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Fermilab’s Tevatron particle accelerator closes its doors

Bryan Alaspa's picture

Once the premier particle accelerator in the world, the pride of American science and discovery is closing its doors today while Fermilab tries to figure out what to do next.

The Tevatron particle accelerators was once the pride of American science. The device, buried beneath the ground, fired particles at insane speeds at each other so that they would collide at speeds beyond anything the human eye could ever hope to comprehend. When the particles burst apart, scientists would study the results, searching into the very elements of the Big Bang that created the universe.

According to media reports, however, financial times and the fact that a particle accelerator located in Europe is four times bigger, has resulted in the Fermilab Tevatron to close its doors. The final day of study in what was once the biggest and most impressive accelerator in the world will cease to function after September 30, 2011.

The biggest discovery by the Tevatron, the one that stunned and impressed the scientific community was that of the top quark. Quarks are elements that comprise atoms, which make up molecules. For years, scientists thought that there was nothing smaller than atoms.

The top quark discovery was probably the height of the discoveries made by the Tevatron. That was back in 1995. The top quark was a profound discovery and provided amazing insight into the particles that make up the universe. The top quark was one of the heaviest particles ever discovered.

The Tevatron was used for years and contributed to many discoveries that advanced the study of the universe. However, a few years ago an accelerator was built called the LHC located a CERN in Europe. The huge accelerator is four times the size of Tevatron, capable of sending particles colliding into one another at even greater speeds and impact. In fact, when the accelerators in CERN was first proposed and constructed there were many who were afraid the resulting particle explosions could destroy the entire planet.

Right now Fermilab is trying to figure out what to do next now that its prized component has shut down. Local politicians in Illinois have been meeting with executives from Fermilab to try and see what can be done next at the scientific laboratories.

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