How to Do Big Science in a Climate Emergency? | CAS Inquire
Ken Bloom, chair and professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy, gave this talk for the CAS Inquire series on Nov. 7.
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- [00:00:02.080]Good evening, everyone.
- [00:00:03.590]Thank you so much for being here.
- [00:00:04.764]Thank you for taking part in
this CAS Inquire lecture series.
- [00:00:08.589]For those of you here in person or online,
we appreciate you taking part in this.
- [00:00:12.951]This is, as you know, the third featured
- [00:00:15.568]talk within
this year's CAS Inquire lecture series.
- [00:00:18.957]Our organizing theme for the whole year
is Sustainable Futures,
- [00:00:23.755]and in keeping with the culture
and the identity of the college
- [00:00:27.010]and as is really well
embodied by this Inquire program,
- [00:00:31.170]this theme of sustainable futures
is being explored
- [00:00:34.995]through a diverse range
of intellectual orientations
- [00:00:38.451]and disciplinary perspectives,
including from geography,
languages, and literature and geology.
- [00:00:46.068]And tonight,
we have the pleasure to gain some insights
- [00:00:50.061]from the field of physics this evening.
- [00:00:52.946]In particular,
- [00:00:53.651]we have the distinct pleasure
of continuing our series
- [00:00:56.100]with a presentation from Professor
- [00:00:58.415]Professor and chair of the Department
of Physics and Astronomy with the talk.
- [00:01:01.804]As you can see how to do big science
in a climate emergency.
- [00:01:07.173]Professor Bloom received his Ph.D.
- [00:01:09.085]in physics from Cornell University,
and after serving as a research fellow
- [00:01:12.776]at the University of Michigan,
joined the faculty here at UNL in 2004.
- [00:01:17.977]Dr. Bloom is an international leader
in the field of experimental particle
- [00:01:23.546]His research, which focuses on the Higgs
boson and investigations
- [00:01:27.372]of deviations from the Standard model,
is part of the massive
- [00:01:31.465]and highly collaborative experiment
at the International Large Hadron Collider
- [00:01:36.397]and has generated
well over a thousand publications
with more than 100,000 citations.
- [00:01:42.672]Professor Bloom was selected to direct
the US component of the CMS collaboration
- [00:01:47.570]of $40 million a year enterprise
- [00:01:50.590]involving scientists at 45 universities.
- [00:01:53.945]Professor Bloom is also the PI
of a 50 million multiyear NSF
supporting a major part of CMS operations.
- [00:02:01.260]He's a member of the Department
of Energy's High Energy Physics
- [00:02:03.844]Advisory Panel and a Fellow
of the American Physical Society.
- [00:02:07.803]And it's a real honor
to have him speaking to us tonight.
- [00:02:10.219]So please
join me in welcoming him to the podium
- [00:02:13.574]and thank you, Mark, for your kind words.
- [00:02:22.197]And then hello, everyone,
and especially all the people on Zoom.
- [00:02:25.586]It's a good idea that you're on Zoom
because you wouldn't able
- [00:02:27.800]to get a seat in this room
had you tried to come in person.
- [00:02:32.196]Thanks to thanks for being here.
- [00:02:34.679]I mean, just a couple mornings
going in, number
- [00:02:37.296]one, all going to my own
- [00:02:40.551]and my own title slide.
- [00:02:42.933]Number one, you know, there is science
in this presentation, right?
- [00:02:45.617]There's some equation.
There's some math. It'll.
- [00:02:47.362]It'll be okay.
- [00:02:47.899]We'll get you through it.
- [00:02:48.805]Number two,
I'm having some rather significant back
- [00:02:51.556]issues, and I will give this talk
standing up as much as I can.
- [00:02:54.811]I might need to sit for a while,
so that's not my preferred way to do it.
- [00:02:57.965]And I apologize for that.
- [00:03:00.750]So I'm coming at this through
- [00:03:02.259]the lens of my own personal big science,
and that's particle physics.
- [00:03:06.588]And our goal in particle physics
is to understand
- [00:03:09.675]the nature of the universe
at its most fundamental level.
- [00:03:12.460]What is everything
made of in its most basic way,
- [00:03:15.177]and how those
how do those elements interact?
- [00:03:18.935]So what do we mean by, you know,
what is everything made of it?
- [00:03:21.519]At what level are we talking about that,
- [00:03:23.901]you know, we're going beyond
just the high school chemistry level
- [00:03:27.055]of of atoms that everything in the world
is made of Atoms.
- [00:03:30.679]Atoms are already pretty small
- [00:03:33.027]You know, they're at the scale of ten
to the minus ten meters.
- [00:03:37.188]But we're really looking
at atomic substructure, right?
- [00:03:39.772]We're looking at the nucleus, which
is a factor of 10,000 smaller than that.
- [00:03:43.697]The atomic nucleus is itself
a composite object.
- [00:03:46.885]It's made of the neutrons and protons.
- [00:03:48.697]Those are a factor ten smaller,
and then protons are made of forks,
- [00:03:53.629]and the quarks are at the scale of ten -18
- [00:03:57.723]So a factor of, you know, a factor of 10
- [00:04:01.447]to 18 smaller than our usual
the scales we're used to as humans.
- [00:04:05.272]And, and the electrons
also which are, which are of that size
- [00:04:10.439]at the largest.
- [00:04:11.345]Right. In fact
- [00:04:13.224]I say ten to the -80 meters,
there might be smaller structures,
- [00:04:16.646]but you know, we just
- [00:04:17.284]we don't have instruments
that allow us to resolve anything smaller.
- [00:04:21.075]So we treat these
as if this is the smallest.
- [00:04:23.122]So we can see now, at this point,
maybe two questions you have.
- [00:04:26.108]Number one, how do we know any of this?
- [00:04:27.719]Number two,
- [00:04:28.759]I thought I was coming
- [00:04:29.598]to a talk about big science, and it seems
like awfully small science by contrast.
- [00:04:33.389]So okay, about those things.
- [00:04:35.805]So first of all, how do we
how do we know about objects in the world?
- [00:04:40.066]How do we see them, quote unquote?
- [00:04:41.375]I mean, how are you seeing me right now?
- [00:04:43.120]It's because there's light in the room.
- [00:04:44.395]The light is scattering off me.
- [00:04:46.609]It bouncing off me
and it's going into your eye. Right.
- [00:04:48.723]And this is how you see me
and the way you are.
- [00:04:52.112]The sizes, the scales,
the things that you can see
- [00:04:55.165]depend on the wavelength of the light
that's being used. Right?
- [00:04:57.615]So if you want to see things
like a thunderstorm or a building,
- [00:05:00.735]use radar
that's very long wavelength light.
- [00:05:02.983]If you want to see molecules,
you need very short wavelength light.
- [00:05:06.036]And the sort,
the sort that you have in x rays.
- [00:05:09.660]And quite
similarly, we see elementary particles
- [00:05:12.781]by scattering other particles off of them
and the size that you can see
- [00:05:17.042]of a particle depends on the wavelength
of the particle And quantum mechanically,
- [00:05:21.437]you know, even matter has a wavelength
associated with it.
- [00:05:24.088]That, that that depends
on the energy of the particle.
- [00:05:27.275]And so studying the smallest particles
requires the highest energy probes,
- [00:05:31.436]right though
the wavelength that's lambda of a particle
- [00:05:34.456]that goes in inverse to the energy.
- [00:05:35.798]So if you have a high energy probe,
you can study small length scales,
- [00:05:39.287]but also you gain other things
from going to high energies.
- [00:05:43.180]Because of Einstein's equation
that says that energy in master
- [00:05:45.830]or equivalent,
you get a probe very high mass scales.
- [00:05:48.179]You can use these scattering experiments
to create new massive particles
- [00:05:52.541]that we don't see in everyday life.
- [00:05:54.420]And also energy is related to temperature.
- [00:05:56.735]So we're really able to create
a very high energy, very temperature,
- [00:06:01.298]high temperature environment
on a small time, on a small scale,
- [00:06:05.023]an environment
that is similar to the conditions
- [00:06:07.136]of the very early universe
close to the Big Bang.
