Last week, physicists at CERN reported that they had measured neutrinos traveling faster than the speed of light. Scientists around the world are now trying to see if they can replicate that result — including a team at Fermilab, right?
Yes. This raised lots of discussion. Most of us were thinking this is too strange to be true. If it is really true it's a violation of the fundamental laws of physics. It's really beyond anything we've seen in the past.
What will happen during the shutdown on Friday?
We'll simply stop doing what we've been doing. People will turn off the accelerator and turn off our detectors. Then we will concentrate on trying to get the final results from the data we've already collected.
How long will that take?
It depends on how interesting the results are. In principle it can go on for several years without a problem, but I anticipate that most of the things will probably come within a couple of years, no more.
Are people at Fermilab emotional this week?
How can't you be emotional when it's been so long and such a successful program? As I said, we have a group of people who are still willing to do more. People never got bored, for all this time.
How many colliders remain in the world?
Well, we have this very big one in Geneva. Apart from that we have smaller machines for doing specialized kinds of physics.
What will become of the Tevatron itself?
It's my understanding that Fermilab will reuse some pieces for the next accelerator and put others on display in a museum.
This interview was edited for space and clarity.