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Rebuilding the Superconducting Super Collider

  1. Very good idea! It needs to be built!!!

  2. I think it should be built, but its not super important

  3. I'm in the middle on this one

    0 vote(s)
  4. I don't think it should be built.

  5. It definently should not be built!!!

  1. Jul 1, 2009 #1
    Hi guys, i'm new to the forums!

    Just recently, I became very interested in the SSC. After looking at some of the plans and details, I couldn't help but wonder why the project has not been reopened...

    I was thinking of possibly either:
    1) Getting a nation wide petition signed to reopen construction of the SSC, or
    2) Work as hard as possible in possibly finding quite a number of investors, so I could privately reopen the construction and then staff the place once it is built.

    I figure that the plans would have to be redrawn, however, because times have changed, and the SSC could use quite a number of improvements... Anyway, i wanted to know what you had to say about the idea. Maybe I overlooked a reason why it wasnt built, other than money. The way I see it, the most valuble thing the US could have is its science. Anyway, I want your feedback, concerns, ideas...

    PS: I'm having trouble finding a amount to shoot for, money wise, as well as how long it would take to finish. There is very little data out there on the SSC's old project specs, so if anyone has any ideas on those as well, I would love to hear them!:smile:

    PPS: I am aware of the CERN LHC, and i am also aware that the SSC was supposed to be nearly 4 times as large and suply 4 times the power.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 1, 2009 #2

    Vanadium 50

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    The SSC didn't supply any power.

    At todays' prices, I would count on $18B or so to build it.
  4. Jul 1, 2009 #3
    By supply power, i meant that the protons had the ability to go 4 times as fast. Sorry about that..
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2009
  5. Jul 1, 2009 #4
    It was indeed a great project, and if you could somehow raise the necessary money (at this point, just a rough order of magnitude matters) I would imagine many physicists would be delighted to help.
  6. Jul 1, 2009 #5
    right on, humanino. It is really a matter of raising the money. Ok, im a high school student, but i have a hell of a thing for seling stuff. I think, within a couple of years of hard work and forming some sort of society, provided i get the right investors, I think i could begin the finsihing construction. I think that once i get the money in order, and say I wanted to check up on the plans for the SSC, I think i could get some willing volunteer physicists to take a look. Thanks for your comment!:smile:
  7. Jul 1, 2009 #6

    Vanadium 50

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    Not that either. Both the LHC and the SSC have protons moving almost at the speed of light.
  8. Jul 1, 2009 #7
    Ya, after i thought about it for a while, I remembered that the LHC has them moving at near the speed of light. Then i though of the reasponse i gave, and i realized that multiplying the already close to the speed of light by 4, it was unreasonable... So yes, a minor mistake on my behalf. Iv'e been awake studieing the SSC for the last 48 hours, im just a little tired...:rolleyes:
  9. Jul 1, 2009 #8
    I have encountered a problom... Getting private investors means either giving them a product, or their money back with intrest.(EDIT: I was just thinking of finding some really rich people, like bill gates and other really famous people, so i could have a couple investors, and be able to provide somethink a little more special for them...) The SSC is a research facility, not a factory. I can only think of a couple things:
    1) name a discovery after our investor
    2) Allow our investor full use of our facilitys for whatever reason
    3) provide "Face Time" for our investors to the media

    Please, if you have any other ideas, please share them...
  10. Jul 1, 2009 #9
    You are not looking for investors - you are looking for philanthropists.
  11. Jul 1, 2009 #10
    Maybe, but exactly how many of them do you think it would take to round up about 18-19 billion dollars?

    EDIT: Hot dang, on second thought, it may not take too many if i look in the right places:

    During the past few years, some high profile examples of philanthropy include Irish rock singer Bono's campaign to cancel Third World debt to developed nations; the Gates Foundation's massive resources and ambitions, such as its campaigns to eradicate malaria and river blindness; and billionaire investor and Berkshire Hathaway Chairman Warren Buffett's donation in 2006 of $31 billion to the Gates Foundation.
  12. Jul 1, 2009 #11
    In fact, if I look into the more rich companies, I may be able to get 2-3 of them to donate enough to get it going, and in return i can give them special things like special thanks to so and so for donating to the whatever. whitout them, this wouldnt have been posible...
  13. Jul 1, 2009 #12
    I even just developed a name for the organization:

    The North American Organization for Nuclear Research - NAONR

    What do you think?
  14. Jul 1, 2009 #13


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    Stephen Weinberg wrote a whole book pleading the case for the SSC. (and it failed)
    He's a Nobel-laureate physicist. What makes you think people would listen to you, and do so now that the project's been canceled for years, and the economy is in the tank?