- [00:06:09.586]And so we're able to look at
what the universe was behaving like
- [00:06:13.914]in the period that would be ten to
the minus 10 seconds after the Big Bang.
- [00:06:16.867]So it's really also
sort of a time machine.
- [00:06:18.779]And if you can understand
the way the universe behaved,
- [00:06:21.531]then maybe you understand
how it got to be the way we are now.
- [00:06:24.517]But of course, to get these high energy
you need some very large infrastructure.
- [00:06:28.375]And that's the beginning of the
of the large the big science story here.
- [00:06:32.435]And so here's like it's
the biggest infrastructure we've got.
- [00:06:34.650]This is the Large Hadron Collider.
- [00:06:36.864]So it's on the Swiss French Quarter.
- [00:06:38.475]This is, you know, okay, this is the click
is can we turn down the lights
- [00:06:41.528]here to see these slides
better than we know how to do that and see
- [00:06:48.272]Yeah. Okay.
- [00:06:48.843]Now it's over here.
- [00:06:53.003]Okay. That's got to be better. Yeah.
- [00:06:54.547]Oh, is that you? Good. Hold on.
- [00:07:00.452]No, no. Celebrate.
- [00:07:01.660]We want.
- [00:07:05.049]I'm just going to.
- [00:07:06.089]I'm just going to keep pressing buttons
until we get the ones we want, right?
- [00:07:09.579]I want
- [00:07:14.075]just good enough.
- [00:07:17.329]So here, there's not actually a line
on the ground, right?
- [00:07:19.510]This is just a
it's just. It's just a diagram.
- [00:07:21.557]But this is the scale of it.
- [00:07:22.496]You can see you can see to the right
the Geneva Airport.
- [00:07:26.120]You can see Lake Geneva.
- [00:07:27.395]This is the main CERN site over here.
- [00:07:29.945]And here is where we lived
when we were on sabbatical ten years ago.
- [00:07:34.173]Now, the whole thing,
it's it's 100 meters underground.
- [00:07:37.025]It's 27 kilometers in circumference, big.
- [00:07:40.313]But really big, Right?
- [00:07:41.454]I mean, here's the link in Hadron
- [00:07:43.165]If you were to put the
the LHC ring in Lincoln
- [00:07:46.688]and this is the size it would be,
so it would be sort of going from from
- [00:07:50.144]band Orange Street to the South
up to Superior up in the north.
- [00:07:53.332]Right. So it's it's large,
but it's ponderously large
- [00:07:57.392]except it's this is this is
- [00:07:59.237]you know, in France and Switzerland
and there's not 27 st going across here.
- [00:08:02.123]You have to go through a bunch of small
towns to get from one side to the other.
- [00:08:05.847]Why does it need to be so big?
- [00:08:07.994]Let's take a look.
So this is inside the tunnel right?
- [00:08:10.041]So there's it's 27 kilometers of this
going going around, right?
- [00:08:13.195]You can barely see the curvature of it.
- [00:08:14.839]Why does it need to be this big?
- [00:08:16.450]Okay, so here's the key
- [00:08:17.859]physics fact that you need,
which is that if you have a charged
- [00:08:20.879]particle, it will take
and you put it in a magnetic field.
- [00:08:23.966]It's going to take a circular path
through that magnetic field and the circle
- [00:08:28.361]and the momentum of the particle
and the magnetic field are related
- [00:08:32.186]through the equation in the top, right?
- [00:08:33.662]That if you want to get
a very high momentum for the particle, you
- [00:08:37.185]you want to either make the going to
you need either a large magnetic field
- [00:08:41.950]that's me in the equation
up there or a very large circle.
- [00:08:44.768]So we had
- [00:08:46.513]we actually had the tunnel is built
in the eighties for for other experiments.
- [00:08:50.204]We were sort of fixed
to a tunnel of this size
- [00:08:52.788]and we had a target size
for the momentum of the particles.
- [00:08:55.908]And that meant that we had to achieve
a certain magnetic field to to do that.
- [00:09:00.639]8.3 Tesla is the magnetic field
and you generate this field through
- [00:09:03.860]electromagnets, you need a 12 kilogram
current through through the electromagnets
- [00:09:08.188]to able to generate a field
that size that is a very sizable
- [00:09:12.349]electric current.
- [00:09:13.389]And to get that we need to use
- [00:09:16.610]So these magnets are kept
- [00:09:17.583]in liquid helium temperatures
very close to absolute zero,
- [00:09:20.603]perhaps the coldest ring in the universe.
- [00:09:22.314]And you need 40 megawatts of power,
you know, just
- [00:09:25.133]just for the purpose
of keeping these magnets cool.
- [00:09:28.555]So, you know, the individual cylinder,
- [00:09:29.864]as you can see there,
these are the superconducting magnets.
- [00:09:32.850]There's a total of 1232 of them.
- [00:09:35.366]Each of them are 15 meters long
and they go all the way around the
- [00:09:38.655]the 27 kilometers are keeping
a superconducting infrastructure.
- [00:09:43.117]That sounds difficult.
- [00:09:44.895]You can imagine
- [00:09:45.667]taking a different approach,
like just using normal conducting magnets.
- [00:09:49.526]Then you wouldn't have to deal
with all the liquid helium,
- [00:09:51.371]but you couldn't have the currents as big.
- [00:09:53.586]You couldn't have as a magnetic field
- [00:09:55.163]You need a much bigger tunnel
- [00:09:56.639]like on the scale of 100 kilometers
instead of 27 kilometers.
- [00:10:00.330]And then the power consumption,
because you have the resistive magnets,
- [00:10:03.014]would be a thousand megawatts
instead of just 40 megawatts.
- [00:10:05.564]So it was important to invest
in the superconducting technology.
- [00:10:08.953]So big tunnels, this is. Okay.
- [00:10:11.604]So here's the
- [00:10:12.577]the the elevated the Skyview again
the four major experiments at the LHC.
- [00:10:17.106]I worked on the one that's in
the upper left that you have to drive
- [00:10:20.730]to the small towns in France to get to
this is a contact me on solenoid CMS.
- [00:10:25.964]It is a compact if it's 15 meters high
and 22 meters long, it's compact relative
- [00:10:30.595]to the other big experiment there, right
for the rear, the smaller one,
- [00:10:34.252]this is an exploded view right there.
- [00:10:35.896]Those pieces on the right slide
in and it all fits together.
- [00:10:39.788]And the proton beams run,
- [00:10:42.640]you know, sort of left to right
through the middle of the detector.
- [00:10:45.861]Why does a detector like this
need to be so big?
- [00:10:48.747]Okay, First of all, here's a here's
like a real photo of it in the cavern.
- [00:10:53.981]And you can see on multiple levels
- [00:10:55.357]there are the different stories of the
the of the cavern where we have this
- [00:10:59.987]What the detector functionally is,
is a 100 megapixel camera
- [00:11:03.074]that's operating at 40 megahertz.
- [00:11:04.684]Okay. 100, 100 megapixels.
- [00:11:06.362]Your phone has that at this point.
- [00:11:08.275]But your phone does not take
40 million pictures a second.
- [00:11:10.825]And that's what this can can do. Right.
- [00:11:12.167]So every 25
nanoseconds we're having protons collide
- [00:11:15.455]and we're basically
taking pictures of them.
- [00:11:17.166]In doing so, we're using a lot of data,
multiple petabytes of data per year.
- [00:11:21.125]A petabyte is a million gigabytes,
and all the data has to be
- [00:11:24.682]stored, moved around, processed,
- [00:11:26.427]made available to physicists to analyze
and make measurements with
- [00:11:30.453]Why are these detectors so big?
- [00:11:32.131]So this is a cutaway view.
- [00:11:34.043]This is a transverse slice
through the detectors
- [00:11:36.560]so the beams would be going in
and out of the screen
- [00:11:38.774]and colliding like so, and then particles
get ejected transverse to that.
- [00:11:42.968]And, you know, you can see along the the
- [00:11:45.418]the horizontal axis there,
the radius goes out to about seven meters.
