Many of them argue that, without the SSC, the field of particle physics may lose its vitality--maybe even its future

The struggle in Congress over funding for the superconducting supercollider (SSC)--now something of an annual event--is disrupting work at the laboratory and raising frustrations throughout the high-energy physics community, say physicists. Many of them also worry not only about the future of the multibillion-dollar Waxahachie, Texas, project, but also about that of particle physics in the United States.

Already, failing support for the SSC in Washington, D.C., threatens recruitment to the project, they say, from student through professional levels. Some top particle physicists in the early to middle stages of their careers, disturbed by the prospect of waiting until the next century to begin experiments, are considering moves to accelerator laboratories outside the U.S., such as CERN in Geneva.

"What may be the most disturbing thing of all," says Steven...

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