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Dr. SCHWITTERS. Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. You plan to go ahead and do that without respect to what happens with the foreign participation?
Dr. SCHWITTERS. I should hand that one to Jim. The DOE has been handling that issue.
Dr. DECKER. That still is a significant decision for us which we have not made with regard to how we are going to handle this phase two RFP, vis-a-vis foreign participation. That is part of the decision which is holding up the RFP.
The CHAIRMAN. All right. That is what I thought.
It seems to me we ought to make the RFP for phase two now. We already have this, and there has already been a year's delay, and it seems to me we ought to go ahead and make that RFP now if in fact we do wish to bring in foreign participation on the magnets, which, unless I hear some other arguments, is going to be hard to persuade me to give away what Dr. Bromley talked about as being such important manufacturing technology.
But, certainly in phase two we ought to proceed and learn those techniques, because if we can bring on an alternate second source that is American, surely we can bring on an alternate second source that is foreign. And indeed, foreigners may be involved in the consortium that bids on-in fact they probably will, will they not?
Dr. SCHWITTERS. I completely agree with you.
The CHAIRMAN. Well, why then do we not do that? Why do not we go ahead with it?
Dr. DECKER. Well, I expect that the RFP in fact will be released in the next couple of weeks.
The CHAIRMAN. The next couple of weeks?
The CHAIRMAN. And then when would you be prepared to make the award? What is the soonest you could make the award?
Dr. DECKER. The award, well, that is, I think Roy may be able to tell you that better than I, but hopefully before the end of the summer.
The CHAIRMAN. Before the end of the summer?
Dr. SCHWITTERS. We can make the selection-I think we can still make it even by July or so. Then one has to get into all the contract negotiations and so forth, leading to what I believe would be the sort of early award time, which would be the late summer, August/September timeframe.
Dr. DECKER. Yes.
The CHAIRMAN. Well, I do not think you ought to rush to judgment on any scientific endeavor. We know what happens when you do, as with the B-1 bomber. You build it too quickly and before you have all the designs settled.
On the other hand, sometimes you are ready and you delay for political reasons, and it seems to me that this is kind of a political delay and that you ought to go ahead with it without any delay, particularly not one for the foreign contractors. We can always bring them in on phase three.
But phase two, if we can—that is one of the things we will learn in phase two, is whether we can do it ourselves. So I would simply urge that we go ahead.
Dr. Schwitters, do you share Dr. Bromley's high confidence that this design is pretty well fixed in terms of its major requirements and dimensions?
Dr. SCHWITTERS. You are talking now the overall accelerator design?
The CHAIRMAN. Of the magnets.
Dr. SCHWITTERS. Yes, sir, I do. Yes. We have, again, a superb group that have come together. I must say, one of the things that happens here is that the very strong support last year by Congress just helps build the whole momentum here. And so does the accelerator team, as headed up by Helen Edwards, who was the builder of the Tevatron and was awarded last year the National Medal of Engineering for her work. And I have the highest regard and confidence in their work.
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Dr. Sidney Drell, Department of Physics, Columbia University; and Dr. Eugen Merzbacher. We should have the North Carolina and New York Senators here to learn more.
Gentlemen, you know our time is running out, and we are being squeezed just a little bit, I do not want to- I would rather get into questions and answers of some of the problems, and remove some of our cobwebs, but Dr. Drell, if you would proceed, why, we will put your statement in the record, if you STATEMENT OF DR. SIDNEY D. DRELL, DEPARTMENT OF
PHYSICS, COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY Dr. DRELL. Well, I will be very brief, Mr. Chairman. Thank you, and Senator Johnston, for this opportunity. I will submit a statement for the record and the report of my committee, upon which it is based.
Senator FORD. It will be included in the record as if given, Doctor.
Dr. DRELL. I just want to say very briefly why there is so much excitement in the scientific community in support of this machine and why we think scientifically it is such an important program. The quest to find out what we and our physical world are made of is a mark of civilization that dates back to its very beginning. But it was not until approximately 500 years ago, which is about the time North America was being discovered, that modern science was born.
And this came through the realization that theories must be tested by experiment. And that certain crucial and precise observations can, in turn, lead to new ideas. The strong interaction between theory and experiment permits us to reduce the great diversity that we see in nature around us to a single set of fundamental physical laws. Those laws are the goals of building the SSC. And any progress that can be made on those fundamental laws and their understanding will have its effect everywhere and in everything.
When we learn from pure research based upon experimental ob servations about the nature of light as an electromagnetic phenomenon, we laid the basis for all modern communications, television, radar, telegraph, generators, et cetera.
When, in this century, we learned about the basic modern quantum theory of the atom and of the relativity theory of Einstein, based again upon experimental observations, we found that pure thought is really useless in the study of nature without the data. It was then that we laid the basis for all the modern scientific developments of this century, lasers, X-ray technology, magnetic resonance imaging that Dr. Bromley mentioned, semiconductors, superconductors, supercomputers, and the like.