- [00:11:49.947]The problem is
- [00:11:51.155]that the particles that are produced
have very high energies.
- [00:11:54.209]So if you want to stop them,
to measure them,
- [00:11:57.161]you need a lot of material
to slow them down and block them.
- [00:12:00.382]So, you know, these
the various sections there.
I should sorry, I skipped a bit. Right.
- [00:12:04.476]I mean, the
- [00:12:05.348]different layers of this detector that the
particles pass through on their way out
- [00:12:09.106]are made of different materials.
- [00:12:10.381]Different kinds of particles
will interact in different ways
- [00:12:12.931]and different sections of the detector
as they go through.
- [00:12:15.347]That helps us identify the particles.
- [00:12:17.360]We measure the energy of particles
by bringing them to a full stop
- [00:12:20.514]and basically measuring the amount well,
we measure the amount of energy deposited
- [00:12:23.702]in some material.
You need a lot of material.
- [00:12:25.782]And that's one of the reasons
the detector is so big.
- [00:12:27.896]Another thing that goes on, remember,
- [00:12:30.647]take these circular paths
as they go through magnetic fields,
- [00:12:33.566]and we have a magnetic field
inside the detector
- [00:12:36.687]that is allowing you to have this curve
path as you go through here.
- [00:12:40.914]And by measuring the curvature of that
- [00:12:45.780]so you know, the radius of curvature,
you know the magnetic field,
- [00:12:48.162]you can find
the momentum of that particle.
- [00:12:49.940]So the equation we had before, but
these particles are of such high energy
- [00:12:54.805]that, you know,
the radius of curvature is very large.
- [00:12:57.523]And so you really need a lot of detector
to be able to see
- [00:13:00.476]the particle curving, even
with a strong magnetic field behind there.
- [00:13:03.965]So that's why you need a detector
that's this big.
- [00:13:08.294]And by the way, okay,
so seven meters, right.
- [00:13:10.173]So the speed of light
is about a footprint. Nanosecond.
- [00:13:12.555]So it takes about 21 nanoseconds
for the particles
- [00:13:15.709]to transverse the whole detector
after they emerge.
- [00:13:19.366]And remember, the collisions are happening
every 25 nanoseconds, right?
- [00:13:23.124]So collision happens.
- [00:13:25.037]You got 21 nanoseconds for the particles
to get through.
- [00:13:27.150]A few nanoseconds later the next collision
happens and you got to be ready for it.
- [00:13:30.439]One of the technical challenges of this
- [00:13:34.398]to run an instrument this
- [00:13:35.706]big, to have to be able to analyze a data
set this big,
- [00:13:40.270]you need a lot of people
and and we have a lot of people
- [00:13:43.222]a lot of people are interested
in doing this.
- [00:13:44.732]It's the compact neo and Solenoid
- [00:13:47.249]collaboration is a truly global
enterprise marked in blue.
- [00:13:50.537]All the countries that are participating,
about 6000 people in the collaboration
- [00:13:54.664]in some way or another at this point,
- [00:13:56.610]about 2000 physicists, a lot of students,
engineers, technicians, 57
- [00:14:02.314]countries participating in this, 25
255 institutes in those countries.
- [00:14:06.407]The US were the single largest participant
by head count for about 28% of the 40
- [00:14:11.105]physicists, 50 member institution,
the United States, the single largest
- [00:14:15.534]country participating, but by no means
a majority of the collaboration, right?
- [00:14:19.627]So it's it's you know,
- [00:14:22.681]the Europeans, of course, are the know
the biggest component
- [00:14:25.197]besides us, But we have participation
from all over the world.
- [00:14:28.552]We need to go there
sometimes I need to fly the 5000 miles
- [00:14:31.706]from Lincoln to to Geneva. Right.
- [00:14:33.384]We have people who need to go there
to operate the experiment.
- [00:14:35.666]CERN in Geneva
is the natural place for people to gather,
- [00:14:38.383]to meet and discuss
things and make it all go.
- [00:14:42.812]But, you know, we have meetings,
other places, too.
- [00:14:44.658]I know, you know, particle physics.
- [00:14:46.403]You know, you get the
you get to travel the whole world
- [00:14:47.845]and see the same people,
the same people wherever you go.
- [00:14:51.637]And we go to conferences.
- [00:14:53.080]It's a worldwide enterprise.
- [00:14:54.086]The conferences are all over the place.
- [00:14:56.334]So it's part of the big science
- [00:14:59.019]is the big number of people
we have involved.
- [00:15:02.206]I'm truly proud of what we achieve
- [00:15:05.696]in this collaboration
and with this experiment,
- [00:15:09.454]we published
more than 1200 papers on the data
- [00:15:11.534]that we've reported since 2009,
covering a wide span of particle physics
- [00:15:15.158]topics, most notably the discovery,
the Higgs boson.
- [00:15:18.278]In 2012 that led to the Nobel Prize
for Higgs and Engler to
- [00:15:22.371]who predicted the Higgs boson,
you know, 50 years earlier.
- [00:15:26.331]So we're doing science.
- [00:15:27.237]We're educating people right.
- [00:15:28.646]The thousands of students
- [00:15:29.753]who've been working on this experiment
over the years,
- [00:15:31.699]some of them will go into particle
- [00:15:33.779]Many of them will go into lots of other
fields, you know, various industries.
- [00:15:37.403]We're developing a global science
and technology workforce to all this. And
- [00:15:42.906]in these times of great dissension
- [00:15:45.892]the fact that we can pull people together
from all over the world
- [00:15:49.617]for a shared peaceful purpose is,
I think, one
- [00:15:51.697]of the one of the great achievements
of what we're doing right now.
- [00:15:54.851]And I hope that we can set an example for
what what can be done by it, by humanity.
- [00:15:59.448]So I feel great about all of this.
- [00:16:02.098]But if you start to think about this
through a different frame
- [00:16:06.192]and look at it in a different way
and look at it to the context of what else
- [00:16:09.983]is going on in the world,
you start to think about some problems.
- [00:16:14.546]What's happening, of course, is global
- [00:16:16.794]That's why I'm giving this talk.
- [00:16:19.311]You know, we're in Nebraska,
so we have to say this
- [00:16:20.955]sometimes that climate change is real,
there's strong evidence for it.
- [00:16:24.814]We are able to fight
like climate scientists.
- [00:16:27.632]I don't know how to do this, but climate
scientists know how to reconstruct,
- [00:16:30.920]you know, surface temperatures, the earth
going back 2000 years.
- [00:16:34.141]And there were relatively constant
for until about 1850
- [00:16:37.765]when things started taking off.
- [00:16:39.376]And so, you know, this is not something
cyclic that is going on.
- [00:16:43.134]This is something that is very different
that's happening over just,
- [00:16:45.851]you know, over the past few decades
- [00:16:48.536]and blowing up
- [00:16:49.274]here from 1850 onwards
until the current day.
- [00:16:52.528]You can see, you know, in greater detail
the temperatures taking off.
- [00:16:56.890]Not only can we observe the temperatures,
we can do simulations, right?
- [00:17:00.380]We can simulate what's happening.
you know, what will happen to natural
- [00:17:04.071]activity, solar cycles, volcanoes
and the like that impact the atmosphere.
- [00:17:07.896]They would reduce those effects alone.
- [00:17:10.077]You would predict that temperatures
would remain relatively flat over time.
- [00:17:14.405]But once you include in the simulations
the effects of of human activities,
- [00:17:18.800]human influence, you predict that you see
this increase in temperatures.
- [00:17:22.021]And that is in fact
exactly what we observe.
- [00:17:25.175]Why is this happening?
- [00:17:26.182]Well, this is happening at the same time
- [00:17:27.927]that we're putting a lot more of these
greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.
- [00:17:32.154]So this is carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide,
methane, I think I'm not a chemist.
- [00:17:36.416]I think that's methane.
- [00:17:38.563]We're seeing increased
- [00:17:39.838]concentrations of all of those and we're
seeing real effects in the weather also.
- [00:17:42.959]Right all over the world,
we're seeing increases in hot extremes
- [00:17:47.656]taking place, not so much in the US.
