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Fermilab | Batavia, IL | USA

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Fermilab in the news: dark matter, budget cuts, Tevatron’s staying power

Lots of interesting news last week about Fermilab, including the releases of a new version of Scientific Linux and Illinois representatives supporting a reduction in proposed cuts to Fermilab’s budget. Below are three stories I found particularly interesting.  

Science asked Have Physicists Already Glimpsed Dark Matter?  Fermilab theorist Dan Hooper thinks so and argues a new look at data from the experiments DAMA, CoGeNT, XENON100 and CDMSII bear him out. But spokespersons for those experiments disagree.

What do you think?

New Scientist published an article by Fermilab Director Pier Oddone about how the closure of the Tevatron later this year won’t put an end to the great scientific results coming out of its detector collaborations, CDF and DZero.  More than 10 petabytes of Tevatron data will provide scientists with plenty of data to sift through for several years

“During that time new ideas and better tools will be developed to squeeze ever more information out of the data,” says Oddone. “This will allow us to continue chasing down the hints of new physics we already see in our analyses.”

Oddone put pen to paper again, this time with the help of Argonne Director Eric Isaacs, to outline effects of proposed science budget cuts on the two labs and beyond in a Chicago Tribune op-ed piece.

    High-tech jobs are just the first casualty of such cuts. Rolling back funding for basic science would dim our nation’s spirit of discovery and entrepreneurship. It would curtail research into how our world works — research that spurs new theories and technologies. And the cuts would be felt across Chicago’s wider high-tech community, which depends on collaboration, new ventures and a workforce trained at some of the world’s most sophisticated facilities.
— Tona Kunz
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