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Phil Fargaze

Higgs Boson Particle discovered, what happens now?

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Ok, well her goes, a voice of controversy in the midst of all the excitement... Brian Cox is wrong. First of all, the LHC has cost £2.6bn. That's a lot more than his comparison with the funding of a small university and a significant percentage of what the government has spent to prop up the banks,

Well actually Prof Cox is correct, the UK has paid about the equivalent of funding a small uni in to CERN (£70mpy) as has most of the other partner countries, private companies have put in a great big chunk too.

Britain pay's £10billion per year (0.7% of GDP) in foreign aid, £280mpy to India in aid funds to help the poverty stricken, but India has 2 aircraft carriers in service, one under construction and another planned after it, and they have a space program, and to cap it all India has the 3rd largest GDP, we are 8th. :confused:

The Home Office budget meanwhile, which pays for policing and counter-terrorism, has been cut by 25 per cent, and is set to fall from £10.1bn in the current financial year to £8.3bn in 2014/15.

The level of financial support given by the government to the Banks since 2009 was a mighty £1.162 trillion. They still owe £456.33bn, down from £612.58bn in March 2010. The total outstanding support is 31% of March's GDP.

I think in the over all scheme of things £70million is peanuts, and I am so sick and tired of getting 2 to 3 charity bags through my letterbox every week :angry4: asking for old clothes to help fund clean water etc.

If I only had dirty water I would do something about it, an old 50gal drum with its bottom chopped off put upside down and filled with rocks and sand, makes a great water filter, no drum? make a wooden box! :evil:

Edited by Auntystatic
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but instead of spending billions to get your answer, which will create even more questions, I would rather spend that kind of money on more useful things. Medical research would have benefited greatly from such funding.

I wonder how much money the world wastes on cigarettes and alcohol

.....and how much impact a few billion would have on treating the effects of smoking and alcohol

I think society can afford to spend a bit more on science

Edited by SamAndrew

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Well, thanks for the admonishments and my lack of understanding of basic science comments. I didn't ask for that. It is quite insulting guys and uncalled for. I know full well how much we spend on foreign aid and how much other countries waste. The money lent to banks is more than half paid back. Not bad, given the hell they've been through especially with certain former knights of the realm and others at the helm. For me, £70m is not peanuts.

The defensiveness on this forum is occasionally too much, As soon as any kind of voice of criticism or challenge is levelled, out come the "you don't understand it" crew. I would argue that as a Physics graduate, I actually do have an understanding of basic science. However, on Higgs you are of course quite right. I don't understand some of it but what I do understand is this: It is no good defending a position on funding such a white elephant as the LHC with a figure on the UK contribution. The total cost is what I was referring to. I see no borders in funding more worthwhile projects closer to home than "out there". You may have the answer to "the question" guys and I am delighted at the discovery but the cost is so astronomically high. Consider a figure of one billion. If you started counting £1 coins every second and you had a billion of them, it would take almost 32 years to count them all. A billion is a huge figure, especially when (for me and only in my opinion) you consider that the vast majority of people out there would prefer some of the funding be diverted to people who need it. I am playing devil's advocate a bit here I suppose.

I am no namby pamby tree hugger. I also object to the charity bags but I also reserve the right to challenge the funding of some scientific projects which have astronomical costs (pardon the pun). I also have as much right as anyone to challenge trends in thinking and take a step back and smell the coffee.

I appear to have ruffled a couple of feathers and said in my previous comments that I would not respond to challenges to my statements, but here I am, responding. The reason I am doing that is that I object to people who think they can quote some figures in a rather defensive way and think they can solve a huge fresh water crisis in some areas of the world with a few rocks and a barrell. There has to be water in the first place - it has to rain and there aren't many 50gn drums knocking about in the areas concerned.

On the science front, for me, it remains a bridge too far at the moment in terms of the level of expenditure. £70m would buy and equip a hospital.

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With the ill-informed comments you made you should expect backlash.

You have a right to an opinion, and we have the right to contradict you, as we are more informed than you are it may seem like we are attacking you but it's your viewpoint we are attacking.

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On the science front, for me, it remains a bridge too far at the moment in terms of the level of expenditure. £70m would buy and equip a hospital.

In many cases the pure research done in building the detectors, the imaging technology for the LHC has provided huge improvements in medical technology (from xrays, radio-therapy techniques, NMR scanners and the imaging technology that comes from them, not to mention the other areas that Partcile Physics have provided their skills).

Also the PhD training (a small fraction of the £70 million) produces some highly skilled individuals, not all of which will stay in academia (only around 30% of Particle Physics Phd's stay in academia), many of these become very high earners (>£100k) more than paying the £70million back over the lifetime of the LHC.

Science spending is in part an investiment (potentially risky) under taken by governments, where the potential profits from technology development, investment in people skills (both developing the skills of a country and attracting skillful people) can produce more tangible benefits than pure knowledge.

Is that £70million better spent on an investment in science or on bureaucracy, if you had to make cuts in government which would have the largest impact in the long run?