- [00:17:49.334]Interestingly, increases in incidents
- [00:17:52.756]of heavy precipitation and cases
of agricultural, ecological drought.
- [00:17:56.883]So all of these things are real effects
that are going on.
- [00:18:00.473]What does any of this
have to do with particle physics?
- [00:18:02.587]Well, you got to start thinking
about the carbon budget, right?
- [00:18:05.942]And you know, the International Panel
on Climate Change said that every thousand
- [00:18:10.841]gigatons of cumulative carbon
- [00:18:13.760]will lead to another
half degree ish in in warming.
- [00:18:17.417]And if we want to limit the warming
to less than one and a half degrees,
- [00:18:20.538]which is, you know,
- [00:18:21.343]the level that we think we need to
to keep from having really significant
- [00:18:24.866]effects, mass extinctions,
sea level rise, stuff like that.
- [00:18:28.154]We really need to keep to one tonne of CO2
- [00:18:31.040]So CO2 or equivalent
amounts of other gases per capita per year
- [00:18:36.039]until 2050, Right.
- [00:18:37.080]For the next 25 years
you get one tonne per person.
- [00:18:39.797]So that's the number to keep in mind,
- [00:18:41.207]You get one tonne of emissions
per year for the next quarter century
- [00:18:46.105]and that's
- [00:18:46.441]a bit of a challenge because in the US
right now the current per capita
- [00:18:50.769]per year rate of emissions
is 14 tonnes of CO2 equivalent.
- [00:18:56.037]The good news is that it's come down
- [00:18:58.990]from 2005, which is sort of the benchmark
date in Europe is more like 20.
- [00:19:02.278]So we've already made a lot of progress
there towards one,
- [00:19:04.794]but it's still far away from one
- [00:19:06.371]and for that matter it's three times
the global average, right?
- [00:19:08.619]So the US really stands out
in this respect
- [00:19:11.941]in that framework, you've got to wonder
whether big science activities
- [00:19:15.229]such as particle physics
have the potential
- [00:19:17.377]for scientists to have a carbon impact
well above that of of average
- [00:19:20.631]citizens, which means that we have
to start paying attention to this stuff.
- [00:19:23.920]You can either take the moral approach
that we have a responsibility to future
- [00:19:27.174]generations to make sure that we can leave
behind a habitable planet.
- [00:19:31.804]But also,
even if you don't care about that,
- [00:19:33.985]there is very practical reasons
as a big scientist
- [00:19:37.106]or someone doing big scientists,
because, you know, we're talking about
- [00:19:40.193]continuing with these big projects,
putting on even bigger projects.
- [00:19:44.320]They're going to be under scrutiny
for their for their climate impact
- [00:19:47.004]and their carbon impact.
- [00:19:48.212]So you've got to think about
what you're doing in this area that might
- [00:19:51.769]have an impact on on the climate
and what we can do to mitigate it.
- [00:19:55.795]But, you know, we have these big
- [00:19:58.748]that can come together and do great things
if we put our mind to it.
- [00:20:02.036]So given that,
can we do the same thing here
- [00:20:03.915]and can we really be world leaders in
how we go about addressing climate change?
- [00:20:08.847]And so ultimately the question for us is
how we can how can we pursue the science
- [00:20:12.169]we love, sustainable?
- [00:20:15.323]Some of us in particle
physics are thinking about this.
- [00:20:17.336]A few other
people in other fields are too.
- [00:20:20.020]I came across this paper, you know,
I heard it on NPR about this paper
- [00:20:24.885]from some astronomers
- [00:20:26.261]trying to look at the carbon footprint
of astronomical research infrastructures.
- [00:20:29.918]So this is what was needed to do
to build the telescopes,
- [00:20:32.703]to launch the satellites, stuff like that
- [00:20:34.146]doesn't even include
actually doing research with them.
- [00:20:35.857]This is just to sort of
build them and run them.
- [00:20:38.575]And in their estimate, they found that
there, you know, the infrastructures
- [00:20:42.736]are giving you 36.6 tonnes of CO2
equivalent per year per astronomer, right.
- [00:20:48.138]So far above the one that we need
to get to far above the 14
- [00:20:53.137]that that is per capita
in the United States right now.
- [00:20:56.962]So the infrastructures alone in astronomy
are giving you a carbon
- [00:21:00.753]footprint similar to that of, you know,
some mid-sized European countries.
- [00:21:03.505]That's that's, that's the level
at which we're having an impact.
- [00:21:06.726]So what about particle physics?
- [00:21:08.336]Let's start going through
some of the things I talked
- [00:21:10.484]about in the intro
and some of the things we do
- [00:21:12.363]and think about what
their carbon impacts are like
- [00:21:15.248]these giant infrastructures
we build like the LHC tunnel.
- [00:21:18.570]So we're talking about building
even bigger machines, even bigger tunnels.
- [00:21:22.462]What are going to be the impacts of that?
- [00:21:24.207]So here's an interesting assumption
and I give you as my collaborator,
- [00:21:28.032]Veronique Glover, who is pushing this idea
- [00:21:30.951]and it's a good one, you know,
if we are doing the things we need to do
- [00:21:37.494]to address climate
- [00:21:38.333]change, you know, like as special
as specified in the Paris Accord.
- [00:21:41.587]And so forth, you've got to decarbonize
electric power, right?
- [00:21:45.312]So the whole the whole grid has to go to
renewables, non fossil fuels in general.
- [00:21:50.647]And so the target date for that is 2040.
- [00:21:53.432]The next particle accelerator
- [00:21:55.042]that we're talking about are going to be
on a timescale beyond 2040,
- [00:21:58.230]which means that they are going
to be operating on decarbonized energy.
- [00:22:02.223]That's not going to be the source of, of
of carbon emissions
- [00:22:06.719]for future operations
of these accelerators.
- [00:22:09.067]What it could be
instead is construction building
- [00:22:11.852]these facilities is
what could eliminate your carbon impacts.
- [00:22:14.906]In fact, the construction industry
- [00:22:16.885]contributes about 10% of the world's
total carbon emissions right now,
- [00:22:21.482]and that's
because just because of the carbon
- [00:22:23.327]of the chemical process
required to make cement.
- [00:22:26.347]That you're
you're you're heating up this compound
- [00:22:28.226]and it releases carbon
and you generate about one tonne of carbon
- [00:22:31.615]dioxide per tonne of cement that you make.
- [00:22:33.326]And there's no real understood way
to decarbonize this right now.
- [00:22:37.118]So we're talking about building
some really big tunnels, right?
- [00:22:40.406]The certain imagines building the FCC,
- [00:22:43.728]Circular Collider as it's called,
about 100 kilometer tunnel.
- [00:22:46.882]And I mean that's
that's just the main tunnel
- [00:22:48.962]and you got to build a lot of other
- [00:22:50.740]This is a diagram of the tunnel,
and it's going to have access shafts.
- [00:22:53.357]You can get into it
and various bypasses and stuff like that.
- [00:22:56.209]A big a big concrete
- [00:22:59.665]This this is the LHC tunnel.
- [00:23:02.048]This is the FCC tunnel, Right.
- [00:23:03.692]It's that much bigger, really big.
- [00:23:05.604]So what's the carbon impact of building
a tunnel like that?
- [00:23:09.463]Well, okay.
- [00:23:10.000]You know, we looked up, we went you know,
we read the design report for the FCC.
- [00:23:13.825]They got a picture of that,
the the tunnel, a cross section.
- [00:23:16.408]I can still do enough geometry
that I can calculate how much concrete
- [00:23:19.529]goes into an analyst that goes 100, 100
kilometers around like that.
- [00:23:24.696]Concrete is about 15% cement.
- [00:23:27.078]We did the calculation comes out to
about 240 million
- [00:23:29.494]tons of carbon dioxide
that you'll create in making the cement.
- [00:23:34.426]Also, we
- [00:23:34.862]found a paper by some Spanish engineers
who had studied
- [00:23:38.822]the total carbon
footprint of traffic tunnels,
- [00:23:42.177]auto tunnels that they were building
in Spain, everything that goes into it.
