NYTimes Article Category #2. Ciara Jamie Connolly
05.02.00 Submitted 05.04.00
?Searching For Dark Matter, With Both Eyes Closed.?
In a deficit-reduction measure in 1993, the Congress killed plans already underway for building the superconducting super collider. This proved that the US was ill prepared to join their European colleagues in studying subatomic particles in the nucleus. This $10 billion machine designed to speed protons around a 54-mile track and collide them, so scientists could examine the quarks, elementary particles said to be at the heart of the nucleus.
This machine is the utmost in technological advancement this century. European physicists are leading the way with their laboratory, unchallenged in a prestigious field the United States had pioneered. ?Without particle smashers, scientists are in the dark,? Michael Riordan states. This article fits into Category #2 because it shows the importance of the particle accelerators in helping ascertain scientific theories. If the theories hold true then billions of tiny particles may be the explanation of the dark matter that surrounds the Milky Way galaxy in a halo. These particles are thought to have a gravitational force.
The United States do not have a dismal record of international co-operation on scientific megaprojects, and without this they will be unable to finance the project. Until now American scientists have had to travel to the sites of particle accelerators, in the technological domain of the machine they had thrived to build. However, this method will not work if the United States want to remain equal partners.
Without the technology it is obvious that particle physicists face a difficult future. The technology that needs to be at their fingertips is proving too expensive. If they had constant access to a superconductor collider then the scientists could further their conclusions on the dark matter of the universe.