hello, my name is denisse. im a senior ... and i have a question for you, how did you feel about the cancellation of the ssc project?
It was a very hard thing to go through. It was going to be the largest machine built by mankind, and it was a very exciting project to work on. The government had spent over $2 Billion when it came to a close. (It was going to cost about $9B total.) My family and I moved from Chicago to Texas to work on it, and we lived there for almost 5 years. So, it was hard for us to suddenly be out of a job and looking for work again. It also meant to me that the U.S. wasn't as interested in science as it once was, which was sad, too. Luckily, I think this has all been changing the other way in recent years...
Thanks for your question!
so what exactly was the SSC project? was it a way to conserve energy or what? and who came up with the idea of that project?
The SSC was the "Superconducting Super Collider." It was going to be a very large particle accelerator, or "atom smasher." It was to be a circular machine, about 53 miles in circumference(!), in which protons would be accelerated to very high energies in opposite directions, and then collided head-on into each other. The energy of these collisions would be converted into new particles -- particles that had not been created like this since the time of the Big Bang -- and then we could study them. This accelerator would have been more than 20 times as powerful as the Tevatron accelerator that we run at Fermilab today.
We build these machines so that we can study the most fundamental questions, like: What is the universe made of? What forces are involved, and how do they work? Scientists first made particle accelerators back in the 1920's, and they have been getting more and more powerful ever since. The Tevatron at Fermilab was built in 1983, and the SSC was thought up by a group of U.S. scientists back in the early 1980's, soon after that. We finally began to build the SSC in 1988. However, it was canceled in 1993.