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Not only that, but there's probably nothing we rely on in modern society that hasn't come about, at least in part, because one or more people, somewhere, were spending time and money researching things with no definite goal in mind other than curiosity and advancing human understanding. Money spent on science is an investment in the future of the human race. I can think of plenty of examples where large amounts of money have been spent where it genuinely is being widdled up the wall for no actual benefit to anyone.

I'd certainly agree that there are areas in which we, as a country, and as human society, should be spending more money. But scientific research is not a place we should be taking it from.

James.

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ITER is expected to cost double the LHC, is that just another scientific folly as well?

It's a fair question seeing as if ITER is successful then the outcome for us will be a game changer.

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Well actually Prof Cox is correct, the UK has paid about the equivalent of funding a small uni in to CERN (£70mpy) as has most of the other partner countries, private companies have put in a great big chunk too.

Britain pay's £10billion per year (0.7% of GDP) in foreign aid, £280mpy to India in aid funds to help the poverty stricken, but India has 2 aircraft carriers in service, one under construction and another planned after it, and they have a space program, and to cap it all India has the 3rd largest GDP, we are 8th. :confused:

The Home Office budget meanwhile, which pays for policing and counter-terrorism, has been cut by 25 per cent, and is set to fall from £10.1bn in the current financial year to £8.3bn in 2014/15.

The level of financial support given by the government to the Banks since 2009 was a mighty £1.162 trillion. They still owe £456.33bn, down from £612.58bn in March 2010. The total outstanding support is 31% of March's GDP.

I think in the over all scheme of things £70million is peanuts, and I am so sick and tired of getting 2 to 3 charity bags through my letterbox every week :angry4: asking for old clothes to help fund clean water etc.

If I only had dirty water I would do something about it, an old 50gal drum with its bottom chopped off put upside down and filled with rocks and sand, makes a great water filter, no drum? make a wooden box! :evil:

Well said Danielle.

How do people think that the poor in this world will ever be helped if not through the ingenuity of people in the developed countries. OK the benefits of the LHC are not obvious now, but who knows what will come out of it in the future.

I really dislike it when people have just one thought in their head and can see no other. Take the point above about ciagrettes: not so many smoke them here any more, but watch any film from third world countries and nearly every single man has a fag in his mouth - oh I know, that is capitalist exploytation isn't it? No it isn't. Everyone has a choice and in many third world countries their choices are for war and destruction and that is what is holding back the common, downtrodden, ordinary citizen, - well that and Government exploitation and corruption, it has nothing to do with us helping to build the LHC and shame on people who suggest that it has.

Edited by sologuitarist61

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the vast majority of people out there would prefer some of the funding be diverted to people who need it.

I don't think this is true; Are there any surveys that show the "vast majority" of people want science spending to be cut ?

If you compare a few billion against the GDP of Europe (about $17 trillion ?) you realise that a few billion really doesn't go very far

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tell that to the kids who haven't had a drink of water today. Look, I am an astronomer, pure and simple. I love the scope and all the other kit, but as I said earlier, I am getting more and more uncomfortable with spiraling costs of extremely large research. I agree science has led to key developments ot benefit the planet and the human race, but I remain uncomfortable with the cost of new experimental and research stuff. It it getting to the point where if I have the audacity to suggest diverting funds to more local and perhaps needy projects, I am vilified, despite dressing this up as a "you don;t have a fiull understanding" comment or two. I'll end my participation in this thread now. It's getting difficult to at least even attempt a different perspective. Respect my opinions please. I certainly respect yours.

Edited by Skybrowser

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Perhaps before throwing the baby out with the bathwater it would be more appropriate to consider where else the money might come from? Like, oh, all the money spent on the jubilee, or the olympics, or any number of other things that we really just don't actually need at all.

James

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Frankie Boyle once said about the Olympics, "for £9.8bn you could write "eff" off Germany" on the moon. Agreed. Wasted money on so ,much stuff, except cigarettes and alcohol of course, but I stand by my previous statement of being uncomfortable with the current spend levels on things which, to most people, have no end result. Nah night all....

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I think you also have to consider things that have cropped up from CERN as well. Without CERN there would be no internet. Here is a list of things that have come about because of particle accelerators.

Accelerators [*]

  • semiconductor industry
  • sterilisation - food, medical, sewage
  • radiation processing
  • non-destructive testing
  • cancer therapy
  • incineration of nuclear waste
  • power generation (energy amplifier)?
  • source of synchrotron radiation (biology, condensed matter physics...)
  • source of neutrons (biology, condensed matter physics...)

Particle detectors

  • Crystal Detectors

    • medical imaging
    • security
    • non-destructive testing
    • research

    [*]Multiwire Proportional Chambers

    • container inspection
    • research

    [*]Semi-conductor Detectors

    • many applications at the development stage

As you can see there have been quite a few benefits from funding programs like this.

Sion

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Without CERN there would be no internet.

