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SLAC’s B-factory to be terminated in March of 2008 January 7, 2008

Posted by apetrov in Near Physics, Particle Physics, Physics, Science.
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As a PI of a DOE grant, I received an e-mail today from Dennis Kovar, Acting Associate Director of the Office of Science for High Energy Physics at the US Department of Energy. This e-mail spelled out the consequences of the disasterous budget for High Energy Physics in 2008. Among other things it stated that operations of SLAC’s B-factory will be terminated in 2008:

“…The sudden and unanticipated work stoppage on NOvA and ILC unavoidably results in collateral damage to the rest of the HEP program. Significant cost savings would require laying off everyone working on those projects immediately. That is not achievable nor desirable. Thus the HEP office had to look for other large non-salary costs that could be reduced to meet the overall budget bottom-line. In the end this came down to a choice between running the Fermilab complex (Tevatron Collider and NuMI) or the SLAC B-Factory in FY2008 (or running both at ~1/2 or less of their scheduled operating weeks). Based on the guidance we have received from the scientific community (e.g.; HEPAP, P5, NAS, etc.), the operation of the Tevatron in FY 2008 has higher scientific priority. Thus the Tevatron and NuMI will operate on their planned schedule, and B-Factory operations will be terminated prematurely. This should not be considered a dismissal of the excellent and important science that the B-Factory has produced, but merely a statement of programmatic priorities in the face of difficult fiscal realities…”

Sounds like a rejection letter (“We had an excellent pool of applicants and although your credentials are excellent, we cannot offer you this position”), doesn’t it? But, as Jafar used to say, “Desperate times call for desperate measures.”

You can also read or even listen to Persis Drell’s (SLAC’s Director) All hands presentation today, where this situation was discussed. She also puts a date of March 2008 for the termination of the operations of SLAC’s B-factory and announced that SLAC will lay off 125 of its personnel. Also, “The ILC program will be stopped for the rest of this year and faces a very uncertain future.” Yep, desperate times…

Comments»

1. DOE cuts: bad P.R. ? « Collider Blog - January 8, 2008

[…] announcements from Dennis Kovar (DOE) about stopping BaBar and all work on Nova and the ILC. See Alexey Petrov’s post, Tommaso Dorigo’s post and Gordon Watt’s post for some details and […]

2. Nikita Nikolaev - January 8, 2008

It does sound so very much.

3. New semester « Symmetry factor - January 9, 2008

[…] Just wanted to record a curious thing pointed out to me by my colleague David Cinabro: with BaBar going out of business in the beginning of March, CLEO will be the the last US heavy flavor experiment. Now, this is a […]

4. Not Even Wrong » Blog Archive » More on FY 2008 HEP Budget Cuts - January 10, 2008

[…] are starting to become clear. There are new blog posts from HEP bloggers Tommaso Dorigo, Alexey Petrov, Gordon Watts, and Michael Schmitt (as well as non-HEP blogger Chad […]

5. High energy physics is not dead — it just moved to Asia « Symmetry factor - January 15, 2008

[…] Science. trackback Courtesy to Tom Browder, I learned a very good news today: despite recent problems with UK and US budgets for high energy physics research, Japaneese government decided to go ahead […]


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