Re: Science Saturday: Shine On You Crazy Large Hadron Collider
Simon Willard’s analogy is spot on. The misuses of iron age technology and nuclear age technology differ only in magnitude. A steel blade can serve as either a scalpel or a dagger; the binding energy of the nucleolus provides human beings with exactly the same dichotomy of use.
The ITER (International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor) and the LHC projects are actually related in many ways. LHC is perhaps more leading edge, whereas ITER is both leading edge and application engineering. They share similar physical and engineering problems. They require similar infrastructure and organization. They evidence a kind of international scientific synergy that will help human beings to transcend rather than stagnate at the nuclear frontier and to learn how to control and utilize energy in ways that today are unimaginable, even to science fiction visionaries. They will also provide knowledge that might be misused.
ITER has as much or more implication for misuse of technology as does LHC, yet where are the ITER critics? If the LHC critics were really rational, would they not also be critical of the funding for ITER? Of course they would.
The LHC critics are simply loony.