Not quite, but I get your point :)

James

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The money spent on cigs and alcohol doesn't stop at the consumer. You then have to add in all the money spend on treatment from cancer and disease directly connected to the use of those products. Then you add all the cost of research into trying to come up with cures for these disease that most of which could be completely avoidable in the first place. Also saying that spending money on medical research is more productive than science research isn't quite right because both are a complete gamble! How many hundreds of billions of dollars (probably more like trillions) have been spent over the last what....30-40 years in research to cure cancer and we have found no solid cure for it. We keep spending hundreds on millions of dollars every year in research because we are hoping to find a cure someday and that cure would not be possible if we had not spent all this time and money. Look at all the different medical advances and cure that have come from cancer research alone. And who know what we will branch out of the research in the next 10 years. Same goes with the LHC. Yes its a lot of money and thats why lots of countries are coming together to support this because no one country could support it. It hasn't been around for that long and look at the knowledge we've gained already! (See above post) Yes its a gamble but no more a gamble than researching anything else. We don't know what will come from discovering Higgs. It could be nothing or it could be everything. We don't know and we will never know if we don't try.

Edited by nmoushon

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Not quite, but I get your point :)

James

Might have been a bit over the top :).

Sion

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Here is the link for things created from particle accelerators. http://public.web.ce...cience3-en.html

Scroll to about half way to the sub heading 'Spin offs and stimulation of industry'.

Sion

That that was in 2008. Wonder what else has been achieved since then. Also makes me wonder how many top-secret-projects they have going on....

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I'm still curious about the ITER question, I wasn't having a go or anything I just think it's a reasonable question considering the end outcome of that project is far more tangible and possibly important than the LHC project.

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I'm still curious about the ITER question, I wasn't having a go or anything I just think it's a reasonable question considering the end outcome of that project is far more tangible and possibly important than the LHC project.

Projects like ITER could have a huge impact on everyday life, yet are tiny compared to landing on the moon or the ISS. We need to be spending more on these things ! :)

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Yes this was my point kind of, I mean I can totally see where Steve is coming from when it comes to something like the LHC. I may not share the same outlook but that doesn't really matter.

I was just curious as to whether the following statement would extend to other extremely large research facilities like ITER.

I am getting more and more uncomfortable with spiraling costs of extremely large research.

Simply because I feel that a line can be drawn in the sand in what the benefits to humanity would be, at least in giving the public something tangible back somewhat immediately if successful.

For the record I'm all for more science funding.

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Yes this was my point kind of, I mean I can totally see where Steve is coming from when it comes to something like the LHC. I may not share the same outlook but that doesn't really matter.

I was just curious as to whether the following statement would extend to other extremely large research facilities like ITER.

Simply because I feel that a line can be drawn in the sand in what the benefits to humanity would be, at least in giving the public something tangible back somewhat immediately if successful.

For the record I'm all for more science funding.

The trouble is that all the easy questions have been answered and that is why 'cheap' is no longer a term used in scientific discoveries. The questions that are left required ridiculous amounts of money to be poured into them just to pay for the machinery required, let alone the wages of the scientists involved and the infrastructure that will surround them. I'm afraid that, in the main, the days of a man sitting down with a pencil and thinking through scientific problems to come up with an answer have long gone.

It has always been mankinds way to go forward and discover whatever there is to be discovered, and i for one think it will be a sad day when that is brought to a halt.

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Research for research sake it one of the things that sets us above the rest of the animals on this world. My dog never asked itself "What If".

While it is deplorable that there are children in this world without clean drinking water, that is something that has always been the case and always will be the case, just because we live in a flooded country doesn't mean it is our responsibility to see that everyone has plenty of clean drinking water.

Alcohol and tobacco, I hardly drink myself, the occasional can of larger (so far 8 cans since New Years) and even though I do smoke (I will quit when I have my weight and diabetes under control) the money spent on these isn't wasted as the tax and duty collected is supposed to go straight in to the NHS. If everybody in this country gave up smoking and drinking alcohol for 1 month the NHS would be even more bankrupt than it is now! I rarely smoke in public, never in front of children. The same with alcohol.

If I have any problem with alcohol it is the binge drinkers and lager louts who throw their cans and bottles in to my garden as the walk home from the pub as well as those who get drunk, get in to a fight in the street, give police agro for trying to maintain order then get abusive with the doctors and nurses in casualty who doing their best to stop these idiots bleeding to death.

As for the adverts on tv about the starving and those dying of thirst, is it really necessary to put those on at a time when most people are sitting down to their diner? Talk about a guilt trip! I have enough worries of my own without taking on other peoples problems. The main problems these countries have is the land cannot support the population. Answer reduce the birth rate. Who the hell has children knowing they won't be able to feed them properly? The number of times they show a starving baby in the arms of a reasonably fed mother is disgusting!

I don't have children, never wanted any and I never made enough money to support a family anyway, so I am not part of the problem, so why should I be made to feel guilty because I am not part of the solution? Sure I could have married (nearly did once but that's another story) and had children then expected the welfare system to feed and clothe my family, but I think then welfare system to do what it is meant to do, offer a safety net in times of hardship, illness and retirement. It is not meant to be an alternative to getting off your Bottom and working!

Bet this gets me banned!

Edited by keithmrris
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I have closed this thread, as it has wandered so far off topic that the original post is beyond the cosmic horizon.

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