Is CERN a waste of money ?

Discussion in 'Physics & Math' started by Lostinspace, Jul 5, 2018.

  1. Lostinspace Registered Member

    What can CERN really achieve?

    What is the point of needless science that costs millions and is plain for all to see that it is a waste of time?

    Who sanctions such rubbish science ?
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  3. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    Trolling in your first post?
    exchemist likes this.
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  5. Lostinspace Registered Member

    Excuse me ? It is a valid question, what does CERN hope to do ? Show ? Prove?

    Explain ,

    Accelerator , particle collision, fragmented particle is not new particle .

    Explain point?

    Explain meaning?

    Slice of apple is not new apple.
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2018
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  7. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    A fragmented particle may be a new particle given the energies involved. In a nutshell, it serves as a laboratory with energies similar to those that created our Universe. We can't be present at the Big Bang so this is the next best thing.

    In the U.S., our military is a good example of wasted money. CERN isn't a good example of wasted money.
    gamelord likes this.
  8. Lostinspace Registered Member

    A maybe ? really ? Also maybe not

    How is this anything like the big bang? nonsense

    The opposite, military technology is needed where CERN serves no meaningful purpose.
  9. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    OK, then you already have your answers in your head, so why ask?
  10. Lostinspace Registered Member

    Discussions involve two or more people, it would be pointless thinking about the subject if not discussed. I was looking for a difference of opinion to discuss.
  11. someguy1 Registered Senior Member

    I'm big on fundamental research. I'd prefer to dial back a few wars. The US runs a lot of wars that nobody talks about. Personally I think it's a problem but both the GOPs and the Dems keep funding the existing wars and starting new ones. The public doesn't care. There's no longer a constituency for peace in the US. I don't mean to get political but you are asking how to pay for science. Why aren't you asking why we are running all these f*cking wars? Yes I feel strongly about this subject.

    ps -- It occurs to me that my remarks could be construed as off target since CERN is a European project. I'm making a larger point. The US doesn't do any big science at all unless it involves spying on people or dropping bombs on people. Why shouldn't the US regain the lead in fundamental science? I want more US spending on fundamental science and a lot less on wars.
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2018
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  12. Lostinspace Registered Member

    Although military technology is needed, fundamental science is also needed, I assume it would be a wise move to balance the budget out more equally? Fundamental science could in affect through discovery, find something , that not only has a science use but also could be used for military purposes. If it were not for the fundamental sciences, there would be no atomic bombs. Atomic bombs showing the need for the fundamental science to begin with.
  13. mathman Valued Senior Member

    Similar question can be asked about any pure science project. Why do we have big telescopes (e.g. Kepler) in orbit? We discovered that there are a lot of planets around other stars, so what? About 20 years ago astrophysics discovered that the universe expansion is accelerating, so what?

    Personally I strongly believe pure science research is necessary, but I would not presume to look for practical values now. I'll leave that for the future.
    exchemist likes this.
  14. sideshowbob Sorry, wrong number. Valued Senior Member

    You just answered the OP.
  15. Michael 345 In Aust : found it :) Valued Senior Member

    And how will you know unless you are looking?

    Please provide a comparison (list or chart) explaining the differences why it is not

    The opposite, military technology is needed

    Explain why

    where CERN serves no meaningful purpose

    Explain why not

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  16. exchemist Valued Senior Member

    It comes down to the value you place on knowledge obtained before you can clearly see its potential uses.

    I would contend that mature civilisations have always valued knowledge. One can always argue that such-and-such a project takes money away from some other project that one personally prefers, but who is to judge? The Apollo programme could be argued to have been a waste of money. But if you look at that 50 years later, the effects of it have been numerous, ranging from beating Russia in the cold war to the space satellites we now all rely on for GPS and communication and our developing perspective on humanity, in which the Earth is seen as a fragile thing that we need to take care of.

    With CERN, who knows what we may gain from deeper knowledge of particle physics? As a society we can evidently afford CERN, given how many countries chip in to fund it. Politically it is something that keeps Europe (not just the EU, as it is not an EU project) in the forefront of science and is a testament to international cooperation - something we could do with more of, at the moment. Bringing the best minds together can yield all sorts of fruit. CERN has given us the worldwide web, for a start. What value do you place on that?
  17. gamelord Registered Senior Member

    Military tech is useless and has no good purpose. Nukes are a tremendous waste of money and accomplish nothing. I also think nuclear reactors are a risky investment and may cost more to fix, than they are profitable, for instance Chernobyl or Fukashima.

