The Frontier of High Energy Particle Physics

September 17, 2008

tevatron arial photo
Since the successful launch of the Large Hadron Collider at CERN last week, all eyes have been on Switzerland. But closer to home, Fermilab, in Batavia, Illinois, houses the Tevatron, a landmark particle accelerator. In anticipation of the publication this fall of the definitive history of the laboratory, Fermilab: Physics, the Frontier, and Megascience, we asked Lillian Hoddeson, Adrienne W. Kolb, and Catherine Westfall to reflect on what the LHC means for Fermilab and for the future of physics:
Congratulations to CERN for the successful launch of the LHC, the Large Hadron Collider, the latest excursion into the frontier of high energy particle physics!
For more than 25 years the energy frontier machine has been Fermilab’s Tevatron, the 1983 superconducting extension of the 1972 Main Ring. Now the LHC will be the machine at the energy frontier. The LHC will enable high energy physicists from around the world to explore deeper into the unknown frontiers of the universe. While the times and technology are vastly different in 2008, much of the same excitement and drama of the turn on of CERN’s LHC was felt by physicists at the turn on of Fermilab’s Main Ring and the superconducting Energy Doubler/Saver, now called the Tevatron . Although the dress styles are different the spirit remains the same as the frontier beckons!

—Lillian Hoddeson, Adrienne W. Kolb, and Catherine Westfall

For further reading, check out editor James W. Cronin’s collection Fermi Remembered . Fermilab: Physics, the Frontier, and Megascience will be published in December.

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