$4.4 B Super Collider Gets Go-Ahead
Raloff, Janet, Science News
$4.4 B Super Collider gets go-ahead
President reagan last week approvedconstruction of the Superconducting Super Collider (SSC), which will be the world's most advanced particle accelerator. Although some 40 states have expressed interest in becoming home to the $4.4 billion project, Energy Secretary John S. Herrington says, "We have made no determination as to where the [SSc] will be sited -- and there is no front-runner."
SSC would employ roughly 10,000 superconductingmagnets to focus and guide two beams of 20-trillion-electron-volt (20 TeV) protons in opposite directions through a 52-mile, racetrack-shaped underground tunnel (SN: 9/22/84, p.181; 1/5/85, p.5). At four experimental stations the beams of protons -- accelerated to almost the speed of light -- would be allowed to collide, creating new subatomic particles.
According to the Washington, D.C.-basedUniversities Research Association, a consortium of 56 universities that helped design the project, SSC will be a "microscope of unparalleled power," able to probe distances one-thousandth the diameter of a proton to "provide unprecedented insights into the world of elementary particles and, indirectly, into the birth of our universe. …