Science, Tech & Environment

Large Hadron Collider launched

Recreating what the universe was like just after the big bang is no easy task. You need to create a machine that can replicate the conditions and then have cameras to capture the result. That's why the Hadron Collider is seven years overdue and many millions dollars over budget, and needed an international effort to pull it off. The Collider goes by the name CERN. The director of CERN thanked the international effort necessary to get CERN functioning. This American scientist says while the U.S. contributed knowledge and money to CERN, he wishes America has taken the lead, and he thinks there was a deliberate decision to let Europe take the lead on particle physics and Europe is outspending the U.S. two-to-one. This professor at University of Texas-Austin shares that concern about the U.S.'s leadership in this area of science. That professor traces this retreat in American science back to 1993, when the U.S. was building what was to be the world's largest super particle collider, which was eventually canceled by Congress because it was costing too much money. Not everyone sees the launch of CERN necessarily as the end of American science. This analyst says the projects are so expensive that they HAVE to be an international effort. One positive thing about the launch of CERN is that it might stir competitive juices in America on science issues.

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