Diminishing returns from particle accelerators

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  • #1
BWV
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Curious about this (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Particle_accelerator)
Particle_Accelerator_Livingston_Chart_2010.png

which indicates diminishing returns on new particle accelerators. However to uncover new physics, presumably you need to keep increasing the Lorentz factor by the roughly 10x trend here:

LorentzFactor-1024x768.png

So is this hopeless?
 
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  • #2
Charles Link
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Feynman writes about this in the Character of Physical Law. He did forecast that it likely will become increasingly difficult to get fundamental scientific discoveries.
 
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  • #3
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I think this doesn't just apply to particle accelerators but to pretty much everything. Like mining ore for example, the easily accessible one gets mined first and fastest, then as you go deeper for more the ore gets less and you get more investment for less return.

Those graphs seem oddly similar to Moore's law for example, and we know now we are at the point where the climb in the graph is going flat.
 
  • #4
Vanadium 50
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Those graphs seem oddly similar to Moore's law

These are both cases of Stein's Law. "Things that can't go on forever won't."
 
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  • #5
robphy
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possibly related...
One interesting comment in the Powers of Ten video...

on the return trip
(?t=5m10s) "Notice the alternation between great activity and relative inactivity, a rhythm that will continue..."

 
  • #6
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Although to note one thing, unlike the feature size on microprocessor architecture where we know there won't be any surprises and a minimum is/will soon be reached in high energy physics we don't know whether or not something interesting might still be hiding at a higher energy that we have not yet accessed.

So in a sense it's not a straight forward comparison
 
  • #7
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Also there is a positive feedback with moores law - smaller microprocessors are more efficient (per transistor) than larger ones - the power usage of processors has remained about flat for the last 20 years - with particle accelerators inefficiencies would increase with size

1619294326782.jpeg
 

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  • #8
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Well, to uncover new physics one may need something else apart from higher energy, for example, detector/technical development in some other part of the experimental setup.
 
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