The Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider is first in line for possible budget cutbacks
By John Matson
In a narrowly decided vote, an advisory panel to federal nuclear science agencies has recommended closing a particle collider at Brookhaven National Laboratory in Upton, N.Y., rather than eliminating other costly facilities. The reason: federal budget woes are hitting all types of government funding from classroom education to highway repair.
At a meeting this week of the Nuclear Science Advisory Committee, which provides guidance to the U.S. Department of Energy and the National Science Foundation, physicist Robert Tribble of Texas A&M University in College Station unveiled the findings of an effort he led to identify priorities for an increasingly frugal U.S. nuclear science program. From the outset of the Tribble panel’s investigation, it appeared that one of three major projects would face elimination, and on January 28 Tribble announced that Brookhaven’s Relativistic Heavy-Ion Collider, or RHIC, had drawn the short straw…
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