Particle Smashing: Why?

Discussion in 'Science & Society' started by clusteringflux, Sep 10, 2008.

  1. clusteringflux Version 1. OH! Valued Senior Member

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    OK,first,I know I'm an idiot so you can save time and skip that part in your replies.

    I've read several write ups, links and threads about The LHC and though it's always refered to as possibly "Science's Largest Discovery" they never say WHY.
    I mean, huge cost and opposition, alleged global threat, death threats to employees.
    All of this for what? Filling some blanks on a math formula? They mention being able to observe a new particle, but what are they hoping to see it do?

    What's the best case scenario? By what standard can we say "yes, this huge piece of equipment did it's job"?

    What would the technology be likely to accomplish in the future?
     
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  3. clusteringflux Version 1. OH! Valued Senior Member

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    Yes, I see your point.
    You know, I'd like to just once microwave a Hotpocket and have it warm all the way through without that spot that's 5000 Dgrs F. Perhaps there is hope on the horizon.
     
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  5. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    The LHC was built explicitly because theory predicts that the LHC will have enough energy to "find" the Higgs boson, if it exists. This is a very important experimental check on the Standard Model of Particle Physics. The Higgs field is theoretically what gives all "normal" particles their masses.

    Physicists are confident that there is no "global threat" from the LHC. Its dangers have been greatly exaggerated.

    Of course, the importance of the LHC is not so much what we expect it to do. If all it does is confirm what we already think we know, that will be all well and good, but what will be really interesting is if it throws up some surprises we weren't expecting.
     
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  7. kenworth dude...**** it,lets go bowling Registered Senior Member

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  8. StrangerInAStrangeLand SubQuantum Mechanic Valued Senior Member

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  9. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    There's not much anybody can do about distrust of experts, I guess.
     
  10. StrangerInAStrangeLand SubQuantum Mechanic Valued Senior Member

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    There's not much anybody can do about overconfidence in experts.
     
  11. skaught The field its covered in blood Valued Senior Member

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    What are the supposed dangers of it anyway?
     
  12. Read-Only Valued Senior Member

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    True to a degree, I suppose. But at least they ARE experts - especially when compared to the "chicken littles" who do nothing but run around claiming the world will end.

    Who would you most prefer to perform surgery on you? A doctor who's been doing it for well over 20 years - or some obscure botanist from Hawaii?

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  13. StrangerInAStrangeLand SubQuantum Mechanic Valued Senior Member

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    I'm no Chicken Little or superstitious fearful villager near Frankenstein's castle. I simply made the point that they don't know as much as they claim about the possible danger.

    Nobody will ever perform surgery on me. I'd prefer all MDs be 33,333 trillion light years away from me.
     
  14. camilus the villain with x-ray glasses Registered Senior Member

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    YES!, and its very worth it trust me. Knowledge has no price.
     
  15. Read-Only Valued Senior Member

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    I've no problem with that. If you appendix ruptures you'll just die, that's all.

    Except that the world will have become a slightly smarter place with your loss.

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  16. cosmictraveler Be kind to yourself always. Valued Senior Member

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    Fermilab in America has been doing particle research for over 75 years with no problems. So what is all the fuss about over another machine that does exactly the same thing as the Fermilab one does only at a little higher power ranges?:shrug:
     
  17. CIEan Registered Member

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    I saw a video on youtube, which mentioned that the LHC is seven times more powerful than the smaller version at Fermilab. Maybe because it is so powerful, people are afraid. I’m no physicist, so I don’t know how this difference in power could be dangerous.
     
  18. CIEan Registered Member

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  19. Walter L. Wagner Cosmic Truth Seeker Valued Senior Member

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    That would take it back to 1933, long before the Manhattan project.

    In 1942, the first nuclear reactor was built in Chicago, by Fermi, et al., as a precursor to Fermilab. It was dismantled shortly thereafter. Technically, one could claim that that was 'particle research', but not in the traditional meaning of the phrase.

    The Tevatron was not built until many decades later.
     
  20. Nasor Valued Senior Member

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    And what makes you think that you are qualified to determine that the experts "don't know as much as they claim about the possible danger"?
     
  21. cosmictraveler Be kind to yourself always. Valued Senior Member

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    Sorry, I was just trying to alleviate the fears of clusteringflux by showing he/she that experiments like the ones at the new LHC were being carried out for many decades with no harm ever being done. So I was off by 25 years or so, I think my point was what I tried to drive home.
     
  22. Lamont Cranston Registered Senior Member

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    Let's hope they are nice surprises...
     
  23. Walter L. Wagner Cosmic Truth Seeker Valued Senior Member

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    Yeah, but that's rather like saying that we've been lighting firecrackers for decades, and we've yet to blow up a house with a firecracker, so now it's OK to start lighting sticks of dynamite because of all of our experience with explosives.
     

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