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Congress funds B factory

STANFORD -- President Clinton on Thursday, Oct. 28, signed the Energy and Water Appropriations Bill, which includes $36 million in startup funds for the asymmetric B factory at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center.

The $237 million high-energy physics project will produce elemental particles called B mesons in an attempt to explain why the known universe is made of matter instead of antimatter.

Clinton and Energy Secretary Hazel O'Leary announced Oct. 4 that SLAC would be chosen over Cornell University as the site for the project. Congress approved initial funding for the project after first turning down a bill that included funds to shut down a much larger high-energy physics experiment, the Texas-based superconducting supercollider.

The final Oct. 26 House vote to fund the B factory was 332-31; the Senate concurred by a vote of 89-11 on Oct. 27.

SLAC spokesman Michael Riordan said work will begin in January to upgrade SLAC's positron-electron collider and to build a detector to study the B- mesons and their anti-particles. If the project is funded on schedule, Riordan said the $177 million collider "should be cranking out B particles by the end of 1998."



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