Nov 28, 2012
Physics World can confirm rumours that the Italian government is to withdraw €250m from the €1bn SuperB particle accelerator, which was set to be built at the University of Tor Vergata on the outskirts of Rome. The decision, which effectively cancels the project, was made yesterday when Fernando Ferroni, president of the National Institute for Nuclear Physics (INFN), met Italian science minister Francesco Profumo to discuss funding for the project. “Given the difficult economic conditions of the country, the government is willing to confirm the contribution of €250m but not [for] the project,” says a government statement, which was released today and seen by Physics World.
As outlined in the statement, the INFN, which was set to build SuperB, will keep the €250m but will now spend the money on other projects. The INFN has already appointed two committees to look at what options it has, which includes converting SuperB into a scaled down “tau-charm factory” (called SuperC) or using the money elsewhere. The committees will report by 20 December, with a decision set for early January. Rumours of the funding cancellation first emerged on the Quantum Diaries blog, which is written by the CERN-based researcher Tommaso Dorigo.