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Superconducting Super Collider still worth building after LHC?

  1. Aug 17, 2010 #1
    The cancelled Superconducting Super Collider had 3x beam energy of 40TEV vs LHC 14TEV.
    While it has been cancelled, could it be re-started 20-30 years after LHC hits diminishing returns in the future?

    Is there any new expected physics in SSC range over and above LHC that would make it worth re-building in the 2030-2040 time frame?

    Are there any circular colliders proposed after LHC and if so, what are its energies and what new physics are intended to explore?
    Are there any new HEP physics in the 40 TEV range, i.e SUSY, technicolor, black holes, etc., that would be worthwhile over 14TEV, OR
    do new HEP physics require an order of magnitude more energy (i.e 400TEV) to build and explore?

    Hopefully 40 years into the future, the technology that made SSC prohibitively expensive in the 90s could be less expensive.
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 17, 2010 #2
    No, there is absolutely no point in developing the Superconducting Supercollider. With the recent completion of the LHC and the amount of money put into this project we will have high dependency on our future discoveries in the LHC for the next ten years. Even in the future public interest isn't devoted to Particle Physics and with the economy in the state it is in the United States has greater dilemmas to worry about than expanding the horizon of scientific research in Particle Physics. The only reasonable scientific expansion would be industrial in nature which would contribute to the economy: nanotechnology, energy research (fusion), and biotechnology.
  4. Aug 17, 2010 #3
    I was thinking in the 2040-2050 time frame, and with future multinational funding. Is there important HEP physics in the 40TEV range?

    Does HEP expect another circular collider this century or will it be after 2100?
  5. Aug 17, 2010 #4
    At the last ICHEP, the french president addressed the participants in a press conference, and warned that using the current crisis to cut on fundamental research is a blunder.
    For instance, Renaissance Technologies was funded by a mathematician (James Harris Simons) who in 2006 prevented RHIC from shut down by donating $25M. One can hardly do more fundamental research than mathematics. Many former PhD students in fundamental physics go on working in or creating businesses such as this one.

    Otherwise, the next generation after LHC will not be another hadron collider. It will be a linear collider of leptons (ILC) which similarly to LEP will be much cleaner than the LHC (or what the SSC would have provided). There is also an Electron-Ion Collider (EIC), a project mostly developed in the US.
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2010
  6. Aug 17, 2010 #5
    One of the issues that the SSC faced was the contamination of the vacuum by desorbed gases released from the cryogenic vacuum chamber walls by UV proton synchrotron radiation (I think ~ 50 eV critical energy). The UV radiation would desorb cryosorbed gases stuck on the vacuum chamber walls. This in turn would intercept the proton beam and produce beam losses. Going to higher energy and/or a smaller circumference would have made the problem much worse. With LHC, circular machines have about reached the economic limit. See

    Bob S
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2010
  7. Aug 17, 2010 #6
    Is there any chance that http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plasma_acceleration" [Broken] can be pushed to energy ranges of LHC? This new technology provides acceleration gradients in excess of 50 GeV/m, which sounds awesome to me. By extrapolation, it can achieve LHC energy (7 TeV) with a 140-meter linear accelerator. Are there major obstacles in the development of this technology?
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  8. Aug 17, 2010 #7
    Most likely the next Particle Accelerators as stated above will be similar to the International Linear Collider with respect to linear accelerations. If an accelerator is going to be built in the near future it will be the ILC, primarily due to the fact that it compliments the LHC, during LHC development it was also an idea developed to correspond with the LHC research programme. The ILC will be a lepton collider which as stated will provide a "cleaner" collision without all of the "quark mess". As for the Plasma Wakefield Acceleration, the technology doesn't exist to reach those energies by using that idea.
  9. Aug 17, 2010 #8
    I understand it offers cleaner data but does it offer higher collision energies?

