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Who Cares about Particle Physics?Making Sense of the Higgs Boson, the Large Hadron Collider and CERN$
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Pauline Gagnon

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198783244

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198783244.001.0001

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What Does Basic Research Put on Our Plates?

What Does Basic Research Put on Our Plates?

Chapter:
(p.155) 7 What Does Basic Research Put on Our Plates?
Source:
Who Cares about Particle Physics?
Author(s):

Pauline Gagnon

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198783244.003.0007

The main goal of fundamental research in physics is to increase human knowledge and answer some of the profound questions that human beings have always raised about their origin and fate. It also stimulates technological development through various spinoffs and applications, and it helps train a highly specialized workforce. CERN, the European laboratory for particle physics, is an example of international collaboration and contributes to world peace by bringing together thousands of scientists of 101 different nationalities who are working toward a common goal. Fundamental research in physics has also deeply modified our daily life. Even though not all scientific discoveries find immediate applications, without fundamental research, we would be without medical imaging, the World Wide Web, electronics, computers and mobile phones. Its economic impact is also tremendous: the branch of industry based on physics and technology generates 15% of the global wealth in Europe and employs 13% of its workforce.

Keywords:   fundamental research, benefits, research, spinoffs, applications, World Wide Web, WWW, CERN, medical imaging

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