News of the WeekNuclear Physics

Experiment Stopped After Safety Concerns

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Science  27 Nov 1998:
Vol. 282, Issue 5394, pp. 1625
DOI: 10.1126/science.282.5394.1625

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In a decision that has stunned members of an international research team, the United States' flagship nuclear science center, the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility in Newport News, Virginia, has pulled the plug on a major experiment to chart the distribution of the charged particles--quarks--that make up the neutron. The cancellation, announced 12 November, came after an accident last month that heightened tensions between visiting researchers and managers of the 2-year-old facility. The decision reflects a growing attention to safety by the Department of Energy, which owns the facility.