Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Proposed US Budget A Major Blow to High Energy Physics

  1. Dec 18, 2007 #1

    ZapperZ

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Education Advisor

    If you haven't noticed it yet, the budget that was approved by the US House of Representative, and which President Bush intended to sign after it makes its way through the Senate, is a severe blow to several areas of physics, especially in High Energy Physics. This includes a severe cut to the International Linear Collider (ILC) project, and a complete funding cut for the NOva neutrino experiment.

    http://blog.wired.com/wiredscience/2007/12/us-budget-spell.html

    Oy vey!

    Zz
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 18, 2007 #2
    7O billion to support military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, Im sure that money could have been used for other things like physics. Useless politicians, like always.
     
  4. Dec 20, 2007 #3

    ZapperZ

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Education Advisor

    Fermilab may not survive as a laboratory with the latest round of budget cuts.

    http://sciencenow.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/2007/1219/1

    The earlier optimistic view that it can still be a high energy physics lab with the series of neutrino experiments after the Tevatron shut-down has now crumbled. History may show that this is where the US High Energy Physics effort dies, so you may want to remember this moment.

    Now, someone may ask "Well, is it that bad if they lay off people, shut it down for a year or two, and then maybe after the war is over (HA!), restart it?"

    Ask anyone who had to start a major project cold, and trying to get back all the expertise that was lost, and you'll get a very discouraging answer. The nuclear industry is going through that right now. Look at how many schools have closed their nuclear engineering programs for the past 20 years. You simply can't dangle money in front of people and expect to get back all that you've lost by turning it on like a switch.

    Zz.
     
  5. Dec 20, 2007 #4

    Astronuc

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Yep - that's a BIG problem. Not only that - we lack skilled trades people. Kids coming out of school may be smart, but they lack experience.
     
  6. Dec 20, 2007 #5

    robphy

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member

  7. Dec 20, 2007 #6

    dlgoff

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Maybe we should turn to the Navy. When I was in college, many of my physics classmates were Navy guys. They were given their education in exchange for serving on a nuclear submarine.

    Is there a way to recruit these guys? Or are there not enough of them to make it worth while?

    Needing nuclear power
    Don
     
  8. Dec 20, 2007 #7

    robphy

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member

  9. Dec 20, 2007 #8

    Astronuc

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    I've met some ex-Navy nukes in the industry. Even so, they certainly have some experience, but the commercial side has its nuances and the various codes that are different from those in the Navy. It takes a few years to get up to speed - and there are always new issues to deal with. Everyone is looking everywhere for talent these days!

    The link to the Toshiba Micro Nuclear Reactor -
    http://www.nextenergynews.com/news1/next-energy-news-toshiba-micro-nuclear-12.17b.html
     
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2007
  10. Dec 20, 2007 #9
  11. Dec 20, 2007 #10

    Astronuc

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    We hire grad students from US universities. However, most are originally from overseas.

    I'm hoping we continue to grow, and I'll certainly consider anyone from a US grad program who has talent. I strongly recommend strong math and programming backgrounds, and a diverse engineering program. If one has experience in state-of-the-art multiphysics codes, that's a plus.
     
  12. Dec 20, 2007 #11

    turbo

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Many years back, General Physics corporation wanted to start up a pulp and paper division, so they hired me for my expertise (4 years as a process chemist in a new pulp mill and 6 years running the newest, baddest coated paper machine around). GP recruited heavily from the Navy, and they got a lot of talent out of the nuclear submarine personnel. The VP that hired me, my division's manager, and my two project managers all came out of the nuclear subs and all had skills in multiple fields. It was a pleasure to work with them - they were some of the most level-headed fellows I'd ever hooked up with.
     
  13. Dec 20, 2007 #12

    mheslep

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Craig Ventor of human genome fame was featured in PBS piece that aired last night where he suggests that a greater reliance on private benefactors might be a good thing; that government doesn't do a very good job choosing research topics.
     
  14. Dec 20, 2007 #13

    ZapperZ

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Education Advisor

    The problem here is that, in high energy physics, the facilities require extended operations, such as particle collider facilities, and that they costs hundreds of millions, if not billions, of dollars, to build. There aren't many private benefactors that would fund such a thing. Look at CERN's LHC and see how many different countries had to fund that. The same with ITER.

    Ventor should also look at his area of study. How many synchrotron radiation centers that many biologists and bio-physicists use to study genes and proteins were built by such entity?

    Zz.
     
  15. Dec 20, 2007 #14

    Gokul43201

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

  16. Dec 23, 2007 #15

    ZapperZ

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Education Advisor

    This was distributed for immediate release. The 3 prominent members of the Illinois delegation on Capitol Hill has taken steps to try and remedy the Omnibus bill. This is their press release:

    Zz.
     
  17. Dec 24, 2007 #16
    Lots of details in Nature. I'm sure the author of this is just a liberal with an axe to grind though:
    http://www.nature.com/news/2007/071224/full/451002a.html
     
  18. Dec 24, 2007 #17

    Astronuc

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Budget Cuts Will Mean Layoffs at Fermilab
    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/22/science/22fermi.html
    NYTimes, Dec 22

    Not a good sign.


    Meanwhile -
    U.S. Officials See Waste in Pakistan Aid
    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/24/world/asia/24military.html

     
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2007
  19. Dec 25, 2007 #18
    Does anyone know if politicians read Physics Forums, and if so, what do they think of us here, and if so, what can we do to help them think better of physics?
     
  20. Dec 25, 2007 #19

    ZapperZ

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Education Advisor

    The most effective means would be for you to write a letter to your congress person and senator. That's it. They know most people are lazy and don't write letters, so when someone actually write something, they know that this means something to this person.

    We had a success last year when, due to the continuing resolution, the science budget was in limbo for most of the first half of 2007. Now, most people thought, with the US Competitive act in place, and an almost bipartisan support to increase science funding, things would get better. Everyone was wrong and got blindsided by this.

    If you don't like what you see and wish to let them know that they should stop killing funding to basic physics, write to them. That is still the most effective means to help stop this insanity.

    Zz.
     
  21. Dec 28, 2007 #20

    ZapperZ

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Education Advisor

    This is a news coverage of the suspension of work on the NOvA project due to the recent budget bill. Note that the project is supposed to start construction in 2008, and they got flat-lined with NO MONEY at all being allocated for it.

    The sad thing here is that, as far as high energy physics experiments go, this is a relatively puny and cheap experiment to construct, and yet, it is a natural extension to NuMi, MINOS, and the evolution of Fermilab after the Tevatron. With Tevatron closing down, such neutrino experiments are the ONLY high energy physics experiments left being done in the US.

    And now they might kill it.

    Zz.
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?



Similar Discussions: Proposed US Budget A Major Blow to High Energy Physics
Loading...