fermilab in the western suburbs.
As WBBM Newsradio 780’s John Cody reports, Fermilab director Pierre Oddone says the U.S. Department of Energy vetoed spending $100 million for three more years of research on the Tevatron.
LISTEN: Newsradio 780′s John Cody reports
Thus, the accelerator will be shut down this September.
Dr. Oddone terms the Tevatron a historic machine.
“All the different regions of the world – Asia, Europe, us – were hunting for the top quark, and it was surprisingly happy, and the Tevatron was finally the place where it was discovered,” Oddone said.
Quarks are elementary particles which compose hadrons, such as the protons and neutrons in the nucleus of an atom. They exhibit electrical charge, color charge, mass and spin.
Quarks are subdivided into six categories – up, down, charm, strange, top and bottom. The Tevatron uncovered evidence of “single” top quarks that were not joined with their antiparticles, bottom quarks.
Dr. Oddone says work has already started on background studies which will give Fermilab a chance at competing for the next generation particle accelerator to replace the Large Hadron Collider, which currently the focus of global high energy research in Geneva, Switzerland.