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 Run 1 of the Fermilab Tevatron Collider detected the Truth Quark.

Should Fermilab, CDF, and D0 get a Nobel Prize?

Here is a copy an e-mail message that I sent to Fermilab in August 1999:


Mime-Version: 1.0
Date: Sat, 7 Aug 1999 15:51:57 -0400
From: Tony Smith <>
Subject: T-quark Nobel medals

Some year the Nobel prize in physics should be given
for the discovery of the T-quark, and, since it was
discovered at Fermilab, I think that Fermilab,
and the detectors CDF and D0,
should get it.
Since machines don't qualify, I think
that the directors of Fermilab, and of CDF, and of D0,
as of the year 1994, should share the Nobel prize 3 ways.

I think that they should accept the award, not only for themselves,
but also

as representatives of everybody who worked
at Fermilab, CDF, D0 during the runs leading up to
the 1994 announcement FERMILAB-PUB-94/097-E


as representatives of all the USA taxpayers
who paid the bills to get the work done.

If and when (soon I hope) such an award is made by
the Nobel committee, maybe

the Fermilab Public Affairs office could make replicas
of the Nobel medallions,

not only for workers at Fermilab, CDF, D0,


for each USA taxpayer who wants to buy one.

(Maybe the Nobel medallion could be in a plaque
that says something like "to _____, a taxpayer who
paid the bills and made the T-quark discovery possible",
with the taxpayer's name engraved on the plaque.)

If the price (for taxpayers like me, not for actual
workers, who should get a Nobel medallion for free)
were to be about $20 over cost,
if a million taxpayers bought their own Nobel prize
(I would happily buy one),
then Fermilab could raise $20 million.

(I know that's not so much money nowadays,
but, to paraphrase Sen. Dirksen,
who got Fermilab located in Illinois in the first place,
"$20 million here, $20 million there, sooner or later
it adds up to real money").

Maybe more importantly,
taxpayers might feel a supportive sense of participation
if they could have their own T-quark Nobel prize plaques.

Since I really don't know to whom I should submit this idea,
I am sending it to the Fermilab webmaster
and the people listed on the web as public affairs staff.
My apologies if it is going to anyone who should not get it.

Just for the record,
I am not now and never have been affiliated with Fermilab.
Even though I disagree with Fermilab on some things,
such as which events were T-quark events and which were background
- see my URL
I do very much admire the experimental work that
culminated in the 1994 announcement, at which time
I think that it is fair to say that everybody on earth
agrees that the T-quark was seen.

Tony Smith       7 Aug 99

PS - As to the Nobel prize money, I think it should
be split 3 ways among the 3 individuals who were 1994
directors of Fermilab, CDF, and D0 - after all,
rank should have some privileges.

PPS - One thing I really wish is that the T-quark
were called the Truth Quark, rather than the Top Quark.
I always liked the sequence of words
strange - charm - beauty - truth
for the higher generation quarks.
Oh well, one's wishes don't always come true.


According to an article in The New York Times, 28 December 1999, by Malcolm W. Browne: "... When Dr. Robert R. Wilson became Fermilab's founding director in 1967, one of his objectives was to create the most beautiful laboratory he could, and his artistic touches still impress visitors. The High Rise itself was modeled after the Beauvais Cathedral in France, and like the cathedral, its double towers dominated the surrounding countryside.

Dr. Wilson insisted that even the most mundane laboratory accessories -- large capacitor banks, transformers and power lines -- should be shaped as abstract sculptures and placed to best artistic effect. ... The scientific reservation, where Fermilab's naturalists recreated a pre-Columbian habitat for wild prairie plants and established a sanctuary for prairie bison and other animals, is now hedged in by the sprawling suburbs of Chicago. Industrial buildings and housing developments have sprung up all around the laboratory site, and Fermilab's new director, Dr. Michael Witherell, had to act fast to block a major highway that would have run right through the site. ... Fermilab still houses the most powerful particle accelerator in the world, four miles around and capable of accelerating protons and antiprotons to energies of a trillion volts and then smashing them together, but the laboratory is showing signs of age. ... Chunks of concrete have fallen from the walls of Fermilab's 15-story administration building into the atrium it encloses, and pipes have burst, treating workers to unwelcome showers. The High Rise, as the building is known, was designed for a 20-year lifetime but it is now more than 30 years old, and fixing the structure and its plumbing will take two years and cost $20 million. ...".

At the same time the High Rise was crumbling, Dr. Wilson himself "... died Sunday [16 January 2000] of complications of a stroke he suffered [during 1999] ... . He was 85. ...", according to an AP story from Ithaca, N.Y., dated 17 January 2000.





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