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rmax
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Joined: December 8th, 2005, 9:31 am

### Higgs boson - Large Hadron Collider (LHC)

After Quantum there is not much fundamental physics has contributed to our every day lives. e.g. QCD, QED, Standard Model etc...However I think we should try and find out how the universe is structured. Unfortunately I think currently there are more pressing issues that are worth spending 10bn USD on than trying to find Higgs. If we don't find it this time, we need to build a larger collider to get higher energies... not a great way of carrying our science...

DominicConnor
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Joined: July 14th, 2002, 3:00 am

### Higgs boson - Large Hadron Collider (LHC)

There is a lag between research and commercial exploitation, so I'm not sure you can say that QCD et al will not contribute.You are of course aware that there was a party when the electron was discovered with those present cheering about the idea that it was of no possible use to anyone.Nuclear energy was an obscure curiosity for years.Faraday was asked by a politician what electricity was, and as I recall he said that he didn't know, but he did know that within a few years the politician would be taxing it.Medical imaging will benefit hugely from this stuff, and all by itself brings the money spent by CERN into net positive benefit. CERN is a global project, and you don't actually have to improve a major global industry by a large % to get 10 gigabucks.If CERN had parented the web technologies it developed, they could have afforded a much bigger collider as well as serious bonuses.RMax, perhaps you know something I don't ?Can you think of any major research effort that has not led within a generation to something we use on a serious scale ?Of course there is the question of optimality. NASA's slavish devotion to trying to get stolen Nazi technology to orbit is clearly a hugely expensive dead end. Sure the 1960s programmes spun off some cool stuff, but it clearly is falling into a financial event horizon.It wants to go back to the Moon, big deal. Since the Nazis are all dead, it can't even build rockets as well as it did when I was a kid.That illustrates a deep and scary truth about science.You can't stay where you are. You can move forward or slide back, but there is no "stop" button.Moving forward is a skill, one that some cultures have, and other do not. The ones that do not move forward are those we see in emotional documentaries about how they are suffering at our hands, or because they can't even get the water supply to work.Maybe we should be nicer to failed cultures than we are now, but I choose to be in the set of people who are complained about, not those who do the complaining.
Last edited by DominicConnor on September 11th, 2008, 10:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Posts: 11048
Joined: February 1st, 2005, 11:21 pm

### Higgs boson - Large Hadron Collider (LHC)

QuoteOriginally posted by: CuchulainnInteresting to see who is sponsoring this project. As a guess, I reckon the medium-term products will be be on the engineering infrastructure??SponsorsUBS, Intel, IBM - they all want to be a part of the future. They're forward-looking companies, not risk-averse naval gazing ninnies. Take a little risk, go along on this adventure into the unknown - like the early (geographical and intellectual) explorers - Magellan, Cook, Darwin, Crick & Watson etc etc. Who knows what might be found? Sea monsters, black holes that devour the known universe, or new worlds and applications that benefit and sustain mankind for the millenia to come. There is NO DOUBT that there WILL BE some unexpected discoveries along the way, that people (no, not even the great Hawking) have managed to think about. Amazing eh?It's a high risk-high reward scenario, where the risk (a few million each for the main sponsors?) could, as DCFC points out, pay off huge dividends in the future in terms of monetary gain as well as reputational enhancement. Who wants to be seen as a ninnie-nay-sayer? You just look foolish if you're wrong and so what if you're right?Here are the reasons, I can think of, not to build and to conduct the LHC experiment.Risk-averseShort-sightednessFear of the unknownLack of understandingLack of imaginationHave a wonderful day.
Last edited by TraderJoe on September 11th, 2008, 10:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

rmax
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### Higgs boson - Large Hadron Collider (LHC)

QuoteRMax, perhaps you know something I don't ?Can you think of any major research effort that has not led within a generation to something we use on a serious scale ?Standard Model? A lot of money was spent on this in the 60's in the hope it would give us ways to make bigger and better ways to blow each other up. QuoteOriginally posted by: TraderJoeUBS, Intel, IBM - they all want to be a part of the future. They're forward-looking companies, not risk-averse naval gazing ninnies. Classic comment on UBS TJ! UBS are indeed not risk adverse when you look at the losses they have made.Cost / benefit is the reason not to do it - although I do concede that there are possible spin-off technologies (similar to F1).

Cuchulainn
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### Higgs boson - Large Hadron Collider (LHC)

Quote There is NO DOUBT that there WILL BE some unexpected discoveries Maybe, maybe not. But most people think it's navel gazing? Curiosity-driven research? The future is DNA, genetics and biology and research to save lives. QuoteWhy are you against basic research?Nothing at all, except who will pay for it?Anyway, improve the maths for this stuff and simulate the Big Bang using software CAD and a 100 IBM Blue Genes! You can do many more what-if sceanrios than with physical experiments.That's the way meteorology does it.
Last edited by Cuchulainn on September 11th, 2008, 10:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

