Large Hadron Collider putting family-run particle colliders out of business
MANY small, local particle colliders have been forced to close since the opening of Hadron, it has emerged.
The Tevatron accelerator in Peterborough is the latest in a string of family-owned electromagnetic propulsion facilities to succumb to the so-called ‘Hadron effect’.
Tevatron owner Stephen Malley said: “Forty years ago my father built this particle collider with his bare hands, working evenings and weekends while still holding down a day job as a piano tuner.
“People didn’t know anything about science back then, but with a little elbow grease he ended up with a pretty good synchrotron capable of accelerating particles up to 980 GeV. He called her ‘Maggie May’ after my grandmother.
“I took over about 10 years ago and even though I’ve added some new valves and a stereo, we just can’t generate the ‘collision energy’ that everyone’s been talking about since Hadron came along. One by one our regular customers have all drifted away to Cern.
“We just wanted to give people the sort of friendly, honest particle
collision that you don’t get with a big corporate accelerator.
“So today I fired up Maggie May for the last time, but I felt so sad I couldn’t even get through the preliminary sequence of ionising hydrogen gas without weeping.
He added: “I try not to hate Brian Cox, but it’s hard.”
Other recently-defunct accelerators include Le Petit Choux Accelerateur near Avignon and the Dudley-based Megatron.
Megatron owner Nikki Hollis said: “When funding dipped post-Hadron we tried to boost visitor numbers with a tea room and ‘Happy Atom Play Park’, but there was an incident with a four-year-old getting into the main booster and a subsequent small earthquake that got totally blown out of proportion by the local press.
“I actually wrote to Brian Cox but he wouldn’t even give us a signed picture.
“What a bastard.”