Thursday, June 20, 2013
Now that the Large Hadron Collider at CERN has discovered the Higgs Boson, what is left for the billion dollar machine to do? That's a PR dilemma for the massive machine. There is plenty of science in the offing but none of the dimensions of the Higgs. The machine is off-line now as engineers refit it for the next runs in early 2015, so CERN is taking the opportunity to show the technology off. The photos make one thing clear. In every respect, it is massive, one of the largest machines, if not the largest, ever built by man with its 16-mile race track. Machines like this are important to understanding the fundament of the universe, but they are hugely expensive to build and to run. Hence, the continual necessity for PR to educate the public about science being done or scheduled. Unfortunately, it is not so easy to isolate just one particle as a target for a hunt as was done with the Higgs. Now they will smash hydrogen protons to see what they can see. What else is there? What did we miss if anything? What is the Higgs really like? Public interest in the machine will recede, but scientists hope the budget will not.