Number 166 (Story #3), February 25, 1994 by Phillip F. Schewe and Ben Stein|
PARTICLE PHYSICS WITHOUT THE SSC was the subject of SLAC director Burton Richter's talk at this week's meeting of the AAAS in San Francisco. Richter said that it was inevitable that the field would suffer a shrinkage in the number of graduate students but that there were still several labs---LEP, HERA, Tevatron, etc.---and plenty of topics of interest---e.g., the top quark, CP violation, deep inelastic scattering as a probe of the proton's interior---to keep particle physics alive. As for the need for more powerful accelerators, Richter suggested a scenario in which Europe would build the next proton machine (the 14-TeV Large Hadron Collider) while Japan and the U.S. would together build an electron-positron collider, a 0.5-1.5 TeV machine usually referred to generically as the Next Linear Collider (NLC). The SSC had been a badly-managed project, Richter asserted. Before attempting any such large project again, he said, a carefully prepared consensus on goals and expectations (and costs) would have to be reached among scientists, Congress, federal agency officials, and any prospective foreign collaborators.