Although NOvA has not been canceled, the suspension of funding may lead some of its scientists to abandon the effort. “The question is whether you can put a project on mothballs for a year and bring it back again,” says Mark Messier of Indiana University, a spokesperson for NOvA. “The signal this sends is, ‘Go do your research somewhere else.’ ”
Sharing the Pain
Fermilab isn’t the only physics facility devastated by the recent budget cuts. Congress
also axed the 2008 funding for the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC), which was collaborating with Fermilab in the planning of the International Linear Collider. The cuts will force SLAC to lay off 125 employees and to prematurely end its BaBar experiment (also known as the B-factory), which is looking for violations of charge and parity symmetry in the decay of short-lived particles called B mesons.
This article was originally published with the title Fiasco at Fermilab.