The Instigator
brian_eggleston
Pro (for)
Winning
95 Points
The Contender
sadolite
Con (against)
Losing
22 Points

The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is a worthwhile project.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 18 votes the winner is...
brian_eggleston
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/10/2008 Category: Science
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 16,004 times Debate No: 5342
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (71)
Votes (18)

 

brian_eggleston

Pro

Today, the LHC, which is located 100m underground on the French / Swiss border was fired up for the first time.

For those who may be unfamiliar with the project, please be refer to the links (1; 2; 3) which can be found at the foot of this page.

Even though this project represents one of the most important scientific experiments ever undertaken in the history of mankind, unbelievably, there are people that have criticised the programme.

In addition to the usual religious zealots that have been denouncing science since the days of Galileo and beyond (4) we also have a pack of hysterical panic-merchants who are scared stiff that the device will create a mini black hole that will eventually swallow the earth. (5)

However, the majority of the critics suggest that the project is a waste of money.(6) However, given the huge scientific and technological benefits that could potentially accrue from the LHC, I would suggest it's worth every last penny.

(1) http://news.bbc.co.uk...
(2) http://www.lhc.ac.uk...
(3) http://public.web.cern.ch...
(4) http://edition.cnn.com...
(5) http://www.msnbc.msn.com...
(6) http://newsforums.bbc.co.uk...
sadolite

Con

I must show that the (LHC) it is worth while. To who is it worth while?

Remember that movie "Contact" with Jody Foster? Same kind of machine, it will benefit no one but those involved in it's construction and those who get govt grants to maintain it. It will do nothing to improve life for people. An asteroid is going to destroy every living thing on this planet and knowing the origin of the universe will be a mute point. Money should be spent on protecting this planet from asteroids in our own little universe that we can never leave. I am not against knowledge but if the machine had any value it wouldn't need to be funded by the tax payer. And last but not least we have to take the word at face value from a few privileged scientists who report any findings or information about what their "opinion" is about the origin of the universe. Oh ya It's funny how man thinks he is so smart and powerful as to think he can create the energy needed to create a black hole that will consume the earth.

I went to all of your links and as far as I can tell it is only worth while to those involved. One link mentions new inventions but gives no examples. I submit it is only useful to those who slobber all over it in ahhh.
Debate Round No. 1
brian_eggleston

Pro

The odds are that my opponent is right that at some time in the future a massive asteroid with the potential to make the human species extinct will be on a collision course with the earth.

But don't panic just yet!

One of the objectives of the LHC is to discover the nature of mass and gravity. Why do massive objects attract each other? Also, we know that only 4% of the universe is made up of physical matter, so what makes up the rest? What is this "dark matter"? Once we have the answers to these and other questions we may be able to harness this knowledge to develop a method of deflecting or destroying asteroids that threaten our planet.

And who knows at this stage what other benefits the human race will accrue from the discoveries scientists will make using the LHC? When man first made metal from smelting ore he couldn't possibly envisage the myriad of uses the material would have in the future. When electricity was first harnessed, how could the scientists of the day envisage how fundamentally important their discoveries would be to the development of modern humans?

The reason why you are able to jump in your car get the sat-nav to direct you to the nearest drive-thru restaurant when you are hungry rather than having to go out and hunt down a rabbit or gather some fruit is because our forefathers invested in the unknown, in the hope that research and development of new technologies would bring real benefits to society.

For this reason, I think that the taxpayers' money is money well spent. Indeed, the rights to use the technology developed as a result of the discoveries made at the LHC can be sold to private industry, potentially making a profit for the taxpayer.
sadolite

Con

Lets look at this from a taxpayers perspective. You are trying to sell me the LHC
My first question is what does this collider do that other colliders don't
From my research the only thing this collider does different is move particles faster, it really doesn't do anything differently. So there is no enormous leap in collider technology here.

What different kinds of experiments will this new collider be able to perform that previous colliders could not perform? My exhaustive research suggests none. The builders of this collider have only one experiment that they want to perform as a reason to build it. To observe a thing called the Higgs-Bosson particle.An experimental observation of it would help to explain how otherwise mass less elementary particles cause matter to have mass.

