Presentation on theme: "Impacts of the ILC on Society 1.Cultural contributions 2.Economic value 3.Attracting young people to science and technology 4.Relation to other sciences."— Presentation transcript:
Impacts of the ILC on Society 1.Cultural contributions 2.Economic value 3.Attracting young people to science and technology 4.Relation to other sciences
Cultural contributions Beyond the direct impact that fundamental research has on our lives, there is a basic satisfaction that we derive from understanding the world we live in – even if that knowledge has little practical effect: The earth and planets circle the sun Our biology is constructed from a 4 letter code The universe is expanding from a ‘big bang’ Any map can be colored with at most 4 colors Mass and energy are inter-convertible Our language betrays the fascination with such ideas: “make a quantum leap”, “it fell into a black hole”, “entropy is winning” …
Cultural contributions As Plato counseled, we should not be shy about expressing this innate need, and should recognize its importance in formulating the case for the support of science: Socrates: “Shall we set down astronomy among the subjects of study?” Glaucon: “I think so, for to know something about the seasons, the months and the years is of use for military purposes, as well as for agriculture and for navigation.” Socrates: “It amuses me to see how afraid you are, lest the people should accuse you of recommending useless studies.” Basic science, like music and art, may be of little practical use, but they are essential to us as humans.
Cultural contributions The Terascale world to be explored by the ILC and the LHC has questions of such general resonance. What is the unseen stuff that binds the galaxies together (dark matter)? Do our senses mislead us when they tell us there are only three dimensions (up-down, sideways, in-out)? Are all the forces of nature unified aspects of a single whole? Why does matter resist acceleration? (why does it have inertia or mass)?
There is no doubt that there is a huge long-term payback to economic health from fundamental research. Quantifying this reliably is very hard – estimates range from 25 to 75% of our GDP. But we know it is large. The litany of examples is well known: Economic value Quantum mechanics spawned lasers, semiconductor circuits, and computers. Nuclear physics brought energy, MRI, medical diagnostics. Electricity and magnetism brought power generators, motors, communications. etc. etc. What is clear is that the fabric of our economy is massively dependent on the fundamental science discoveries of the past, and this general relationship is a powerful argument for keeping the S&T enterprise healthy in future.
The problem is that the path from fundamental discovery to widespread application is tortuous. We (public and scientists) typically don’t have a clue about which new results will pay back big-time. Economic value What we do know is that if we want a truly new capability, we usually can’t make them through directed research: Just wanting to see bone fractures would not have yielded X-rays Desiring radios would not have generated transistors Wishing to communicate over long distances would not have brought Maxwell’s equations Lord Kelvin, President of the Royal Society: “Heavier than air flying machines are impossible.” (1895) Private industry, with its profit imperative, is ill-equipped to carry out long-sighted research that could spawn new industries. So the government must take this role, and must support activities across a very broad spectrum.
Economic value Often the most useful spin-offs are the tools created by research. One of particle physics’ biggest impacts is due to the accelerators needed to study the subatomic world. The World Wide Web, developed by and for particle physicists, exceeded $1T in revenue in 2001, and is growing exponentially. 1 $trillion The physical sciences drive advances in biomedical fields – e.g. PET scans, MRI, nuclear medical diagnostics.
Economic value The Terascale exploration at the ILC and LHC will be no different. We can’t predict the utility of extra dimensions (hiding unwanted waste?) or dark matter (cryptology??). The potential benefits from the tools developed are somewhat easier to envision: Improved superconducting accelerators and magnets for medical applications, transportation, real-time biological imaging? Feedback mechanisms for nanometer scale control of mechanical elements? Development of new computer grids, data structures, data archiving? New pixel devices for the communication and imaging industries?
Training young people It is widely understood that our nation’s vitality relies on science and technology, and that this enterprise requires more trained people. As the world becomes more competitive, more nations are improving their educational programs and are retaining a larger share of their young scientists at home. Science and technology are about solving new and difficult problems. Its more about finding a way to approach a new problem than using specific prior knowledge. The desire to answer a compelling question spawns ingenuity and the development of new methods.
Training young people In particle physics, roughly one sixth of those completing PhDs ultimately find careers in basic research. The rest find their way to industry, education or government. The analytical and experimental skills learned in the research environment are readily transportable to their new jobs, and these individuals are highly prized by their new employers. But why did these individuals enter the scientific stream in the first place? For most, it was the allure of attacking the really fundamental questions (such as why is there matter but no anti-matter in the universe, or is there really only a single unified force). These questions are the sirens that attract young people to careers in science and technology.
Impact on other sciences It is well known that all of science is interconnected; new discoveries and tools in created in one branch get applied in surprising ways in others. Examples occur between all branches of science: High Energy/Nuclear Physics ↔ Astronomy HEP discovered neutrinos and measured their interaction rates: Astronomy used these to explain supernovae and the synthesis of the heavy elements. Nuclear Physics explained the structure of the heavy elements. Astronomy discovered the big bang: HEP explores what was happening in the first instants after it. HEP and Astronomy work together to understand dark matter.
Impact on other sciences Condensed Matter Physics/Materials Science ↔ HEP. CM discovered that paired electrons create superconductivity: HEP used this idea to suggest how matter gets its mass. HEP developed field theories and diagrammatic methods for calculations: CM/MS adapted these to study the properties of solids. HEP and CM both developed the idea of spontaneous breaking of fundamental symmetries. The insights in one field stimulates advances in the other.
Impact on other sciences Synchrotron light sources for studying structural biology, materials and environmental factors Ion implantation for electronic circuits Making radioisotopes for medical treatment Precision treatment of tumors Spallation neutron sources for material science investigations Disposal of nuclear waste One of the most pervasive benefits from HEP for other areas of science and technology has been the particle accelerator. Accelerators make possible:
Impact on other sciences The ILC will be the state of the art in the producing particle beams at the highest energy, greatest intensity, and most precise degree of control. Learning to do this will affect the future direction of research in many sciences through the development of new tools and methods: New generations of light sources (for biology, plasma science, materials science, environmental science and chemistry) Efficient energy recovery linacs (for materials science and nuclear science) Rare isotope accelerators (for nuclear science and astrophysics) Compact linacs (for clinical medicine) Lysosyme image from X FEL
Summary The impacts of the ILC on the broader society range from satisfying the general urge to understand the universe we live in, to providing the enabling tools for the wider scientific and technological enterprise. If history is a good guide, we should expect sweeping impacts on our lives in unsuspected ways. "Everything that can be invented has been invented." Charles H. Duell, commissioner, US Office of Patents, 1899