News & CommentBig Physics

U.S. Neutron Scientists Settle for Less

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Science  09 Aug 1996:
Vol. 273, Issue 5276, pp. 728-730
DOI: 10.1126/science.273.5276.728


Internal squabbling, reduced funding, and a lack of political support are forcing U.S. neutron researchers to play catch-up to Europe and Japan in their quest for new, cutting-edge facilities. The problem is compounded, say researchers, by a lack of respect for a field that is making important contributions to basic knowledge about the structure of matter and helping to develop new products with billion-dollar markets. “We're the Rodney Dangerfield of scientific facilities,” sighs Bill Appleton, associate director at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, which operates one of the countryd's three neutron-source reactors.