so yesterday I was in Prague, the capital city of Czech Republic, because of some serious business. When I was waiting on the train station I went to bookstore there and bought really cool book, it is called The Particle at the End of the Universe, by Sean Carroll (By this particle author means Higgs boson). So, I already read 80 pages and now I want to make post about Superconducting Super Collider or SSC.
This book is about Higgs boson, which is particle I will write about some other time. Anyway it was discovered in Large Hadron Collider but there is whole history of other particle accelerators before this one.
Today lets see why SSC was never build.
The most important thing about particle accelerators is their power they can create. LHC which is the strongest on the Earth right now is able to create force of 13 TeV (tera electron volts.) At the same time this may sound powerful and weak.
1 TeV is around the energy of flying mosquito. Well that does not sound like it is much but the other thing is that LHC is able to make 13 TeV and at the same time give this energy to only one proton. When LHC is active, there may be billions of protons flying with this energy, when you add it up it may be as much as the energy of whole locomotive.
But SSC was planned to be even stronger so that it would be able to reveal even more energetic things. It was planned to be about 40 TeV strong which is quite mind blowing.
In the year of 1987 president Reagan accepted the construction of SSC. Then the place to build it had to be found.
Such a place must be geologically inactive, there must be no floods and so on. Of course all most of the states (43) wanted to have it in their city. Finally place called Waxahachie in Texas was accepted as the most safe one (it is located bit south from Dallas).
It was planned to be 87 kilometers long and activated in the year of 1996. First it was thought that it would cost 4.4 billions of dollars, but soon afterward the price rose to 12 billions of dollars. At the same time huge project needed money: ISS (50 billions of dollars, later it rose to over 100 billions of dollars).
When there were 2 billions already invested, it was decided that it was not worth it. Reasons for this were that it was poorly leaded, with prices that were underestimated all the time and so on.
This had some serious causes, like lots of particle physicists were without work. The area was then sold to guy who wanted to create super protected area for computer data, but he fell on the ice and died. Luckily USA decided that they will donate some money to LHC (particle accelerator in CERN) which was activated in the year of 2008.