- [00:23:45.297]And they came up with a rule of thumb
about five or ten thousands
- [00:23:48.250]of kilograms of CO2
per kilometer of tunnel,
- [00:23:51.505]and there's 100 kilometer tunnel,
so you get about 500 kilotons of CO2.
- [00:23:56.672]Two different calculation,
very two different ways
- [00:23:59.021]they come out within a factor,
two of each other.
- [00:24:01.604]If you're a physicist, you say, okay,
that's close enough.
- [00:24:03.517]And factor two, we got it about right.
- [00:24:06.637]Okay, But how many how many physicists
are going to be using this?
- [00:24:09.288]5000 or so.
- [00:24:10.898]Okay, So that's like 500 tons of carbon
for physicists just to put up the tunnel.
- [00:24:15.629]You can argue about that
- [00:24:17.039]Hopefully we're serving all of humanity,
not just a few physicists, but
- [00:24:20.193]it's a lot of a lot of cement
and a lot of carbon.
- [00:24:23.380]You'd have to you'd have to build plants,
6 million trees to offset that.
- [00:24:27.272]For comparison,
- [00:24:28.983]a recent skyscraper, right,
One World Trade Center in New York City,
- [00:24:33.681]the carbon associated with
- [00:24:34.788]that is about 200
kilotons of carbon of CO2 equivalent.
- [00:24:38.949]So we're talking about building,
you know, basically multiple skyscrapers
and and and the concomitant carbon impact.
- [00:24:46.766]So the sort of environmental scrutiny
that developing a set of sky
- [00:24:51.531]skyscrapers would receive,
you have to expect that we're going
- [00:24:53.544]to get the same sort of scrutiny
for trying to build these infrastructures.
- [00:24:58.040]We run these detectors.
- [00:24:59.047]I told you a bit about the detector.
- [00:25:00.322]The most surprising thing
I've learned from working on this is that
- [00:25:03.912]the carbon emissions from CERN
are dominated, in fact,
- [00:25:06.999]by the gases we use inside the detectors
to do these experiments.
- [00:25:10.824]You might think at first it's
the electric power to run the LHC.
- [00:25:14.213]But no, it's not.
- [00:25:16.494]So okay, a few some terminology,
- [00:25:18.474]some when you're counting carbon,
it comes in different scopes.
- [00:25:21.628]Scope one is direct emissions
from the organization, right?
- [00:25:25.252]This is the carbon you're making yourself.
- [00:25:27.131]Scope two are indirect emissions
from things like electricity, right?
- [00:25:31.426]So someone else is emitting the carbon
to generate the electricity,
- [00:25:34.244]you take advantage of it,
that falls under scope.
- [00:25:36.257]Two So the CERN environmental report here
covering years 2017 through 20,
- [00:25:41.525]they've divided emissions up into scope
one and scope two in the different years.
- [00:25:46.893]The electricity
to run the LHC falls into scope two,
- [00:25:50.215]and that's a small amount of emissions
compared to what you're getting in scope,
- [00:25:54.208]one which is dominated by the experiments
itself and the gases that we're using
- [00:25:58.436]both for detecting particles
and for cooling the detectors.
- [00:26:04.106]So getting into the, you know,
the hundreds of kilotons
- [00:26:07.092]for the work of, you know, maybe,
you know, ten or 20,000 people
- [00:26:10.481]and this is per year, right?
- [00:26:11.857]So again, not far above
the one ton per person,
- [00:26:15.145]per year, some of these chemicals.
- [00:26:18.198]Yeah, right.
- [00:26:18.601]It is for it's these pouring gases
- [00:26:21.654]and they turn out to be to have really
significant global warming potential.
- [00:26:24.943]Most of the emissions are coming in
situ H2 F
- [00:26:28.298]for that 70% of the emissions
coming from the detectors.
- [00:26:31.653]And you know, that's a gas
that has a 13 an impact of 1300 times
- [00:26:37.257]that of CO2 for the same
- [00:26:38.632]the same amount of gas emitted
and some of the other gases that we emit
- [00:26:42.357]in smaller amounts have even greater
global warming potential. So,
- [00:26:46.484]you know, so we we really have to be
paying attention to the gases we use.
- [00:26:49.537]The gases were great for particle physics
- [00:26:51.986]They do what they need to in the detector,
- [00:26:54.570]but you need to start looking
at potential alternatives.
- [00:26:57.019]And there is all sorts of issues there.
- [00:26:58.529]You need something that functions just
as well, but you need to have also safety.
- [00:27:01.985]It turns out that the gases
that have less,
- [00:27:05.240]less global warming impact
also turn out to be more flammable.
- [00:27:07.656]So we have safety issues there
- [00:27:09.031]and these are things we have to be
thinking about going into the future
- [00:27:13.896]I talked about,
you know, the hundreds, you know,
- [00:27:15.574]the petabytes of data that we produce
in these experiments per year.
- [00:27:18.896]You got to compute them on all of that.
- [00:27:20.741]Usually with all that data,
- [00:27:22.050]we do it on this campus with with the Tier
two computing center that we host
- [00:27:25.204]the experiment
- [00:27:28.257]data centers,
computing in general contribute
- [00:27:30.807]a relatively small amount of global
greenhouse gas emissions at the moment,
- [00:27:34.599]but we can expect
this is only going to grow as we do
- [00:27:36.981]more and more computing and more data
- [00:27:40.303]So you can start to think about things
- [00:27:42.718]where do you put your computing centers
- [00:27:44.295]and what is the cleanliness of the power
that you that you get there.
- [00:27:48.188]The biggest rabbit hole
I went down putting this together,
- [00:27:51.375]there's a website electricity map Thorne,
that purports to show in real time
- [00:27:56.307]what the what
the carbon impact of electricity is region
- [00:27:59.461]by region right in it.
- [00:28:00.334]And of course there are different
- [00:28:03.219]Yeah we're on a river
for in here somewhere.
- [00:28:05.870]I think
- [00:28:07.078]if you don't have the state outlines it's
hard to tell where your for your city is.
- [00:28:11.138]We have a major computing center
- [00:28:12.883]It's in it's
- [00:28:13.822]it's in Gainesville
at the University of Florida,
- [00:28:15.500]which has some of the dirtiest power
in the country.
- [00:28:18.217]Should we have put it there had we
been thinking about the carbon impacts?
- [00:28:20.935]Maybe not now, of course, here too, right?
- [00:28:24.257]If you look towards the further future
are the electric grid.
- [00:28:28.183]This shouldn't
have so much of an impact in the future.
- [00:28:30.364]But once we're all driving electric cars
and once we're using
- [00:28:33.618]electricity for that, you start
to have a supply problem with electricity.
- [00:28:37.309]And whether we can produce
enough electricity through non-fossil
- [00:28:41.000]fuel sources to meet all the demand
that's going to be out there,
- [00:28:45.261]We do our work in places.
- [00:28:46.872]We do our work at labs,
we do our work on campuses.
- [00:28:49.556]And so what our campus is doing,
what's our campus doing anyway?
- [00:28:52.945]Look at this.
I'll tell you a bit about it.
- [00:28:54.253]I looked at it, so we recently got a gold
rating for sustainability
- [00:28:58.884]from this organization
called the Association
- [00:29:00.696]for Advancement of Sustainability
in Higher Education.
- [00:29:03.548]Our overall score was 65.84 out of 100.
- [00:29:06.265]So that looks to me like a grade,
but it got it got a gold rating in it.
- [00:29:11.097]65 is their threshold
- [00:29:12.842]from this organization
to get to go from silver to gold.
- [00:29:17.573]And this organization
- [00:29:18.311]gives a scorecard that you can use to to
to to evaluate your institution.
- [00:29:23.545]A lot of the points in the
- [00:29:24.686]score, though,
go to things like teaching about
- [00:29:29.182]teaching, about sustainability,
doing research, about sustainability,
- [00:29:32.068]all good things to do.
- [00:29:33.477]But the bottom line is
- [00:29:34.853]what are you actually doing
in terms of your own carbon emissions?