    It's a pretty lousy point in time to try to get money for that particular project. Especially now that the LHC is nearly up-and-running. Breaking oil dependence/alternative energy is the #1 stated concern of the DoE right now, and I'd expect high-energy physics to be taking a back-seat to that for a while.
  15. Jul 1, 2009 #14
    It was a good idea at the time. Today I'm inclined to say that it does not make sense. SSC would partially duplicate LHC efforts, duplicating efforts is not a very good idea, especially with limited amount of money to go around.

    We need to wait for some results from LHC, they would give some indication where to go next. Perhaps, instead of building a yet another hadron collider, we should direct future funds into ILC.
  16. Jul 7, 2009 #15


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    quite so. with the LHC coming online now, the SSC is redundant. Historically it was actually a competition between Europe and the US - LHC vs SSC. As it happened, LHC won. So SSC is done.

    The next step is to consider the ILC which will be able to make high-precision measurements (due to it's very high luminosity and low background) of whatever we happen to see at the LHC. The technology needed to build such a machine can open plenty of new, innovative techniques for power transfer and energy management, so it's good on that front as well.

    But before we start going crazy with plans for the glorious next big machine, let's remember that the LHC still hasn't turned on yet!! One thing at a time, I say. If after 10 years of LHC running, for example, we see a single Higgs boson at 114 GeV and nothing else, I think I would be ready to declare particle physics dead!

    Fermilab has already begun thinking much smaller with Project-X and precision, low energy (and most importantly, low cost!) experiments for the next 10-15 years, with the ILC on the back burner, at least until the LHC comes up with something.
  17. Jul 7, 2009 #16
    So there is nothing that you don't understand in QCD itself ? Did you read the post about NuTeV "anomaly" ?
  18. Jul 7, 2009 #17


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    HAHAHAH!!!!! I'm surprised it took so long (11 whole minutes) for someone to jump on me for that line!!

    Sure, there are plenty of precision signals of new physics, and let us not forget neutrino masses, already evidence of new physics (the SM neutrino is EXACTLY massless, after all). But do you think that a $[itex]10^{10}[/itex] SSC or ILC will tell us something about this if the LHC does not?!
  19. Jul 7, 2009 #18
    I think you definitely need to read this post about NuTeV, which is just another example of physics which does not need to go to ever higher energies and may very well teach us quite a bit about nature at a fundamental level : QCD.
    No I do not.

    BTW, I would not call neutrino mass "new physics" yet. Of course there are plenty of exotic examples where neutrino mass hierarchy fits "naturally". But I do not believed it has been ruled out that a more conventional explanation can be found, even seesaw-like.
  20. Jul 7, 2009 #19

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    Yes, but an SSC wouldn't address that.

    My opinion is that NuTeV would do the community a service by showing the effects of different parton densities on their results. Theorists have tried to do this after-the-fact, but it's not the same. But in any event, an SSC wouldn't help.
  21. Jul 7, 2009 #20


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    I call ANY neutrino mass "physics beyond the Standard Model" regardless of mechanism. The SM *predicts* neutrino mass VANISHING! That it does not means that there is a new particle (right-handed neutrino), or there is a Majorana mass from a dimension-5 operator (implying new physics), or both.

    This is semantics and so let's not hijack the thread. But I have always taken this point of view when it comes to neutrino masses.

    As for your NuTeV excitement: I am pretty skeptical about looking for subtle, precision physics inside a QCD bath. Sorry, that's just how I feel. NuTeV is important, by all means, but if we really want to understand what's going on with Electroweak symmetry breaking (the penultimate goal of particle physics), we need a large accelerator. We tried doing it through the back door with BaBar and Belle. All worthwhile experiments, don't misunderstand, but they didn't teach us much about new physics, sadly.
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