Tevatron Funding

The Fermilab web-site today has a message from Director Oddone about prospects for funding an extension of the Tevatron run after FY2011, as recommended by the Physics Advisory Committee. He has asked the DOE for additional funding of $35 million/year to pay part of the cost of an extended run, with the rest to come out of slowing down other planned experiments. If the DOE turns this down, it seems the plan is to shutdown the Tevatron next year.

This leaves prospects for the Tevatron’s future very much up in the air, especially given the dysfunctional nature of the US federal budget process. With FY2011 about to begin, the Congress has yet to pass a budget, shows no signs of doing so anytime soon, and is in the middle of an election campaign dominated by calls for cutting federal spending. The general assumption is that they’ll deal with this by continuing funding at FY2010 levels, until finally getting around to passing appropriations bills all together as part of an “omnibus” bill sometime deep into the fiscal year. The process of dealing with the FY2012 budget starts next February with the President’s budget request, but again there’s no reason to believe there actually will be a budget until long after they’ve already started spending the money. Luckily, the Fermilab people by now have many years of experience dealing with this system.

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9 Responses to Tevatron Funding

  1. Yatima says:

    I thought there was another Keynesian Stimulus Package of 80 billion in the pipe? Gentlemen, pick up those phones to the Imperial Capital!

  2. Kea says:

    So, you’re speechless about the new CMS post SM result?

  3. Peter Woit says:


    Presumably you mean this:

    I’d be interested to hear from an expert about this, but it is not at all clear that, even if this is something new, it’s inconsistent with the SM (the behavior of QCD in processes like this is very complicated and sometimes not well understood).

    Oh, just saw something about this from someone expert in the subject, see here

  4. Kea says:

    Oh, so that would be the expert who says: …but I think it’s safe to say this is the first surprising result from the LHC, something that changes our paradigm.

  5. Peter Woit says:

    I see that Slashdot is on the case, with

    LHC Spies Hints of Infant Universe

  6. M Brane says:

    There’s a saying in europe:” nothing improves a woman’s appearance faster than a man’s ” , and since the appearance of the rather masculine LHC , I have to say that the tevatron has certainly being trying her hardest to get noticed.

    However, there’s only so much you can shorten your hemline , and the point comes where that’s not enough to stop the person who’s paying your rent from looking at a newer model.

    But there is also another saying in europe : “failure is the fuel of success”, and as such the LHC has much to thank the tevatron for.

    Bon chance, tevatron. Bon chance mon ami.

  7. Theorist says:


    Another expert opinion:

    Pythia isn’t very good at QCD. There are lots of things we know it doesn’t do correctly (anything having to do with heavy flavor, for starters). In this case, Pythia only includes tree level color correlations, which could be a problem (it seems like this is an issue with interjet radiation). On top of that, there could be issues with the color string model at LHC energies.

    This isn’t BSM physics.

    On the topic of the post, unless Tevatron can demonstrate it has the manpower to do something other than look for the Higgs, it shouldn’t get any more funding.

  8. Roger says:

    I agree with theorist. As an experimentalist who uses Pythia a lot to study final states, this type of result doesn’t surprise me.

    Pythia is one of our most useful tools since it provides an excellent description of most final states. However, it isn’t perfect and wouldn’t necessarily be expected to describe the tails of distributions well.

    No Nobel prize will ever be gained by showing that Pythia doesn’t work.

  9. Tommaso says:

    Hi Peter, all,

    yes, we cannot claim that what CMS sees is new physics just because there is a difference with Monte Carlo simulations. The CMS observation is interesting because it shows an effect not seen with lower multiplicities and lower energies, but this may well be the color coherence of partons radiating in the direction along which the color strings stretch. At high multiplicity the effect should in fact be more easily discernible.

    I have discussed the topic in a post here:


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