- [00:29:38.275]And here are some of the university scores
on our operations,
- [00:29:41.832]right on on our buildings,
on our energy usage and our points
- [00:29:46.797]totals, there are well below 50%.
- [00:29:50.622]The university does have a sustainability
- [00:29:52.871]You can find it online, you can read it,
but you got to wonder if the university
- [00:29:57.165]is really engaged in this
and is willing to put resources behind it.
- [00:30:01.527]You're in the in the introduction.
- [00:30:02.936]The plan is described
- [00:30:03.742]as an aspirational framework for change,
which suggests, you know,
- [00:30:06.862]okay, we're hoping we'll do this.
- [00:30:08.607]In fact, the word the were you know,
I did assert the word
- [00:30:11.392]aspirational appeared 19 times in the text
in the text of the report.
- [00:30:15.787]You know, which which
which makes it makes you wonder
- [00:30:17.666]if or if we're going to be working
towards those goals
- [00:30:19.948]and making the necessary investments
- [00:30:23.270]We sometimes track our own greenhouse
gas emissions in scopes one and two.
- [00:30:27.195]You can find this on the web.
- [00:30:28.705]The plots only go up to 2014.
- [00:30:30.383]I guess we stopped ten years ago.
- [00:30:32.027]I was starting to tracking this,
although there's also there's not a graph,
- [00:30:35.416]but there's a claim that in 2019
that we had emissions, right?
- [00:30:38.905]So in 2014 we were down to 5.15
- [00:30:43.703]tons per
- [00:30:44.743]square foot and what, nine and a half tons
per full time equivalent student.
- [00:30:49.877]And by 2019
we were claiming lower numbers.
- [00:30:51.957]But there's nothing on the web
that says any updates since then.
- [00:30:55.917]And, you know, honestly,
we're not going to make any progress
- [00:30:58.534]on meeting sustainability goals
- [00:30:59.943]unless we actually have targets
that we're trying to reach and understood
- [00:31:03.802]pathways and strategies
that we're going to to to to meet those.
- [00:31:07.761]And then,
of course, to track progress. Right.
- [00:31:09.170]You know, if you're doing well, unless
you're actually doing the measurements.
- [00:31:11.686]So I hope that we're still actually
- [00:31:13.733]tracking this
and just not updating the website.
- [00:31:15.344]But, you know, we should all be asking
the leadership why?
- [00:31:18.263]Why are we not publishing?
- [00:31:19.739]You know,
- [00:31:20.544]I've looked at a lot of universities
and many of them are tracking
- [00:31:24.168]this much more actively.
- [00:31:26.752]Other. Yeah.
- [00:31:27.490]Why am
I looking at other universities, right.
- [00:31:29.134]Because it turns out,
- [00:31:30.174]you know, if you tell someone
that you've got a seminar to give about
- [00:31:33.496]particle physics and climate change,
they'll say, Can you come here next week?
- [00:31:36.985]These are all the places
I've gotten on an airplane to, to,
- [00:31:39.569]to go give a variant of this talk.
- [00:31:42.387]Yeah. So I've looked up
- [00:31:44.636]all these schools out and about.
- [00:31:45.776]I've sort of looked up
- [00:31:46.414]what their, what they have to say
about sustainability on their websites.
- [00:31:51.078]So I'm getting on a plane
each of those times.
- [00:31:53.728]I mean I could give the talk by Zoom
- [00:31:56.413]But it would, you know, it would be a very
different experience for all involved.
- [00:32:00.875]You don't get to have the same sorts
- [00:32:03.325]that you have
with people over Zoom than you do
- [00:32:05.103]if you go to a place and you get to sit
around and talk to people for a day,
- [00:32:08.861]you know? Right.
- [00:32:09.364]So particle physicists are famous
for their travel, right?
- [00:32:11.545]Because basically
no one has a particle accelerator at home.
- [00:32:14.397]You got to go to some remote site
that often involves getting on a plane.
- [00:32:17.585]You're going to meet people
in various places.
- [00:32:20.369]Air travel at the moment is,
you know, only 2% of global emissions.
- [00:32:24.396]But at least before the pandemic,
when there was a big reset,
- [00:32:26.946]it was rising pretty rapidly.
- [00:32:28.858]And this is something that's hard
to decarbonize, right, that you can
- [00:32:33.891]I mean, the the electric plane
- [00:32:35.636]is basically a flying battery
riding about a battery with wings on it.
- [00:32:40.401]And, you know, one of one feature of
- [00:32:43.722]jet fuel powered planes. Right.
- [00:32:44.964]Is that they
they get lighter as you fly them.
- [00:32:46.675]And that has impacts
for for takeoff and landing.
- [00:32:49.024]That wouldn't take
- [00:32:49.561]that wouldn't be the case for the for
the electric battery plane, except there's
- [00:32:53.151]an equals empty squared sort of sense,
but it's too small to make a difference.
- [00:32:56.473]Okay. Okay. Tim, got that joke. Very good.
- [00:32:59.627]But, you know, the pandemic,
when we had to put
- [00:33:02.814]a stop to travel for a while,
it gave us a real opportunity to evaluate,
- [00:33:07.176]evaluate the necessity of travel.
- [00:33:08.719]And we got a better understanding of what
- [00:33:10.699]what could be done remotely,
- [00:33:11.706]but also what can't be done remotely
and what it's important to be in person
- [00:33:14.927]for so we can think about what we can do
on these fronts, right?
- [00:33:18.215]Can we optimize, experiment work?
- [00:33:20.329]Can we do more
remote control of experiments?
- [00:33:22.778]Do you don't have to send people
to turn to do things.
- [00:33:26.033]Can we improve meeting technology,
do something better than Zoom
- [00:33:29.187]so that people don't feel like
they have to be proximate to people to
- [00:33:32.743]to have the interaction they need?
- [00:33:34.958]Can we do more work in regional centers?
- [00:33:36.669]Could we gather people
- [00:33:37.843]in more local places rather than flying
everyone to CERN conferences?
- [00:33:41.937]Well, conferences are fun, but, you know,
are they really necessary at this point?
- [00:33:45.561]It used to be in academia
to find out what was going on.
- [00:33:48.715]You had to go to a conference
and meet other people.
- [00:33:51.231]Now it's on a website overnight
and you can find out what's going on.
- [00:33:55.459]Is it necessary for career development
and to to show yourself
- [00:33:58.512]for networking and stuff like that
or can this be done in other ways?
- [00:34:02.102]Some people have looked at this
and estimated that,
- [00:34:04.048]you know, it's one ton of carbon
per per participants per conference.
- [00:34:08.309]So, you know, remember,
you only get one ton a year and you just
- [00:34:10.490]you just spent it on the conference
you went to for a week.
- [00:34:13.644]So you know, ideas there. Right.
- [00:34:15.322]More accessible venues
make it easier for people to get to them,
- [00:34:18.275]have more virtual conferences.
- [00:34:20.120]Does an annual conference
really need to be an annual conference?
- [00:34:22.939]Can you do it every other year?
- [00:34:24.717]Could you have a distributed conference
instead of everyone
- [00:34:26.898]gathering in one place?
- [00:34:27.737]Could they meet in several
different places, simultaneous sleep?
- [00:34:30.824]We can think about all of these things,
- [00:34:32.065]and hopefully some judicious choices
can have an impact.
- [00:34:35.924]So how do we do big science sustainably?
- [00:34:38.742]How do we do
big science in the climate emergency?
- [00:34:41.292]The issues
certainly are not going to go away.
- [00:34:43.070]So we have to be prepared for this stuff.
- [00:34:44.849]I think we certainly had to be expecting
- [00:34:46.426]more stringent review
of environmental impacts.
- [00:34:49.513]We have to be prepared to answer questions
about our environmental impacts.
- [00:34:53.036]We have to be
- [00:34:54.948]proactive about what we're
- [00:34:55.921]going to do right to set concrete goals
for reduction, for reduction of emissions
- [00:35:00.384]and have defined pathways
for meeting them,
- [00:35:02.565]and also to consider the evolving context,
- [00:35:04.645]That that if we're really going to have,
for instance, a a decarbonized
- [00:35:08.034]grid, we have to if we're planning
future facilities, we have to think about
- [00:35:11.154]what the carbon situation will be like
at that future time.
