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Concerned Citizen: What is the purpose of CERN in Geneva, Switzerland, now and before the Superconducting Super Collider and Fermilab in the U.S.? What is the benefit for humanity and how much are U.S. taxpayers paying for the European CERN project?
CROSETTO: The typical return benefits from the research at CERN, FERMILAB, or as it might have been from the SUPERCONDUCTING SUPER COLLIDER in Texas, is from 35 to 40 years. This is short compared to projects like the cathedral that I visited in Strasbourg, France, when I went there for the 2016 IEEE-NSS-MIC-RTSD Conference. Construction for that began in 1176 and was completed in 1439, six generations later.
It may be difficult to understand how the great advancement of our understanding of matter and the Standard Model, as the LHC provides, is changing in our everyday life. However, its derivative technology developed to achieve this goal is changing our life toward progress which will greatly benefit us.
Understanding the small parts of matter allows us to build faster computers, cell phones, instrumentation, and to build larger memories of smaller size that consume less. It will allow more powerful processors to be built that will fit into a smart phone, consuming less battery power making it last a week…, and making it possible to place in a watch the power of a computer that two decades ago occupied an entire room. Also, it will allow satellites to be built that improve communication, making it cheaper to connect with friends worldwide in the palm of a hand.
The World Wide Web was invented at CERN from a need to look at pictures of collisions between particles smashed in CERN accelerators and recorded by expensive detectors. There was a need to look at these pictures from universities located in different parts of the world.
The LHC project helps to develop technologies that can be used in different instrumentation in different applications including medical applications to improve our health. For example, electronic boards 14 cm x 34 cm with 2,211 components, having 68 x 3D-Flow processors that I built in 2003, shown in week 2 of this series of articles “Innovation Wednesdays”. Ten years later it could be shrunk to one integrated circuit 35 mm x 35 mm, with 64 x 3D-Flow processors, 13 times faster, consuming less than 10% the power and costing less than 1/200th of the original cost ($1 per processor).
The LHC can provide great advancement of our understanding of matter and the Standard Model (SM), however it cannot confirm every aspect of the SM nor explore other key questions about the Universe. To find out more about dark matter, the matter/antimatter asymmetry, or the origin of neutrino masses, extended energy and mass reach and higher precision are necessary and require to build colliders (particle accelerators) about ten times more powerful.
A Future Circular Collider (FCC), 100 km long (compared to the 27 km LHC) 100 TeV (compared to 13 TeV of the LHC) which is the next project being studied (a report should be available at the end of 2018), could open a window for exploring the unknown 95% of the Universe: What is dark matter which accounts for approximately 25% of the visible universe? What is dark energy? What is the origin of mass? Will we discover evidence of supersymmetry? Why is there far more matter than antimatter in the universe? Are there other fundamental interactions?
CERN is famous because it has more scientists working on the most expensive experiment in the history of the planet. The FCC committee has not yet decided where to build the future 100 km accelerator. The future FCC might be in Europe or in the U.S. Then that research center will become more famous than CERN if it is not built at CERN. What matters in this field is the ethics among professional scientists who should assure transparency in science that let innovations be discussed and implemented, making sure that taxpayer money is not wasted by influential scientists with an agenda of personal interests.
The success is not the discovery of a new particle but being able to build powerful tools that are overcoming limits in technology and allowing the unknown to be understood, not just one particle, but many particles, confirming or ruling out theories, helping to point in the right direction. Success is when the accelerator machine is working as expected and the detectors have been tested in a controlled environment to detect what they are supposed to detect, so when an unpredictable particle or event occurs it is capable of capturing it. By the way, a 2015 publication on CERN website states “Three years after the announcement of the discovery of a new particle, the so-called Higgs boson…” (goo.gl/mfAzdV), claims a more powerful tool is needed to make further measurements. Therefore, success comes by building more powerful tools.
The United States, although is not a CERN member state because is not part of Europe, has a significant representation of over 2,000 physicists from 96 U.S. universities and contributes hundreds of millions of dollars in salaries alone for these physicists for over $300 Million per year, plus hundreds of millions per year in material through grants assigned by the Office of High Energy Physics of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and National Science Foundation.
Not only are there many Americans in the two largest experiments at CERN: 23% of ATLAS collaborators are Americans and 33% of CMS collaborators are Americans, they also hold positions of high responsibility. The spokesperson of the CMS Collaboration representing over 5,000 scientists, engineers, etc., is Joe Butler whose home base Fermilab in Chicago, and the Deputy spokesperson of the ATLAS collaboration is Andrew Lankford whose home base is Irvine University in California. Lankford is also the Chairperson of the HEPAP (High Energy Physics Advisory Panel), who was charged in 2013 by DOE and NSF to develop an updated strategic plan for the U.S. High Energy Physics (HEP) that can be executed over a 10-year timescale, in the context of a 20-year global vision for the field.
Butler and Lankford were also appointed on February 2, 2017, by CERN Director Fabiola Gianotti to organize a discussion/review of my inventions at CERN because they had prior knowledge of my invention, which had been endorsed and recommended for funding back in 1993 and 1995 when we all worked on projects at the Superconducting Super Collider. They still today cannot provide the references to any approach/project more performant and more cost-effective that my new 3D-Flow OPRA invention targeted to the most cost-effective technology that is replacing 4,000 electronic data processing boards of the CMS Level-1 Trigger with nine 3D-Flow OPRA boards, which provide an enormous performance improvement at one thousandth the cost.
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