Fermilab director Pierre Oddone confessed that he had a bit of a bad dream the night before today's final shutdown of the laboratory's flagship accelerator, the Tevatron.
There has always been "a certain spirit of rebellion and independence" among the physicists who work on the two main detector experiments, CDF and D-Zero. It wasn't enough to give an order; the scientists usually wanted to know why they should follow it, an attitude that Oddone deems "healthy in many ways," even if it sometimes caused delays.
Knowing that culture, Oddone dreamt that when he gave the order to shut down each of the detectors in turn, instead of responding promptly, the teams of scientists rebelled and barricaded themselves behind the doors to their respective control rooms instead, responding, in essence, "Make me!"
Fortunately, that didn't happen today during the live Webstreaming of this historic moment in particle physics. It might have been a sad, reflective moment, but everyone played their respective roles to perfection as first CDF, then D-Zero, dutifully powered down their detectors.