- [00:35:15.348]What I hope we can see
and it's going to need sort of action from
- [00:35:19.073]the federal funding agencies
to make this happen
- [00:35:21.858]is that we can invest in a zero carbon
future for big science
- [00:35:25.213]by letting scientists
- [00:35:26.488]spend some of their research time
on directly challenging the challenge,
- [00:35:30.011]directly tackling challenges
related to climate change
- [00:35:32.427]in the specific context
of their discipline.
- [00:35:34.406]That is to say,
you know, to do things like research on on
- [00:35:39.238]low carbon building materials
could be considered particle physics,
- [00:35:42.291]a form of particle physics, right?
- [00:35:43.466]Because you're doing that to support
- [00:35:45.311]construction of future facilities
and let me, as a particle physicist,
- [00:35:48.935]get funded to do that kind of research
in support of this global enterprise.
- [00:35:53.062]And certainly,
- [00:35:53.867]you know,
- [00:35:54.270]from the things we've done,
the things we've talked about,
- [00:35:55.948]you can imagine some of the topics
that that could be useful for research
- [00:35:59.739]in the future.
- [00:36:01.685]I don't want to
- [00:36:02.255]suggest that particle physicist can do it
all, to stop it,
- [00:36:05.443]to stop global climate change,
just a small part of the world.
- [00:36:09.604]It's really going
to take a societal response.
- [00:36:12.456]But I still think that we can
we should be able to to lead the way
- [00:36:15.677]in sustainable science.
- [00:36:17.489]And even though there's a tremendous
number of challenges out there,
- [00:36:20.978]you know, the climate scientists say that,
you know, it's
- [00:36:23.058]we still have time to make a difference
here and make some changes
- [00:36:26.313]if we get going on it now.
- [00:36:27.722]So I encourage you to all think
about how you can take part in this.
- [00:36:30.776]Thank you.
- [00:36:37.016]And I'm going to sit for be so
- [00:36:48.626]Yeah, and that was a great talk.
- [00:36:53.994]Thanks for that.
- [00:36:56.074]It occurs to me, though, that that
if we could just
- [00:36:59.799]get Fusion energy working,
this would solve all our problems.
- [00:37:04.194]So maybe the federal government
- [00:37:05.570]ought to mandate that all physicists
go into amo physics to make fusion energy
- [00:37:11.173]work instead of this elitist, reductionist
- [00:37:14.160]scientific research that you're doing,
- [00:37:16.810]your virtual summit.
- [00:37:22.917]A Yes, I mean, there's
a variety of investments typically making
- [00:37:27.447]in research and development
to support all sorts of things,
- [00:37:31.574]to help help help support climate science.
- [00:37:37.982]Our country is under investigation
- [00:37:43.116]for competitiveness and to address it.
- [00:37:46.505]They'll be doing more for your country
if you can find it.
- [00:37:53.215]Am I my point people over the parentheses.
- [00:37:58.483]I'm kind of
- [00:38:00.429]cynical. It
- [00:38:14.119]I think this
- [00:38:15.192]this is hurt
- [00:38:19.286]because it's her It's her
- [00:38:23.111]in view not
- [00:38:54.114]a microphone
- [00:39:17.970]the energy doing your play and
- [00:39:22.433]and you how how do I remain
optimistic in the face of this
- [00:39:26.056]and when maybe things aren't
trending in the right direction.
- [00:39:30.016]Yes. I mean fusion is is is a hard problem
- [00:39:33.405]and know we'll see if it's as promising
as Tim thinks.
- [00:39:37.632]Our optimism I mean, I you know,
I couldn't believe that
- [00:39:40.686]I were in too optimistic. Right.
- [00:39:41.927]I mean, I couldn't I couldn't
be an educator if I weren't optimistic.
- [00:39:44.645]Do we have to?
- [00:39:45.484]We have to believe that that we can make
a change in that every individual
- [00:39:48.872]can can count in making a change?
- [00:39:52.094]You know, it's going to again,
you know, it won't all be on individuals.
- [00:39:56.187]We have to as a society,
we have to act as a society.
- [00:40:00.448]And. Okay.
- [00:40:01.153]Worried about the future?
- [00:40:01.891]I mean, Yes.
- [00:40:02.394]So, I mean, these future facilities
that we're talking about building right.
- [00:40:05.750]There aren't going to be operating
- [00:40:09.105]I mean, I'm
I'm I'm going to turn 70 in 2040, Right?
- [00:40:11.856]I mean, I'm going to I'm
not expecting to be doing doing
- [00:40:15.681]science at these at these facilities.
- [00:40:19.003]But people who came before me
- [00:40:21.855]invested their own effort
to make the current facilities possible.
- [00:40:26.083]And, you know, it's it's part of my job
as as a part of this community
- [00:40:29.002]to invest in making these things
possible for people in the future.
- [00:40:33.297]I mean, you know, people you know, the
you know, you plant the carob tree.
- [00:40:37.591]It takes 100 years for it to bear fruit.
- [00:40:39.370]That doesn't stop people
from planting carob trees.
- [00:40:41.618]They're thinking about the future.
- [00:40:50.308]Really. It's like I enjoyed it.
- [00:40:52.288]It feels like also in a similarly
pessimistic view is right nowadays,
- [00:40:57.992]what an average
- [00:40:58.797]person can do to help reduce
their carbon footprint is to pay money
- [00:41:03.696]or to invest in their own,
you know, carbon offsets.
- [00:41:08.762]You can, you know, purchase plane tickets
and then pay a little extra
- [00:41:12.117]to offset that carbon footprint.
- [00:41:13.728]So all the stresses
placed on the individual
- [00:41:16.714]in the similar manner for these projects
as someone who's led,
- [00:41:21.143]you know,
large task and big organizations,
- [00:41:24.767]do you see the potential
of having a carbon offset
- [00:41:28.357]in budget proposals
for these big projects?
- [00:41:32.417]I mean, that's really a possibility.
- [00:41:35.001]E I mean, even now,
- [00:41:37.920]I mean, you know, this is a topic
I didn't choose too to include.
- [00:41:41.745]You're looking at Fermilab, right?
- [00:41:43.557]The main particle physics lab in the US,
- [00:41:46.308]because, I mean, the Department
of Energy required it requires
- [00:41:48.690]all the labs to track their track
their carbon emissions.
- [00:41:52.146]And I mean, Fermilab is buying carbon
- [00:41:55.065]As you know, that that's what they did
that at at the lab to help offset their
- [00:42:00.400]offset their emission. The
- [00:42:04.259]right I mean,
- [00:42:07.211]there are some interests out there
that I think
- [00:42:08.721]would like to see this all put on you.
- [00:42:10.231]This is all, you know, you as an
individual's job to do something about it.
- [00:42:13.150]We're not going to solve this
as individuals want to electric vehicles.
- [00:42:17.244]We're going to need to develop
a suitable infrastructure for that.
- [00:42:20.331]And that requires
the government like Cheryl Klein.
- [00:42:23.652]I mean, you know, I gave a version of this
talk to Cornell and your two days later,
- [00:42:28.618]you know, the professors there who I know,
you know, wrote to me and said, well,
- [00:42:32.645]you know, after hearing your talk,
I went I went and you wrote down
- [00:42:35.295]I mean, I tried to figure out my own
- [00:42:38.349]You know, I you know, we're vegetarians.
- [00:42:40.194]We drive a Tesla, you know,
all all, all these things that are
- [00:42:43.247]that are in our in our favor.
- [00:42:44.858]And, you know, I'm already at five
- [00:42:47.844]tons a year, and that would be naked
living in a cave right?
- [00:42:51.099]And so, yeah,
I mean, just just these individual
- [00:42:53.246]individual choices
are not going to be enough.
- [00:42:55.092]We need we need societal action.
- [00:42:58.682]Here comes a question from June.
- [00:42:59.655]Yeah, I
- [00:43:18.981]microphone is cutting into that.
