This just in. The Tevatron collider, proud and glory of Fermilab, the leading high-energy lab in the US, will stop collider operations for good at the end of FY2011. This means that CDF and DZERO will collect roughly 1800 additional inverse picobarns, reaching a total of about 10 inverse femtobarns of collected data (the delivered and acquired integrated luminosities differ due to downtimes as well as voluntary dead time of the triggering system).

I think 10 inverse femtobarns of data are not different from 16 -the amount that the Tevatron could end up producing if it were run until 2014. Of course, the possibility exists that the additional 60% more data would be just what it takes to find the first evidence of a light Higgs boson; but the recent predictions for data collection and centre-of-mass energy of the LHC in 2011 and beyond make it very unlikely that the Tevatron could steal the first Higgs evidence to the CERN experiments.

I think the best thing to do is to look at the wonderful bounty of scientific advancements that CDF and DZERO have produced with satisfaction rather than regret. These experiments have made history, and they won't be forgotten; but there are two bigger kids in town now, and the advancement of science does not need the Tevatron to run further. Any physics that could be studied with the 60% more data at the Tevatron will be studied in more depth by ATLAS and CMS in the next few years anyway.

This, at least, is my own opinion. Of course there are also my personal feelings involved: I have been part of CDF since 1992, and it will feel strange to not pay a visit to the Chicago suburbs every once in a while any more. I hope I will have other reasons for the occasional trip there, though: Fermilab will not close down! Further, I was indeed starting to feel split between my participation in CMS and the foot left on the other side of the atlantic. Indeed, the recent suggestion that physicists participating in both Tevatron and LHC experiments should choose what experiment's papers to sign was a show that some felt unjust the privileged position some of us had been keeping. This now will be mended by the termination of the Tevatron operations.

... But actually, I believe that CDF and DZERO will continue to publish for at least three or four more years! Analyzing the data takes time, and improving analyses is a worthy occupation. I think I will make a serious attempt at downloading the CDF data in a private disk one day, to grant myself something interesting to do when my retirement days will come...