Some 20 US states are expected to bid to become the home of the Superconducting Super Collider, the world’s largest atom smasher, which the US government proposes to build – and the bidding will be extremely keen, because the lucky state is likely to garner billions of dollars of federal cash, and thousands of jobs. The US Department of Energy proposed the building the $4,400m device, which last month won President Reagan’s support, but Congress still has to approve funding. The Superconducting Super Collider would be built in a tunnel at least 50 feet underground in a oval racetrack configuration with a circumference of 52 miles. It is estimated that the Super Collider – rather bigger than the one at the Centre for European Research into Nucleonics, Cern, in Switzerland, could be employing as many as people 3,500 by the year 2000, five years after the start of operations. Indirect jobs created by the project, in property, transport, shops and restaurants, and financial services, could number as many as 7,700, while in the peak construction year of 1991 the Super Collider will employ 25,200 people, including 10,700 construction workers, engineers, technicians and administrative staff. Projecting that from 1988 through to 2000, direct and indirect wages and salaries could total as much as $7,900m. The Super Collider will be used for particle physics research, including applications that have a key role in fabrication of sub-micron semiconductors.