News & AnalysisHigh-Energy Physics

The Tevatron's Epitaph: Solid Science, No Surprises

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Science  23 Sep 2011:
Vol. 333, Issue 6050, pp. 1687-1688
DOI: 10.1126/science.333.6050.1687

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Next Friday, physicists will shut down the United States's great atom smasher, the Tevatron collider at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab). For a quarter of a century, the Tevatron reigned as the world's highest-energy collider and scientists' best probe of the structure of matter, until it was eclipsed by Europe's Large Hadron Collider 18 months ago. But even as physicists plan to gather at Fermilab next week to toast the Tevatron, they say its legacy is a mixed bag: The Tevatron produced a lot of excellent science but yielded no surprises to make physicists rethink their standard model of fundamental particles and forces.