January 21, 2011

The planned shutdown the Fermilab Tevatron ends hopes it might win the race to find the most sought-after particle in high-energy physics, U.S. scientists say.

The U.S. Department of Energy informed the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory it was unable to come up with a $35 million a year to keep the Tevatron running until 2014, ScienceNews.com reported Thursday.

The energy department’s advisory panel on high energy physics had recommended the Tevatron be operated for an additional three years after the European physics consortium CERN announced its more powerful Large Hadron Collider would close down for all of 2012 for repairs, but the department said the Tevatron in Batavia, Ill., would cease operating in September of this year.

CERN’s yearlong shutdown had seemed to offer an opportunity for the Tevatron to close in on the Higgs boson, a particle whose existence would explain the origin of mass in subatomic particles.

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