Natalie Wolchover, for Quanta Magazine:
The future of RHIC, which employs 850 people and costs the Department of Energy about $160 million annually, is uncertain. In a 2012 white paper making the case for continued operations, scientists argued that “RHIC is in its prime” with new upgrades poised to answer key questions in nuclear physics. Yet a panel of scientists recommended shuttering the collider in the stead of two other nuclear physics facilities vying for the same funding. So far, all three laboratories have made the cut, yet every run of RHIC could be its last.