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Thread: The SSC.

  1. #1 The SSC. 
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    I know that the physicists, working, with the LHC at Cern, hope to confirm, this year, whether the Higgs boson exists or not.
    Back in 1993 the US Congress cancelled, on cost grounds, a programme to build a particle accelerator called the SSC. If this machine had been built it would have been much more powerful than the LHC.
    Can anyone explain, in relatively simple terms, what type of new information, over and above the Higgs, this accelerator might have revealed?


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  3. #2  
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    Who knows? Since it was cancelled, it really is a moot point.


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  4. #3  
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    Quote Originally Posted by MeteorWayne View Post
    Who knows? Since it was cancelled, it really is a moot point.
    Understand what you say.
    It was just that confirmation of the Higgs was a clear and stated target for the LHC long before it ever went into operation.
    I thought there was a chance that, given the known power of the SSC, it might have been possible to predict a target(s) even before it was built.
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  5. #4  
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    Not really. The data would be the same, it would have come faster perhaps. And there will remain higher energy regions that we won't be able to explore, possibly forever, or at least for many decades.
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    I stress again that I am a layperson so discussing particle physics and powerful accelerators could be said to be a bit out of my league. At least that might be the kindest comment!
    However you say "the data would be the same, it would have come faster perhaps". But presumably that is not the only difference between the LHC and lesser accelerators. So why should it be the difference between the LHC and the proposed SSC. The power of these machines clearly does matter and one would have thought the power level of the SSC would have been chosen, not at random, but with some kind of target in mind, given it would have been able to explore "higher energy regions" than any past or present machines.
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  7. #6  
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    Quote Originally Posted by MeteorWayne View Post
    Not really. The data would be the same, it would have come faster perhaps. And there will remain higher energy regions that we won't be able to explore, possibly forever, or at least for many decades.
    I watched a programme, on BBC2 (in the UK of course) yesterday evening, about the search, at CERN, for the Higgs Boson.
    It does seems clear that the proposed SSC would have been able to confirm, way back, whether the Higgs existed or not.
    Lastly, rather a vague question, but is it possible the LHC will provide any evidence hinting at the existence of other dimensions or will this only be possible with more powerful accelerators of the same type as the cancelled SSC?
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  8. #7  
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    From what I understand, the proposed Giga electron volt range to be covered by the SSC was thought to definately cover that part of the range where the Higgs was thought to be lurking.
    As it has turned out, the Higgs looks to be in a range covered by the LHC. Bear in mind that the LHC was an upgrade to the previous accelerator at CERN whereas the SSC was to be built form scratch.

    Perhaps the U.S cutbacks in military spending will free up funding for future scientific projects - NASA should certainly get more in my opinion.
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