Cornell's synchrotron to remain open

doctor paradox / via
June 18, 2012

Senator Charles Schumer visited Cornell University Monday to announce that its particle accelerator will remain open. As The Innovation Trail's Matt Richmond reports, keeping the lab funded took some heavy lifting from New York's senior senator.

The particle accelerator is a kind of high-powered x-ray, able to see down to the atomic scale. It's known as the synchrotron.

Built in 1978, it needs $28 million a year in funding. According to Senator Schumer, funding for the lab, which is one of five light source labs in the country, was nearly cut because the National Science Foundation needed to trim its budget.

"They told me that some of the bureaucrats inside the NSF were beginning to think that funding light sources wasn't their job anymore, that only the Department of Energy should continue to serve the scientific community through light sources," said Schumer.

He says that securing the funding required meetings with the White House and the Office of Management and Budget. He says keeping funding with the NSF resolves the problem for a few years at least.

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