After that experiment is completed the machine has no further use other than being a billion dollar toy for college students and scientists to use to perform who knows what kind of experiments at who knows what cost to the taxpayer. I did actually manage to find some so called new invention that was spun off from it's construction. This collider has all of it's sensors connected together so a scientists can see the results from all the sensors from their desk top computer in their prestigious offices. Isn't that essentially a computer network. I could not find a single example of spin offs from it's construction anywhere as is stated in my opponent's links. Almost every link related to the LHC are identical and offer nothing in the way of specific experiments to be conducted with this machine other than the one single experiment described. Many extra extraordinary claims are made by the builders of this machine are made though to justify it's cost. They say that they can use it to find new dimensions in space and time and cut pieces out of space and time and move them around and many other super exciting things beyond belief. I tried to find any data that would try describe in any kind of detail just what and how these experiments might be performed but there is nothing. Not a single outline or anything. Just hyped up unsubstantiated promises of extraordinary discoveries. There are no theories of even how to perform these experiments that will bring us these extraordinary discoveries. Next, how many new practicale applications will come from this new collider that havn't already been achieved using the ones we already have and mind you there are a great many of these things around the world, more than I ever imagined when I found out. I submit there will be very few if any as the need for so much power when it comes to the medical industry is not necessary or any other industry for that matter that I can see through my research.

Here is a list of all the different particle accelerators around the world and their locations. I mean really how many of these things do we need?

http://inventors.about.com...

Here is a link that describes why massive objects attract each other. Sorry I couldn't resist.

http://molaire1.club.fr...

So in closing of this round my opponent has not made a very convincing argument other than to offer wild and lofty promises of great wonders of discovery without even so much as giving a single detail about theories as to how to conduct experiments to achieve these wondrous life changing goals that the builders of this machine promise. It is only useful to those who use it. It is more likely than not to be a waste of taxpayers money. More research needed to be done to come up with more experimental theories to achieve these lofty goals that the builders of this machine promise in order to sell it to me, Joe taxpayer
Debate Round No. 2
brian_eggleston

Pro

Many thanks to my opponent for continuing this debate.

In answer to his suggestion that the LHC is unnecessary as there are already numerous other colliders, I reply that it will help prove or disprove scientific theories that existing colliders are not big or powerful enough to do.

The world-renowned theoretical physicist Professor Steven Hawking told BBC Radio "The LHC will increase the energy at which we can study particle interactions by a factor of four. According to present thinking, this should be enough to discover the Higgs particle, the particle that gives mass to all the other particles,"

That said, Prof. Hawking reckons the scientists at CERN are talking out of their backsides and has bet them $100 that they won't find the Higgs boson! "I think it will be much more exciting if we don't find the Higgs. That will show something is wrong, and we need to think again" the wheelchair-bound boffin told the BBC.

But there are many more theories that the machine can help scientists explore, for example string theory, multiple universes and Hawking Radiation.

My opponent questioned the practical applications of the LHC and claimed that there are no identifiable "spin-offs" from the project.

Modern humans have always investigated the world around him out of pure curiosity, rather than in pursuit of a specific technical advance. In so doing, however, his discoveries and scientific equipment have led to huge technical leaps forward that have subsequently had profound benefits for the whole of mankind.

For example, we would not be taking part in this online debate had not scientists working for NASA and CERN developed the Internet.

In conclusion, although at this stage, it may be difficult to quantify the social and economic benefits the LHC will bring, doesn't mean there won't be any.

Source: http://news.bbc.co.uk...
sadolite

Con

"In answer to his suggestion that the LHC is unnecessary as there are already numerous other colliders, I reply that it will help prove or disprove scientific theories that existing colliders are not big or powerful enough to do"

More absolute evidence that this machine will only be useful to the very few privileged who get to use it for their own personal endeavors.

"Prof. Hawking reckons the scientists at CERN are talking out of their backsides and has bet them $100 that they won't find the Higgs boson! "

I have one of the worlds premiere physicist on my side of the argument by my opponents own admission.

"My opponent questioned the practical applications of the LHC and claimed that there are no identifiable "spin-offs" from the project."

The machine has been built and there have been no spin-offs from it's construction. My opponent has not provided a single example. I provided the only one that could be found and that example is weak at best.

"For example, we would not be taking part in this online debate had not scientists working for NASA and CERN developed the Internet."

The Internet is based on known technology before it was invented. It was called telecomunications, this is very old technology. The idea to connect computers together was easily achieved using old technology. Wait that sounds like the spin off from the LHC. Furthermore the Internet will not benefit from the LHC and it is irrelevant to the topic of this debate. They are completely unrelated in every way. The Internet was funded privately not by the govt

"In conclusion, although at this stage, it may be difficult to quantify the social and economic benefits the LHC will bring, doesn't mean there won't be any."

But you still want Joe tax payer to flip the bill based on little or no quantifiable gain either now or in the future.

My opponent has only empty promises to the tax payer and then has the audacity to say that if nothing is learned, oh well back to the drawing boards and back to the tax payer to build yet another billion dollar boondoggle at the taxpayers expense to serve the the needs of the very few who will only benefit from the next big billion dollar pork barrel project.