    What-if SUSY is not found in LHC?
  10. Aug 17, 2010 #9
    Most likely not, for instance you have a linear collider 27 kilometers in length (equivalent to the circumference of the LHC), the collision of particles in a linear accelerator occurs at 13.5 kilometers. In the LHC the particles (protons) gain energy as they move in the accelerator through billions of cycles so clearly it will have greater energy. The only notion that makes synchotron acceleration undesirable is synchotron radiation. The "cleaner" collisions offer us an ability to see the Higgs Boson for instance because there aren't as many chaotic interactions as there are with the quarks (protons). As for SUSY it most likely won't be found at linear colliders because we need that energy created by synchotron acceleration because SUSY particle are extremely massive, therefore if SUSY is not found at the LHC we will most likely have to resort to more powerful accelerators or just accept that possibly or theories are not compelling enough for nature.
  11. Aug 17, 2010 #10
    Would building ILC be worthwhile if LHC does NOT see a Higgs boson?

    If the ILC costs, say $5 billion, that's $5 billion that could go to a more powerful synchotron accelerator. After the Higgs, isn't SUSY the most important HEP research?
  12. Aug 17, 2010 #11
    On the top of my head, that's probably 4 to 5 times more.
  13. Aug 17, 2010 #12

    Cost and time estimates

    The Draft Reference Design Report estimates the cost of building the ILC, excluding R&D, prototyping, land acquisition, underground easement costs, detectors, contingencies, and inflation, at US$6.65 billion.[4] From formal project approval, completion of the accelerator complex and detectors is expected to require seven years. The host country would be required to pay $1.8 billion for site-specific costs like digging tunnels and shafts and supplying water and electricity.

    U.S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu estimates the total cost to be US$25 billion. ILC Director Barish says this is likely to be an overestimate. Other Department of Energy officials have estimated a $20 billion total.[5]


    With a budget of 9 billion US dollars (approx. €7.5bn or £6.19bn as of Jun 2010), the LHC is one of the most expensive scientific instruments ever built.[49] The total cost of the project is expected to be of the order of 4.6bn Swiss francs (approx. $4.4bn, €3.1bn, or £2.8bn as of Jan 2010) for the accelerator and SFr 1.16bn (approx. $1.1bn, €0.8bn, or £0.7bn as of Jan 2010) for the CERN contribution to the experiments.[50]

    The construction of LHC was approved in 1995 with a budget of SFr 2.6bn, with another SFr 210M towards the experiments. However, cost overruns, estimated in a major review in 2001 at around SFr 480M for the accelerator, and SFr 50M for the experiments, along with a reduction in CERN's budget, pushed the completion date from 2005 to April 2007.[51] The superconducting magnets were responsible for SFr 180M of the cost increase. There were also further costs and delays due to engineering difficulties encountered while building the underground cavern for the Compact Muon Solenoid,[52] and also due to faulty parts provided by Fermilab.[53] Due to lower electricity costs during the summer, it is expected that the LHC will normally not operate over the winter months,[54] although an exception was made to make up for the 2008 start-up delays over the 2009/10 winter.

    During the design and the first construction stage, a heated debate ensued about the high cost of the project. In 1987, Congress was told the project could be completed for $4.4 billion, and it gained the enthusiastic support of Speaker Jim Wright of nearby Fort Worth.[3][dubious – discuss] By 1993, the cost projection exceeded $12 billion. A recurring argument was the contrast with NASA's contribution to the International Space Station (ISS), a similar dollar amount.[citation needed] Critics of the project argued that the US could not afford both of them. Early in 1993 a group supported by funds from project contractors organized a public relations campaign to lobby Congress directly,[4] but in June, the non-profit Project on Government Oversight released a draft audit report by the Department of Energy's Inspector General heavily criticizing the Super Collider for its high costs and poor management by officials in charge of it.[5][6]
  14. Aug 17, 2010 #13
    For HEP physics, Higgs, SUSY, extra dimensions, micro bh,

    SSC for $12 billion 40TEV
    ILC for $20 billion?
  15. Aug 18, 2010 #14
    The Construction for the SSC exceeded $12 billion,and the SSC was being built during the late 1980s and early 1990s With the differential in cost for materials, land and labour in the 1980s and 1990s to the cost of these resources today, this is why the ILC appears so expensive.
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2010
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