Getting Nobel Fever All Over Again

A quarter-century ago, three Brookhaven National Lab physicists discovered the muon-neutrino, for which they were awarded this year’s Nobel Prize. Today plans are afoot to bring new glory to the aging accelerator that was the site of their research. The Department of Energy wants to use the 28-year-old machine, known as the Alternating Gradient Synchrotron, as an injector for a much larger proposed accelerator, the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider. “The AGS has been extraordinarily fruitful, producing discoveries that have led to three different Nobel Prizes,” says Brookhaven physicist Thomas Ludlam. ‘We’re entering a similar era with RHIC,” which will collide heavy atomic nuclei in a search for free quarks. DOE has requested $275 million for RHIC in its 1990 budget to be submitted in January; if approved by Congress, construction could begin as soon as October 1989.

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