The next big project in high-energy particle physics is likely to use electrons and be cheaper to build
Not an inch of tunnel for the 53-mile Superconducting Supercollider has been laid, but already the massive accelerator is casting a long shadow on the future of high-energy physics facilities. As Congress and the nation struggle with the estimated $7 billion cost of the huge machine, many scientists are coming to the conclusion that the SSC may signify the end of the line - a dinosaur as big and expensive as physics research machines will ever grow. But it's not clear what should come next, nor who should design and build it.

That question is particularly relevant to the two laboratories most affected by the construction of the supercollider - the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC) in Palo Alto, Calif., and Fermi National Laboratory (Fermilab) in Batavia, Ill. If the SSC represents...

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