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Environment

To What End The Higgs Boson?

May 26, 2014 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 92, ISSUE 21

Regarding the film review of “Particle Fever” about the (presumed successful) search for the Higgs boson (C&EN, March 17, page 42): Pardon me, but methinks the emperor has new clothing.

The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is a massive construct bringing together the best of physics theory, engineering expertise, and international cooperation, all in the name of finding the Higgs. The project is “big physics at its biggest.” The result is confirmation of many aspects of basic physics theory.

Nevertheless, had the LHC team been unleashed to tame nuclear fusion, perhaps we could now be tapping unlimited power for the millennia. One wonders about the political ascendency of the LHC at the expense of controlled nuclear fusion. All clothing has a cost, but perhaps a raincoat is more useful than a starched shirt in a damp climate.

Robert Pellenbarg
Palm Desert, , Calif.

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