WHAT'S NEW (in my opinion), Friday, 7 Jan 1994 Washington, DC 1. WHOA! HIGH-ENERGY PHYSICI

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WHAT'S NEW (in my opinion), Friday, 7 Jan 1994 Washington, DC 1. WHOA! HIGH-ENERGY PHYSICISTS ARE RILED BY COMMENT ON LHC COST. Last week, WHAT'S NEW used a figure for the cost of the LHC taken from a report in Nature. I have since been given a crash course in European cost accounting, taught by a lot of angry high-energy physicists. Course synopsis: 1) If CERN counted costs the way we do, the LHC estimate would be $4.5B, which is less than the SSC, but still a lot of bucks; 2) it costs less because CERN already has a tunnel and a cafeteria (what am I missing, isn't that the point?); 3) the LHC is only good for maybe a third of the SSC energy, which could leave it impotent. Actually, it was not my intention to compare costs, or virility, or justice. I just wanted to point out that: 1) if the U.S. wants to participate, CERN seems willing, even eager (not a foregone conclusion); 2) the U.S. share of the cost would be modest relative to the cost of the SSC; 3) in which case Congress might jump at the chance. The only obstacle seems to be the ponderous U.S. budget process. 2. MEANWHILE, STANFORD WILL INAUGURATE THE ASYMMETRIC B-FACTORY next Tuesday. The $177M accelerator (yes, I know, they already have a tunnel and a cafeteria) will study CP violation. It's the first major high-energy project since the SSC was terminated. The object is to explain why the universe isn't half anti-matter. The LHC is meant to figure out why there is matter at all. 3. VERNON EHLERS IS ELECTED TO THE U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES! Physics graduates from little Calvin College in Grand Rapids have long been sought by leading graduate schools. For 17 years, one of the reasons was Professor Vern Ehlers. A nuclear physicist from Berkeley, where he was a student of Bill Nierenberg, Ehlers is an expert on the environment. He is also an APS member and has served on POPA. His interest in politics dates to the early 70's when he became science advisor to then-Congressman Gerald Ford. He was elected to the Michigan House of Representatives in 1983 and to the State Senate two years later. In December Ehlers, a Republican, won a landslide victory in a special election to fill the vacancy created by the death of Paul Henry. Henry caused a stir last year when he introduced a bill to discourage the use of federal funds to support foreign graduate students (WN 4-17-92). 3. CHARLES KENNEL PICKED TO HEAD NASA'S MISSION TO PLANET EARTH! The UCLA physics professor is an APS Fellow. He has served on the Physics Planning Committee and was a member of the APS panel on directed energy weapons in the Star Wars era. An astro-plasma physicist from Princeton, Kennel is Associate Director of UCLA's Institute for Plasma Physics and Fusion Research. It could be a tough year for Mission to Planet Earth; the White House has just warned NASA to expect a $250M cut in its $14.5B budget. It could be twice that according to appropriators (WN 12 Nov 94). Since the space station and shuttle are being treated as fixed costs, the cuts are expected to fall most heavily on space science. Robert L. Park opa@aps.org The American Physical Society


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