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How North Texas Could Have — But Didn’t — Discover the “God Particle” Before Europe

Imagine a time when eager young Republican congressmen from Texas pushed strongly for government spending on things like science and research. When conservatives actually thought that could mean an abundance of high-paying jobs and a stimulus to both the national and local economies. Crazy, right? It wasn’t so long ago, actually.

My friend Brantley Hargrove wrote the cover story in this week’s Dallas Observer, about the Super Collider, and how this region missed being on the forefront of history. From his story:

Thousands of physicists from all over the world, including [SMU physicist Ryszard] Stroynowski, pulled up stakes and migrated to the North Texas site as though it were Mecca, a holy place where the future of the field lay. They established physics departments at nearby universities and began construction of the Super Collider and the components they had to literally invent as they went along. But in 1993, after more than a decade of work and $2 billion spent, Congress canceled it. Its death rendered stillborn American hegemony in the physics world and drove a host of promising young minds from the field.

We also learn what’s become of the giant tunnels that would have led to one of humanity’s greatest discoveries. (Hint: it involves the mixing of fracking fluids.) Read Brantley’s entire story here.

6 comments on “How North Texas Could Have — But Didn’t — Discover the “God Particle” Before Europe

  1. I’m sure that searching for the “God Particle” is somehow against whatever the Bible is teaching this week.

  2. It was always a hoot to hear our Texas Republicans, who would have popped veins about this had it been anywhere else, expound on what a great thing big gummint was doing. Too bad they never turned it into a world-class underground dog track.

  3. ” But in 1993, after more than a decade of work and $2 billion spent, Congress canceled it.” In 1993, Bill Clinton was President and the US House and Senate were controlled by the Democrats. Why are only conservatives and Republicans mentioned.

  4. I had the great fortune to work on the SCSC project. And, remember with a mix of of fondness and fear being lowered in a basket, by crane, nearly 300 feet beneath the surface of the earth. A whole city worked down there with giant machinery and much enthusiasm. It was so sad when the project was cancelled. What a waste of talent, time and energy.

  5. @ Dubious Brother – Probably because “science = bad” to conservatives and Republicans, so everyone just assumes that if something scientific was killed, that’s who did the deed.

  6. @Edward – That may be the Huffpo “Probably” but I am a conservative and Republican and I don’t know anyone that thinks “science = bad” including myself. It seems to me that the Democrats killed the Super Conducting Super Collider in Texas for political reasons and to h with the science. If only they had been building it in Nevada or Massachusetts. By the way, if or when you are faced with prostate cancer, you may want to consider treatment at a proton therapy center which is the result of research done at Fermilab in Illinois.