NSF Joins European Physics Project
NSF and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) are planning to join the Conseil Européen pour la Recherche Nucléaire (CERN), known in English as the European Laboratory for Particle Physics. CERN and the United States will work together on the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) project in the high-energy physics laboratory.
U.S. agencies have tentatively committed $530 million to the project in return for U.S. scientists having unrestricted access to the laboratory located in Geneva, Switzerland. NSF's $80 million and the DOE's $450 million will be used for the development and construction of an accelerator and several particle detectors.
While officials caution that the numbers are still being discussed by Congressional and administrative offices, scientists on both sides of the Atlantic expressed enthusiasm for the LHC collaboration.
Christopher Llewellyn Smith, director general of CERN told the journal Nature he is "thrilled by the progress of the negotiations."
Emphasizing the value of the project, NSF Director Neal Lane added "CERN is going to be the most important place for high-energy physics, and it is extremely important that U.S. scientists participate."
Negotiations on the partnership are expected to be completed by December.