It's big news for a high-tech lab in Ithaca. Senator Schumer announced Monday that Cornell's High Energy Synchrotron Source, or CHESS lab, will receive funding from the National Science Foundation, ensuring the lab will stay open for the next five years. Tamara Lindstrom tells us what that could mean for you.
ITHACA, N.Y. -- After its federal funding was nearly cut in 2012, the announcement of five more years of NSF support means Cornell's particle accelerator will remain open for research.
"The people who work here can plan their research, not just for a year but for the next five to ten years without a sudden cut or drop in support," said Senator Charles Schumer, (D) New York, who made the announcement at the university Monday. "It means the federal government believes that Cornell and the CHESS lab in particular are worthy of substantial investment, and it means that the work done here is a national priority."
The National Science Foundation will provide $100 million in funding to the Cornell High Energy Synchrotron Source Lab over the next five years.
"These facilities have grown from very modest roots in particle physics to become what is arguably the most flexible and diverse research tool available to scientists across many, many disciplines," said Cornell President David Skorton.
More than 1,200 scientists come from across the globe each year to use the facilities.
"They're the same kind of x-rays you would use in the dentist's office, but about 10 million times more intense," explained CHESS Director Joel Brock. "What it allows them to see is: where are the atoms?"
The lab is one of only five of its kind in the entire world. Scientists here are working on things like strengthening metals used to build airplanes, to cures for AIDS and even the common cold.
"There's some hope that in a timescale you and I care about, that some day when you get a cold you'll be able to take some medicine and actually a cure the cold rather than waiting ten days to feel better," Brock said.
The lab employs 130 people, in addition to graduate students.