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Looking to Commercialize Particle Acceleration, Fermilab Breaks Ground On New Research Center

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posted on Dec, 19 2011 @ 06:19 PM

Now that our European friends are oh-so-close to finding the elusive Higgs boson, what’s an American accelerator facility to do? Go into the private sector. It’s the American way.

Researchers at Fermilab just broke ground on a new research and industrialization facility called the Illinois Accelerator Research Center. When it’s finished sometime in 2013, scientists and private businesses will use the new 42,000-square-foot building to develop new accelerator technology that can be used for industry, medicine and national security purposes. In addition to a new building, the project will use space once dedicated to the now-silent Tevatron.

Scientists from Fermilab and the Argonne National Laboratory will use the facility for research, but Fermilab says a major focus will be developing partnerships with private industry. Although we usually think of the Tevatron and the Large Hadron Collider, there are something like 30,000 other accelerators around the world, working on projects from paleontology and biology to food packaging. Accelerator-related industries are worth an estimated $500 billion a year, Fermilab says.

Commercialized space exploration, commercialized medical research, we're going to run out of things to commercialize soon. There is not too much these days that isn't going the route of the private sector, heck, why not ..umm...particle acceleration too? I'm sure they'll find a way to place an ad on a particle before they accelerate it.

I can see it now...

God Particle discovered, thanks to our sponsors Coca Cola and Frito Lay

This is a perfect example of corporations using their immense profitability to take over the world. I wonder who will regulate their research? Oh yeah, the governments that they buy, that's right.

I can as well take the "not so cynical" approach I suppose and say that with this type of funding the potential for huge scientific discoveries are more likely to occur. Ehhh, we can all lean towards the positive I suppose. When Pepsi plants start succumbing to earthquakes we'll know who is behind it won't we?

What a world ...I tell ya.

POPSCI Article
edit on 12/19/2011 by UberL33t because: (no reason given)

posted on Dec, 19 2011 @ 06:42 PM

Originally posted by UberL33t

God Particle discovered, thanks to our sponsors Coca Cola and Frito Lay

I'd rather see that than, "God Particle discovered, thanks to your tax dollars that only cost 100x what a commercial venture would have cost."

Good for them. If you don't like capitalism, I'm sure Cuba would let you move there with no problem.

posted on Dec, 19 2011 @ 07:06 PM
Well, I guess it's better than no particle research at all... but it's not the direction I'd like things to go, that's for sure. Knowledge, especially stuff like scientific knowledge, should be shared and available to all.

I'm just hoping we don't get an ATS thread in a year's time that reads something like: "Google patents electron, charges royalties..."

posted on Dec, 20 2011 @ 12:06 AM
reply to post by DragonsDemesne

UCLA owns the majority of patents on the human genome.

Yes. The human genome is patented. You should try reading, sometime, Micheal Crichton (rest his soul) wrote many very well researched works of "fiction." One of them, you are likely already familiar with - Jurassic Park. The plots of his novels are fiction. The science and reality behind them is not.

Of particular interest to the issue of patenting research discoveries is the book: "Next" It was one of his last works (along with "State of Fear") before he finally died of throat cancer.

Basically - what it boils down to is every company has the right to pursue its interests and discoveries (they already do, and there is nothing any government or army is going to be able to do to tell them otherwise; capitalism and the free market are all that can exist in a world of individuals). People and governments, however, have a responsibility to protect the rights of individuals. A particular genetic marker you possess may be patented as part of some company's R&D - but that does not give them claim to your cell line (or your family's cell line).

In my opinion, though - it will result in more research being done on the whole, and more varied, at that. Who cares why you want to smash particles together, so long as you are paying for it?

"That's bad, people can use that for making weapons or mind control rays, Aim."

- Nothing can protect you from bad people but vigilance and remaining alert. However, "pointless" or "frivolous" experiments can be conducted for the right investment by any contracting party. This, historically, is how our view of the world gets turned on its head. It's when you merely need a benefactor to run experiments that people start finding the chinks and holes in existing models and theories.

There's no Dean telling you that what you want to do can't be done and is a waste of department resources. Just people who say: "It's your money...." and then say: "I'll be damned...."

The facility will be shut down and closed, anyway. There are no further plans to fund it via the government. ... Seems like a waste of a perfectly good facility, to me - so I'm glad to see that they are not throwing in the towel so easily.

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