    Though I am in favor of legalizing guns, in my ideal world I would time-travel and make sure they never existed in the first place.

    Though cern is expensive, it is a better spending of money than all the useless bs that rich people buy usually. Personally I think cern is more important to humanity than nasa. Still I think what is more important is bio-science, science to improve the human brain, science to cure disease and transform the body, ect. Because once we are immortal we will have all the time in the world to build things like cern and find out the mysteries of the universe.
  18. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    Think about the history of physics for a moment.

    Take yourself back to the early 1900s, when Rutherford and that mob were carrying out the earliest particle accelerator experiments. Those experiments gave us our current knowledge of atomic structure. That knowledge led to countless advances in all the fundamental sciences, which had flow-on effects. If not for those experiments and others that followed, the digital computer that you are using to read this post would not have been constructed.

    CERN is advancing our knowledge of the fundamental particles and forces that make up our universe. Knowledge of those components increases our ability to manipulate matter and energy. The net result is that human quality of life improves over the long term (or, at least, that's the intended outcome).

    It's always hard to predict in advance what the practical applications will be of fundamental research, but fundamental research typically ends up paying for itself many times over, with the insights and benefits it produces.

    Governments must, of course, decide how to allocate their budgets. The amount put into fundamental scientific research is typically small. In fact, a good argument can be made that scientific research is underfunded, given the benefits it tends to produce, even on a dollar-for-dollar basis.
  19. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member


    Where did you get your Ph.D in particle physics, and what committees were you on that decided it is rubbish science?

    One recent, widely publicised result was the discovery of the Higgs Boson, which was important because it provided futher confirmation of the Standard Theory of Particle Physics, and because we can now be confident that we understand the origin of mass, whereas before we did not.

    The data from the Large Hadron Collider is being used in hundreds of separate studies of all kinds of things, by research groups and collaborative projects spread across the planet. There are many potential discoveries and advances that could come from these studies. This is big science. At the edges of knowledge, it is impossible to say which ones of the many hypotheses being tested will turn out to be correct, and which will turn out to be wrong. Moreover, it is impossible to predict in advance what unexpected discoveries we might make. Those are often the most interesting and fruitful ones, because they so often lead to new lines of research and new developments in technology.

    Several new particles have been observed in the Large Hadron Collider already.

    It sounds a lot like you have no idea what you're talking about when it comes to particle physics. Maybe you should reserve you judgment until you understand more about what is being done.
  20. billvon Valued Senior Member

    It does high energy particle physics. Why are accelerators valuable? From such experiments we get:

    Cancer treatments
    Superconducting cable
    Medical scanners
    New kinds of nuclear reactors
    Methods of rendering nuclear waste inert
    X ray sources for drug development ( Kaletra and Tamiflu were developed this way)
    Integrated circuits for your cellphone

    For starters.

    Correct. But if no one had ever been able to cut open an apple before, then no one would have known that the inside of an apple had seeds. And suddenly we'd understand apples better - and we'd then be able to eat them, and grow new apples. And that would be good.
    It recreates energy levels present during the Big Bang.
  21. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    But particle accelerators do not just slice up matter into pieces.

    In the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, the only things that are their before a collision are two protons. That's it. Just two particles. And after a collision: lots and lots of particles. Jets of them. Individual pions decaying into leptons, electrons and positrons spiraling away, neutrinos that pass through the detector like it isn't there, exotic particles that live for tiny fractions of a second before spitting out yet more particles. Even the odd Higgs boson (which itself rapidly decays).

    The LHC creates new matter out of matter and energy. It doesn't just slice and dice.
  22. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    You ask for it!

    The idea of Cern is to find ways to make things smaller and more efficient.

    Check this out to get an idea of the possibilities when making stuff smaller. Nano Technology is the greatest area of research today;
  23. someguy1 Registered Senior Member

    Ah yes. That's a problem. Perhaps the postmodern reaction against science and against the very idea of rational inquiry stems from this. Physicists have known sin, as they say.

    It's a sad fact that a lot of technological and scientific progress has been done for the purpose of finding more efficient means of killing people. Archimedes designed weapons. Maybe rational scientific inquiry should be abolished and we'd all be safer. In the age of nuclear weapons and ubiquitous government spying on all of us, it's an arguable point.

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