ROME, Dec. 24 (UPI) -- Italy says it plans to build a $525 million particle accelerator using parts from a defunct American atom smasher.
The Italian Ministry for Education, University and Research has approved funding for the machine, to be known as SuperB, to study the properties of subatomic particles in search of new physics knowledge, AAAS ScienceMag.org reported Friday.
SuperB will be constructed utilizing parts from a defunct particle accelerator called PEP-II that ran at the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory in Menlo Park, Calif., from 1999 to 2008.
Roberto Petronzio, president of Italy's National Institute of Nuclear Physics, says he hopes the Italian ministry will agree to a construction schedule early next year and that SuperB will start producing results around 2016.
The construction of SuperB is contingent on the U.S. Department of Energy contributing the machinery of PEP-II, worth more than $131 million.
David MacFarlane, SLAC associate director, says the lab and the agency are onboard with the project.
"Both DOE and the laboratory are fully committed to supplying the equipment requested," he said.
David Hitlin, a particle physicist at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, says SuperB represents a scientific bargain.
"DOE can be a major player in the project for a relatively small amount of money by leveraging the in-kind contribution" of the equipment, he says.