ppauper
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QuoteOriginally posted by: FermionQuoteOriginally posted by: ppauperQuoteOriginally posted by: TraderJoe$10billion over twenty years or so is chicken feedok, then you can pay it instead of usAre you trying to parody Stephen Colbert doing a parody of you again? Or is this just a round-a-bout way of saying you are going to pay for the Iraq war?another bizarre non-sequitur from Fermion.I suggested that TJ pay for it because he feels that the cost is "chicken feed" ppauper Posts: 70239 Joined: November 15th, 2001, 1:29 pm ### Higgs boson - Large Hadron Collider (LHC) QuoteOriginally posted by: CuchulainnQuoteOriginally posted by: ppauperQuoteOriginally posted by: CuchulainnHave physicists run out of ideas? they just keep running the same experiments on bigger and bigger (and more expensive machines)The young CERN professor who was interviewed on Newsnight claimed that the results of the research could be used to cancer research and other areas that concern Humanity. Of course, this is a load of cobblers.This is not a way to justify your spending. indeed, if one wishes to do cancer research, it is far more effective to fund cancer research directly rather than hope there's an accidental discovery at the LHC.The same vague claims are often made about the space program: we're told that we've all benefited because of discoveries like Teflon (and Tang ?), but if the goal was to discover Teflon, there are better ways to do it than running a space program ppauper Posts: 70239 Joined: November 15th, 2001, 1:29 pm ### Higgs boson - Large Hadron Collider (LHC) first few moments of the universe ppauper Posts: 70239 Joined: November 15th, 2001, 1:29 pm ### Higgs boson - Large Hadron Collider (LHC) QuoteOriginally posted by: TraderJoePS - Why are you against basic research?just because someone doesn't think that funding this particular project is the best way to fund basic research doesn't mean that they are against basic research. ppauper Posts: 70239 Joined: November 15th, 2001, 1:29 pm ### Higgs boson - Large Hadron Collider (LHC) name not sexy enough Traden4Alpha Posts: 23951 Joined: September 20th, 2002, 8:30 pm ### Higgs boson - Large Hadron Collider (LHC) QuoteOriginally posted by: CuchulainnInteresting to see who is sponsoring this project. As a guess, I reckon the medium-term products will be be on the engineering infrastructure??SponsorsThis "sponsors" list looks like a list of suppliers who have agreed to cut their fee a bit in return for being "sponsors." (I'd bet UBS is merely the bank that handles CERN's daily accounts) No doubt, some of them will learn something from this (handy for the next time they need to build a particle accelerator ) Whether the money spent is an efficient producer of knowledge is another issue.We've discussed this before (in the biology vs. physics thread), but it seems extremely unlikely that ultra-high energy physics will contribute much to the much lower energy world of medical science and material science. The multi-TeV energies of the LHC are simply too high to produce much information at the nuclear level (being 3.5 million times higher than the nucleon-nucleon binding energy of the nucleus). Thinking that the LHC contributes to medical science is like thinking that we can learn the structure of a grasshopper by firing 105 mm artillery shells at it. Now, building a higher beam intensity accelerator at lower energies (say 1 Mev to 1 GeV) could be extremely useful for medical/material science. I'm sure you could use such a device for interesting isotopic imaging, ion implantation, free-electron lasers, particle beam lithography, etc.Dominic raises an interesting point with the Nazi science/Moon launch knowledge loss issue. Perhaps the real question is to think about maximizing the rate of knowledge production (and minimizing the rate of knowledge loss). What knowledge would have been gained or lost if society waited N decades to build the LHC and had, instead, devoted that$10 billion to lower-energy basic research in particle/material physics? I've no doubt that finding/not finding the Higgs particle is valuable, but is it the most bang for the basic research buck?

Posts: 11048
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### Higgs boson - Large Hadron Collider (LHC)

MY GOD!!!! You're all so narrow-minded!!!!!!!!!!!!! Listen, God wants us to explore His universe. OK???? He gave us curiosity for a reason. For heaven's sake!!!!!! If it was left up to you guys, we'd all be back in the stone age!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Imagine!!!!

Cuchulainn
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### Higgs boson - Large Hadron Collider (LHC)

Posts: 11048
Joined: February 1st, 2005, 11:21 pm

### Higgs boson - Large Hadron Collider (LHC)

QuoteOriginally posted by: Traden4Alpha I've no doubt that finding/not finding the Higgs particle is valuable, but is it the most bang for the basic research buck?This isn't about finding the Higgs particle. This is about increasing our understanding of the physical universe - fundamental particles/geometry and interactions. Say there are 1million different theories and the LHC experiment rules out all but 10. Then that's progress. It will also tighten the range that certain parameters can take - particle masses, coupling constants, string ground state vacua etc. This is exciting stuff - no more or less different than the discovery of atomic structure (splitting the atom), nucleon structure (the discovery of quarks) or any other fundamental breakthrough/paradigm shift in our understanding of the natural world. What applications will come from this, I'll leave to the science fiction writers, but I do know that it certainly has the potential to measure in the trillions of dollars, and save the life of this entire planet and all those on her.TJ.

Alan
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### Higgs boson - Large Hadron Collider (LHC)

QuoteOriginally posted by: CuchulainnHawking sceptical Dubbed the "God particle" because it is so crucial to our understanding of the Universe, it is thought to give everything its mass.This is the most common misperception about the Higgs in the popular press.The mass of the proton (and the neutron) is almost entirely a binding energy effect due to QCD (quantum chromodynamics)and -not- the Higgs. The Higgs gives the quarks mass, but without it, massless quarks could still bind to produce 99% of the proton mass. So, the Higgs particle/mechanism will help us understand the remaining 1% of the mass of the universe (ignoring dark energy)A better explanation -- The origin of mass
Last edited by Alan on September 11th, 2008, 10:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.