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Europe is the center of physics now?

  1. Sep 11, 2008 #1
    I ran across this op-ed piece... It's on ZDNET, not the most authoritative of sources, but the argument it makes seems compelling to me:

    And another data point: in recent years much of NASA's astrophysics missions have been slashed or put on hold; the only two that actively continue at this moment-- LISA and what is now the International X-Ray Observatory-- are exactly the two which are now being partially or entirely run by the European Space Agency.

    Is there anything to this? Is America ceding its authority on physics, is Europe becoming the new center of world physics?
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 11, 2008 #2
    They were in the past, they will be in the future. America place at the top of physics research was a fairly brief, though important, period of time.
  4. Sep 11, 2008 #3
    I can tell you some European researchers still cross the ocean. Fundamental physics is not necessarilly reaching ever higher possible energies, which is a dead end anyway in principle. There are still open problems at moderate energies within the standard model, where the US is leading without doubt. Besides, even physics beyond the standard model can be found at those energies in precision experiments.
  5. Sep 11, 2008 #4


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    There is also condensed-matter physics, atomic-molecular-optical physics, and cosmology, just to name a few areas that do not depend solely on particle accelerator experiments.
  6. Sep 11, 2008 #5
    Alright I know nothing about physics, why is the LHC useful and not a waste of money? What TANGIBLE advancements could come from finding the Higgs Boson particle? How do you convince a layman or a skeptic that LHC is worth all the money?
  7. Sep 11, 2008 #6


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    Who cares who leads physics research?
  8. Sep 11, 2008 #7
    I think one can't. This is a moral choice. The reason I say that, is if one is against rational arguments, no discussion can convince them otherwise.
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