Our understanding of nature is all encompassing.
And now, at the end of the 20th century, we are asking what will be the legacy we give to the next generation and the next century? We believe, based upon the progress at Fermi Lab, at SLAC, at CERN, and the theory that goes with that in the last two decades, that there must be an entirely new class of fundamental forces, the ones responsible for symmetry breaking and thereby that give rise to the masses of the observed particles.
And it is of this new force, only whose existence we are aware of and very little else, that we want to use the superconducting supercollidor to study, to permit us to make the next big step. This step will have a profound impact on our understanding of nature. And based upon past experience that were cited very briefly, it is a good bet we can anticipate that it will have a similar long range and vast impact on the technology of the future.
Because the SSC is such a big and expensive program and commands so many dollar resources and human resources of some of the finest brains in this country, it is of course important that we answer questions such as, how important is the SSC in terms of the new knowledge? Are there alternative possibilities, perhaps more modest in size and cost for advancing the frontiers of our knowledge? And how important is it to the United States to invest in science and high energy physics in particular?
Very briefly, as to the importance of the SSC, it has been said many times, and it cannot be repeated too often, the very spirit of physics is to explore the unknown. And while this makes it difficult for us to predict precisely what we will discover in the future, including with the SSC, we are in a position to forecast the minimum payoff I believe.
Based on our present knowledge we are confident that the SSC will explore a specific new energy region in which major new discoveries will be made. This is how the specifications of the SSC were set, and it was holding to this that my subpanel, which has been mentioned here, the DOE panel, was convinced not to shrink the machine.
We are going into an unknown area, but we want to go in there with confidence that we can explore it well enough so that when we come out we can say we have learned the basic idea beyond symmetry breaking. Symmetry is the idea that underlies our understanding of all the forces in nature, of gravity, electromagnetism, weak forces, and the strong nuclear forces.
We have relied on symmetries to unify the weak and the electromagnetic forces, and then we must rely on observations of imperfections in that symmetry to proceed further. And that symmetry breaking, which has been key to the unification leading to the standard model that has been referred to, is what we want to understand. Because therein lies, we believe now, the origins of mass.
Whatever the superconducting supercollidor shows us, if it operates at the energy it has been designed to, we are going to learn fundamental new knowledge. Super symmetry, the Higgs, I do not know what, but there is no way we can end up with the exploration of that energy region and not have added a fundamental new understanding. And that is why we are committed to this machine.
That is why we believe that the CERN collider, which gets us only one-third of the way there, is not a competition. That is like going into a dark wilderness and taking one path through it and coming out the other side. You may have found a gold nugget on the way, you may not have, but you will not have explored the region.
So it is our best scientific judgment, and I must say, when I was asked to chair the panel and went down to Texas to lead that panel, my mind was open on this. I did not go there with a preconditioned idea. I had not been paying close attention to the energy issue. I did my homework. We had this outstanding panel.
And I am now convinced that it is the most sensible way to proceed, to stay with this machine, with this energy, it has no competition in the world for exploring what we think is the crucial area to advance our understanding and to allow us to take another step forward in understanding the evolution of the universe since the Big Bang.
This really is one of the most exciting moments in the history of ideas, at least as seen by a scientist. Because for the first time in this generation we now have an understanding based upon experiment, and not just thought, experiment, of how the universe has evolved since that Big Bang 15 billion years or so ago.
And we think the added understanding of symmetry breaking forces, plus what I hope will come back from that magnificent telescope that I was so excited to see go into orbit this morning before I came over here, that we will add another very important chapter in mankind's understanding of the knowledge of the nature of the world we live in-at least the physical world.
Finally, let me just say how important this is to the United States. When construction of the SSC was recommended by President Reagan in 1988 and reaffirmed last year by President Bush, it was identified as a national goal. And at the same time, a commitment was made to maintain support for a strong and broad-based national program. This is an important commitment, because high quality scientists and engineers are a national resource to the United States.
This technical community is a critical ingredient in our national effort to remain a world leader in technical innovation, to maintain a strong economy and high standard of living, to flourish in competitive high-tech industries, and to meet our goals in national security.
The SSC will be an important component in training students and maintaining a U.S. technological edge for many decades into the next century. It will be a unique tool, ensuring U.S. leadership in helping train outstanding young American scientists at more than 100 American universities in the most sophisticated and demanding new technologies.
It will assure continued U.S. leadership in the field that has been a source of great national pride, as well as a stimulant to important technical innovations. And it will be a boon, and an important challenge to the highest tech leadership of American industries whose experience and expertise will be relied on to build the 54mile long system of superconducting magnets and to construct the sophisticated detectors that must be designed to select those few events of crucial importance out of a background of hundreds of millions of interactions occurring each second.
This machine will indeed be an important legacy for us to give the next generation of scientists in the 21st century.
[The prepared statement of Dr. Drell follows:]