Fermilab valuable

As NIU faculty who do research at Fermilab, we feel that the negative impact on NIU due to the Texas siting of the Superconducting Supercollider will not be as great as the article in The Northern Star implies. Fermilab will continue to be the world’s foremost laboratory for subatomic physics well into the 21st century.

Even after the SSC has been built and commissioned, which will probably take 10 to 15 years, Fermilab will have an important role to play as a testing site for SSC particle detectors and in certain research areas for which the SSC will not be as suitable. A good example of this is the accelerator at Brookhaven National Laboratory on Long Island. While no longer the world’s highest-energy particle accelerator, it is still being used for certain important types of experiments which work better with lower energy particle beams not available at Fermilab.

The State University of New York at Stony Brook, the university closest to Brookhaven, still has a very vigorous subatomic particle research program. Physicists there take advantage of the facilities available at Brookhaven, even though the main thrust of their effort has now moved to Fermilab.

Some time in the 21st century, some of us will probably be commuting to Texas to pursue our research. But Fermilab will still be an invaluable resource, as it is today. Our proximity to Fermilab will still be an asset to NIU faculty and students.

James Green

David Hedin

Daniel Kaplan

Suzanne Willis