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Robdemanc
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16 Jan 2013, 3:01 pm

Particle accelerators sound interesting and I love reading about new discovers from smashing particles together. But I often think it such a mammoth construction and bizarre undertaking that governments and scientists have done here. Are we going to benefit from any discoveries? What if we discover the Higgs boson? What then?

Could we do better by spending money on other things?



TallyMan
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16 Jan 2013, 3:11 pm

IMO it is money well spent. Pure scientific research comes before real world practical applications are invented based on the physics discovered. Without scientific research there would be no microprocessor, no computers, no internet and you wouldn't be reading this post.


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Robdemanc
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16 Jan 2013, 3:41 pm

I agree that pure research is a good thing and I am sure developments will be made from the work performed at CERN.

But sometimes I read about it and think how ridiculous it sounds.



ModusPonens
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16 Jan 2013, 3:42 pm

TallyMan wrote:
IMO it is money well spent. Pure scientific research comes before real world practical applications are invented based on the physics discovered. Without scientific research there would be no microprocessor, no computers, no internet and you wouldn't be reading this post.


Totaly agree. It's the same question with mathematics: why give money to guys who brag about how useless (from the pratical POV) their mathematics is? The thing is that research in pure mathematics end up having deep applications in the real world. The same process happens with particle acelerators.

By the way, the world wide web was invented at CERN.



Evinceo
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16 Jan 2013, 5:54 pm

What else would the money be spent on? More Leopard IIs?



ruveyn
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16 Jan 2013, 5:55 pm

CERN indirectly supplied the environment in which Tim Berners-Lee invented the world wide web. So CERN, in a sense is worth it. Just as the Swiss Patent office where Albert Einstein created his four major contributions in 1905 made them possible.

And there may yet be practical applications of the physics done at CERN.

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slave
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16 Jan 2013, 8:47 pm

Of all of the tax dollars that are wasted in our world it is not Scientists that are the problem. Compared to global military expenditures, Science is actually very affordable.


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ruveyn
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18 Jan 2013, 9:15 am

slave wrote:
Of all of the tax dollars that are wasted in our world it is not Scientists that are the problem. Compared to global military expenditures, Science is actually very affordable.


Compared to war (or preparations for war), welfare, interest on loans and just place government waste and stupidity, the amount we spend on good science, both theoretical and applied is chump change.

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VIDEODROME
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18 Jan 2013, 10:54 am

It's almost like reverse engineering matter itself. I would trade being a super military for super scienctific research.



saraip
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18 Jan 2013, 1:17 pm

OK, firstly, we have discovered the Higgs boson (hooray for science!) but we've also discovered a good number of properties of other particles as well, and other new particles too. The thing is, IMHO, that the standard model only answers so many questions - there are many, many more still out there waiting to be answered. The fact that it is a collaboration is what makes it good value for money to me - it allows so many scientists who may otherwise never have met the chance to work together on something and form connections, share ideas and learn to work with each other. If and when they go back to their various home institutions, they have built up new connections and have new intellectual sparring partners whom they may not otherwise have met.
I'm curious about gravity actually but we're probably not going to make any great leaps there until we move away from our planet a little.



NewDawn
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18 Jan 2013, 5:18 pm

As a European actually paying tax for the LHC, I say YES! The percentage I pay is less than I pay for keeping the House of Orange as head of my state. I'd like to pay more to CERN and other scientific research.

I'm curious about the ultimate structure of matter and to have an answer to questions that have not been answered yet. Possibly, solving these questions could result in something practical. But even if it doesn't, I'd be happy to learn more about the fundamental structure of the universe.



naturalplastic
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18 Jan 2013, 5:35 pm

Science aint cheap anymore.

In the 18th centurey a Joseph Priestly, or a Ben Franklin, or whomever, could mess around with thier chemistry set in the basement ( or fly a kite in a thunderstorm) and discover knowledge new to the whole human race. But all of that cheap easy science is done now.

So now we have to hollow out mountains in Switzerland to build accelators, or put big telescopes onto satellites and send them into deep space (to check out even deeper space), or put remote control golf carts on Mars, to learn anything new.



ruveyn
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18 Jan 2013, 5:49 pm

naturalplastic wrote:
Science aint cheap anymore.

In the 18th centurey a Joseph Priestly, or a Ben Franklin, or whomever, could mess around with thier chemistry set in the basement ( or fly a kite in a thunderstorm) and discover knowledge new to the whole human race. But all of that cheap easy science is done now.

So now we have to hollow out mountains in Switzerland to build accelators, or put big telescopes onto satellites and send them into deep space (to check out even deeper space), or put remote control golf carts on Mars, to learn anything new.


All of the low hanging fruit has been picked. Now we have to work harder and spend more money to Get New Stuff.

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18 Jan 2013, 6:36 pm

I personally think that this is one of the most worthwhile investments we could make. The universe has so many secrets... wouldn't you like to discover a few of them? :D

I would personally like to see more put into NASA, or even the creation of an international space organization that's supported by all of the countries. NASA's really been taking a beating lately and been forced to cut back or cancel a lot of interesting projects. There's a lot of stuff out in space to explore, I think it's about time we got started!



ruveyn
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18 Jan 2013, 6:50 pm

Stargazer43 wrote:
I personally think that this is one of the most worthwhile investments we could make. The universe has so many secrets... wouldn't you like to discover a few of them? :D

I would personally like to see more put into NASA, !


NASA is a bloated government bureau and its best days are far behind.

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