The Future is in Our Hands
Information, Awareness, Prevention / United to End Cancer

CERN-LHC leaders and over 10,000 scientists from several countries in the world, including the U.S., now ask taxpayers for $30 billion over the next 10 years, denying TRANSPARENCY in SCIENCE making the same mistake with FPGA.

Money_wasted_black_holeThe Chairmen of the 2014 IEEE-NSS Conference, Ingrid Gregor and Adam Bernstein denied TRANAPRENCY in SCIENCE, rejecting the proposal for a 4-hour public workshop to include a 90-minute presentation with up to 9 senior scientists (including representatives from CMS, Atlas, LHCb, ALICE experiments, Crosetto and other senior scientists who could challenge the cost-effectiveness of the Level-1 Trigger of large experiments) and a 60-minute presentation with up to 12 young scientists and PhD students who might have new ideas. These presentations would then be followed by a 2-hour discussion where scientists could question each other about their claims in cost-effectiveness compared to other Level-1 Trigger projects, and to ensure any claims are supported with scientific evidence.

This open, transparent scientific discussion during the workshop would prevent  a costly ($30 billion) experimental  discovery 10 years from now that the current official [[1]] Level-1 Trigger approach described in CERN-LHC documents is flawed.

Experimental results now prove these past 20 years that $50 billion was wasted because TRANSPARENCY in SCIENCE in PUBLIC WORKSHOPS and submission of articles presenting innovative technologies which are more cost-effective than the one adopted by CERN-LHC leaders, were denied.

The proposed public workshop at the 2014 IEEE-NSS conference would give the opportunity to all scientists to question the current flawed plan for the CERN-LHC upgrade as stated in the CMS Technical Designed Report for the Level-1 Trigger Upgrade published on August 1, 2013, ISBN 978-92-9083-390-1 CERN-LHCC-2013-011 summarized on page 3, Section 1.3 overview of the Level-1 Trigger Upgrade stating: “A key feature of the Level-1 trigger upgrade is that it will offer a large increase in flexibility beyond that provided by the current trigger system. Flexibility has been key to adapting to the rapidly evolving running conditions since LHC start-up, and will continue to be in order to implement further rate reduction and efficiency improvements as algorithms improve. This increased flexibility will be accomplished by using high bandwidth optical links for most of the data communication between trigger cards, and by using modern, large FPGAs and large memory resources for the trigger logic. The use of optical links allows the architecture to be readily changed, while large FPGAs allow for algorithms to evolve as needed.”

The upgrade of the Level-1 Trigger with large FPGA is flawed.  It is less performant and more costly than the 3D-Flow system and will jeopardize the discovery of any new particles because of its limited capability to capture all possible good events and accurately measure all characteristics of new particles; moreover, it has limited capability of executing complex algorithms as desired by experimental physicists.


There is a need for accountability when obtaining results after an additional $30 billion has been requested. It is taxpayer fraud if a solution known to be more cost-effective is rejected for another that will provide little results because leaders have an agenda that benefits the few instead of having the scientific goal of understanding the laws of nature to benefit humanity.

Below are some shocking figures beyond the failure of wasting money in building an inefficient Level-1 Trigger that provided inconclusive results, while the 3D-Flow technology to obtain conclusive results has been available for more than two decades. Should taxpayers and their Government Representatives trust the same scientists who deceived them and who are now asking over $30 billion for the LHC project upgrade for the next 10 years?

Sources are provided to check these figures: Dividing the total cost of CERN personnel for the year 2012 of $594.6 million by 2,512 of staff employees, we arrive at the average cost per CERN employee of $236,703 (which includes Applied Physicists, Craftsmen, Engineers, Technicians and Administrative Personnel etc.). (See figures from the CERN annual report [[2]]. Although each CERN employee receives a smaller monthly amount, this is the cost to taxpayers which also includes employee healthcare benefits and retirement, etc.).

CERN personnel cost in 2012 was 55.1% of the total annual budget of $1.07 Billion. This represents an increase from the 38.6% CERN personnel cost of the total budget in 2003 when the average cost per employee was $178,300 as reported at page 13 of ref [[3]].

Adding the cost for ten years to upgrade the LHC and its related detector instrumentation of

  1. $18 billion – the cost of 12,080 employees working on the LHC projects who are paid by home universities, research institutes, and agencies, etc., of different countries at $150,000 average per year,
  2. $10 billion – CERN’s annual operating cost of approximately $1 billion per year;
  3. $2 billion – the estimated cost to upgrade the detector instrumentations.

This totals $30 billion over the ten years.

Many taxpayers have difficulty paying their bills and are forced to make sacrifices. Although most of them do not have the technical skills to understand how the Level-1 Trigger in a $50 billion project spent over the past 20 years had the task to select one “pearl” out of 10,000 particles from thousands of data arriving in parallel at a billion events per second, they can understand the honesty of a transparent public debate, where leaders invite all experts in the field and do all they can to find a more cost-effective approach to obtain valuable unambiguous results so as not to repeat the same 20-year mistake.

[1] CMS Technical Designed Report for the Level-1 Trigger Upgrade published on August 1, 2013

[2] CERN annual report for the year 2012 with figures on overall costs and personnel cost.

[3] CERN report by the Human Resources Division –HR- on the budget and CERN personnel

This post is also available in: Italian

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