The pattern is clear, If something has great promise for the future the private sector will build it and fund it as is the case for almost every major invention to come down the pike that has improved life for humanity. One one must ask the question why does the private sector want nothing to do with funding this project.

I have provided concrete and research able evidence that this project serves only the people involved and that the people involved only offer pie in the sky whimsical and wonderful advances for humanity without even having any experimental outlines to be used on this machine. What I mean by that is this. If I Joe taxpayer were to build this billion dollar machine what kinds of experiments will be performed other than the single experiment sited. Surely the must be a outline of the next experiment to be performed if the first one produces any verifiable results. I submit to you the tax payer there are none. I guess after that we can put frogs in it and shoot them with particles to see what happens.
Debate Round No. 3
71 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by sadolite 4 years ago
sadolite
I will answer that:

"The most famous is the World Wide Web, developed by Sir Tim Berners Lee while he was working at CERN."

Um, can anyone one show me the connection of LHC technology and the internet??

High Density Avalanche Chambers (HIDAC) that are used in scanning and imaging small animals?

Realy? Googled it, says nothing about small animals. "Former cern physisist" ?

Software that allows people to search for on-line pictures, based on recognising the contents of the image. Again the relation to LHC tecnology

GEANT4 is software developed to simulate, and optimise, the performance of particle detectors. It has subsequently found uses in medicine and the space industry.

Monte Carlo methods (or Monte Carlo experiments) are a broad class of computational algorithms that rely on repeated random sampling to obtain numerical results i.e. by running simulations many times over in order to calculate those same probabilities heuristically just like actually playing and recording your results in a real casino situation: Can you say algorytm Ya thats new and exciting could not have been done without building a 7 billion dollar collider.

The medipix chip It is highly sensitive and has found applications in other imaging and detection systems, for example in medical imaging where greater sensitivity means lower doses/reduced exposure times of radiation can be used.

Lets see a high resolution imaging chip. Nope could not have figured that out. It isn't like that technology didn't exsist before and never would have been improved on.

basicly all exsisting tecnology with improvements that did not require the building of the LHC. Nothing new here.

Oh but we can't forget the greatest thing About the LHC. Those never ending and lucrative maitanence contracts. It's good for them. Bad for everyone else who has to pay the bills.
Posted by sadolite 4 years ago
sadolite
And what discoveries would those be? Discoveries worth 7 billion dollars to the tax payer. Nothing has come out of this thing that has in the slightest bit benefited those paying for it. Nothing has been "proved"
Posted by jonwontonb 4 years ago
jonwontonb
The discoveries that they have made in Geneva prove that it is a worthwhile project
Posted by sadolite 6 years ago
sadolite
Still a huge 7 billion dollar refrigerator magnet. How many more billions will be spent on this pile of crap before someone with some fiscal sense of return on investment says enough is enough.
Posted by sadolite 7 years ago
sadolite
AHH yes, the infamous "LHC" still a huge pile of crap!!!!!!!
Posted by sadolite 8 years ago
sadolite
If it cant conduct the "Hoggs butthole" experiment what friken good is it. LOL
Posted by sadolite 8 years ago
sadolite
The latest from the bigest boondogle waste of tax payers money in the world in the world. "It will be years if "not ever" if the LHC is able to conduct the exsperiments it was designed to do. "

http://www.nytimes.com...

Ha Ha I told you so. I win.
Posted by sadolite 8 years ago
sadolite
It is only hard to put a price tag on something when the money isn't coming out of your pocket. Man will never understand the universe. Our febrile little minds are incapable of even fathoming its size let alone how it works. The LHC is a money pit and a drain on the people. The money should be spent on things that help people, not on something that only interests a few privileged people. In the end it will be another example of monumental Govt waste.
Posted by RoyLatham 8 years ago
RoyLatham
Current evidence is that 95% of the universe is in dark matter and dark energy. The gravitational field of the dark stuff is detected, but it is not known for sure what it is. The dark matter is theorized to be in weakly interacting massive particles (WIMPs -- I'm not making this up.) that have never been observed. Theory predicts that there should be one new particle for every known particle. Only the LHC has enough energy to create these particles, which will confirm or deny the theory. This makes the LHC important to understanding the unknown 95% of the universe. So it is very important if one thinks understanding the universe is very important. It's hard to put a price tag on that.
Posted by sadolite 8 years ago
sadolite
The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) won't be restarted until late 2009 because repairs to an electrical glitch that occurred last fall are taking longer than expected.

Would anyone like to make a cyber wager that it will not be ready and that millions of more dollars will be needed to repair it even further. This thing is the world largest money pit in the world and will produce nothing and nothing new will be learned. It is a toy for egg head grown ups. "The only difference between men and boys is the price of their toys"
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