Physicists Need New Accelerator for 'God Particle'

Japan is expected to be home to $8B project

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted Aug 13, 2013 2:35 PM CDT

(Newser) – The good news for physicists is that they've finally found the elusive Higgs boson. The bad news is that to truly study it in the hope of unlocking the mysteries of the universe, they're going to need a whole new particle accelerator, reports NPR. And the type of collider they need is expected to cost $8 billion in a time of tight science funding. A global scientific group called the Linear Collider Collaboration already has the designs in place, and the best bet is that it will be built in Japan—assuming the US and other nations agree to chip in.

"What you want to do is have all nations contribute to a single project," says a US physicist quoted in the story. The pitch to US government officials who control the purse strings is that American scientists will be involved, and they will in turn bring home new skills. The story also notes that the biggest US accelerator, called Tevatron, was shut down in 2011 because of a lack of funds. "It's one of these things," says the California physicist, referring to an era of exciting new discoveries coupled with tight budgets. "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times."

This 2007 file photo shows the magnet core of the world's largest superconducting solenoid magnet at CERN's Large Hadron Collider partical accelerator in Geneva.
This 2007 file photo shows the magnet core of the world's largest superconducting solenoid magnet at CERN's Large Hadron Collider partical accelerator in Geneva.   (AP Photo/KEYSTONE/Martial Trezzini, File)
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