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That time frame is not really accurate. Big accelerators, like many massive projects, are always years behind schedule. Back before the SSC was canceled, it and the LHC were both scheduled to turn on about a decade ago. But since the LHC actually got built, it experienced the real-life hiccups that would have delayed the SSC by years too.



World's Toughest: Fixes Atom Smasher (S2E8) had a really interesting segment why the LHC took so long to get into service. (it's on hulu and netflix)

http://www.hulu.com/watch/176546#i0,p6,s2,d0

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I believe you are mistaken. The LEP and the SSC started early construction at about the same time, and the SSC was cancelled in the early 90s while the LEP started operations in '89. Construction of the LHC did not begin until the late 90s, well after the SSC had been cancelled and operations began about a decade after construction started. Even taking into account thee advantage the LHC had in being able to reuse the LEP tunnels and some of the existing infrastructure the likelihood of the SSC being able to become operational in the early 2000s is fairly high.

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I guess we'll continue to disagree in the absence of an expert. My information comes from a discussion I had with two professors who migrated to CMS at LHC after the SSC was canceled. They agreed that the real tragedy of the loss of the SSC was the higher energy, and that with realistic estimates for the SSC schedule the timing advantage would have been minimal.

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