- [00:43:19.954]Also saying that.
so this one is from Patrick Bitterman,
- [00:43:24.484]our first speaker in this series
- [00:43:27.135]He said,
thank you. That was quite excellent.
- [00:43:28.879]You've done a great job
- [00:43:30.020]laying out the climate costs
of big science and particle physics.
- [00:43:34.114]But from the perspective of a cost benefit
- [00:43:37.737]I wonder what is the potential
of your type of research to lead
- [00:43:40.690]to innovations
that can mitigate the climate emergency?
- [00:43:44.146]Are they mostly related
to computational advances in materials
or are there any other potential benefits?
- [00:43:52.232]I mean, this is always getting back to the
sort of basic research question, right?
- [00:43:55.487]What is the value of basic research?
- [00:43:57.366]And you can't know, right?
- [00:43:58.876]I mean, there is you know,
I mean, we're not doing anything,
- [00:44:02.902]you know, directly in our research
that is targeted towards addressing
- [00:44:06.157]climate change. Right now.
- [00:44:07.029]This is really elementary
- [00:44:09.445]But, you know,
it's it's hard to predict the
- [00:44:14.847]what technologies will
- [00:44:15.988]emerge out of the science that gets done.
- [00:44:19.243]You know, if you go back,
you know, the postwar
- [00:44:22.698]you know, when people were busy studying
the magnetic moments of nuclei,
- [00:44:26.456]no one was figuring at the time
that this would
- [00:44:29.006]lead to important advances
in medical imaging.
- [00:44:32.127]But that's what the MRI is
- [00:44:34.744]actually that emerged from basic research.
- [00:44:37.260]We're also investing in in people. Right.
- [00:44:39.811]All these people were training
- [00:44:41.455]They're not all going to say
in particle physicists,
- [00:44:43.636]but hopefully we're setting them up
to do great, interesting things
- [00:44:46.857]and for them to pursue
the important problems of the day.
- [00:44:51.286]So, no,
- [00:44:52.762]I don't have any magic bullet solutions
- [00:44:54.909]Right. But Berber,
- [00:44:57.057]you know, investing in basic research
- [00:44:58.802]And this, you know, there's going to apply
to many areas of basic research
- [00:45:02.559]will develop new things.
- [00:45:04.103]We can't predict what their potential is,
but maybe something will emerge.
- [00:45:19.000]All right.
- [00:45:20.477]So part of the problem with concrete
is just that the chemical reaction
- [00:45:23.497]needed to produce it.
- [00:45:24.369]Yeah. Gives off CO2.
- [00:45:26.281]So that means basically you're
you'd have to be looking for a substitute
- [00:45:30.207]rather than make it better.
- [00:45:31.818]Is that right?
I think so, yeah. Yeah, yeah.
- [00:45:33.562]Are there substitutes
that you all can use to do some of what?
- [00:45:38.126]I mean, people
are certainly looking at this, right.
- [00:45:40.105]But I mean I'm not,
I'm not an expert in this, but I mean,
- [00:45:44.199]I mean it's going to be something
that you can do at scale
- [00:45:46.279]and then you can do it
at a reasonable price.
- [00:45:47.990]And I think those are going to be
the challenges there.
- [00:45:50.842]Yeah, but I mean,
- [00:45:51.748]I mean, given that the construction
industry overall is 10%
- [00:45:54.466]carbon emissions, right? This is
- [00:45:56.714]going to be a field of interest
beyond particle physics.
- [00:45:58.425]I think, you know,
- [00:45:59.734]it strikes me that a lot of the uses
of concrete for ordinary buildings,
- [00:46:03.391]you could probably swap out some things,
but it's not so clear when you're building
- [00:46:06.579]underground tunnels. Right? Right.
- [00:46:08.659]A hundred kilometers underground.
- [00:46:10.135]You know what the geology is and what the
what the requirements are on that.
- [00:46:27.851]I've got till 630.
for this very amateurish question, but
- [00:46:35.099]there's all this tunneling
under the earth.
- [00:46:37.816]Does it have any geological effects?
- [00:46:42.078]I mean, we're all upset about shale
drilling for shale.
- [00:46:45.567]Is this I'm comparable.
- [00:46:49.627]I mean, I think I mean, the drilling
- [00:46:51.238]for shale oil, I mean, I think the
- [00:46:54.257]I think the issue there is just how,
you know, the fossil fuels and the carbon
- [00:46:57.747]are releasing more than
- [00:47:00.062]like I said, I don't know much.
- [00:47:01.874]I guess there are some concerns
about about seismic effects from this
- [00:47:07.477]is carefully
studied is all I can say right.
- [00:47:09.457]I mean, they're very attuned to just
what sort of rock
- [00:47:12.678]your your tunneling through and what
- [00:47:15.933]you want to write.
- [00:47:16.872]I mean, you want to do it in in a way
that that won't have impacts.
- [00:47:20.731]And I mean, let's go back to the map here.
- [00:47:24.522]I mean, you know, the
- [00:47:27.106]you know, it's here in this orientation
- [00:47:29.454]I mean, they're looking at
what the geology is in
- [00:47:32.508]and where they'd be tunneling through.
- [00:47:33.716]And that's that's why this proposed
siting as opposed to some other way
- [00:47:37.541]that you could orient a 100 kilometer
ring somewhere near CERN.
- [00:47:40.527]So including,
you know, going under the lake. Right.
- [00:47:43.043]That was considered favorable
- [00:47:45.426]for the geology rather than
- [00:47:46.499]to keep the whole thing under land.
- [00:47:57.605]When you had this slide
that showed the high carbon
- [00:48:02.538]equivalent of
- [00:48:06.363]the gases used were
- [00:48:10.557]detectors, is that assuming
- [00:48:14.785]how much is actually
getting out of the detector?
- [00:48:17.670]Yeah. Yeah.
- [00:48:18.576]So this is leakage.
- [00:48:20.019]This is a detector.
Yeah, that's the leakage.
- [00:48:22.133]Can could that leakage be decreased?
- [00:48:24.750]Could it be recycled?
- [00:48:26.226]Oh, I mean, absolutely. Absolutely.
We're working on it. Right.
- [00:48:28.676]I mean to
I mean there is, you know, when we have,
- [00:48:31.494]you know,
- [00:48:31.729]long shutdowns of the accelerator
and we have access to detector, there is,
- [00:48:34.816]you know, big campaigns to try to
to try to find leaks and repair them.
- [00:48:38.809]You know, some of the stuff is pretty deep
inside the detector.
- [00:48:41.560]Right. And hard to get to.
- [00:48:42.365]And you're going to be running this
for four years more.
- [00:48:45.754]But he has also efforts to recirculate
the gas, recuperate the gas, which
- [00:48:49.982]as I understand it, you know, basically
clean it up so you can re-use it.
- [00:48:54.075]Yeah, I mean, it
this is this is definitely noticed.
- [00:48:56.894]And there's definitely,
- [00:48:57.867]you know, CERN wide efforts to try
to try to address some of these issues.
- [00:49:01.289]So, yeah, it's it is a known problem
that it's it's being worked on, I guess.
- [00:49:05.785]I mean, another
- [00:49:07.496]interesting feature is I mean,
- [00:49:08.637]all these fluorine gases
are pretty highly regulated within the EU
- [00:49:12.697]and they're ramping down production,
ramping down availability.
- [00:49:15.113]So looking towards the far future
of these experiments,
- [00:49:17.361]will we've been able to get our hands on
enough gas to operate them, right?
- [00:49:20.381]Maybe we'll have to think even sooner
- [00:49:22.058]about how we can adjust the gas mixtures
to, you know, to,
- [00:49:25.078]to, to have a sufficient supply
yet meet the needs of the experiment.
- [00:49:28.870]Thank you.
- [00:49:39.539]So there's the problem
of putting a hole in the ozone,
- [00:49:45.176]and we're going to run out of that
with the greenhouse gases.
- [00:49:48.465]But it seems like there's another kind of
- [00:49:55.611]sustainability problem,
- [00:49:56.853]which is sustainability of dollars
and sustainability of people.
- [00:50:03.127]If indeed we take the social approach
and say, you know, each culture
- [00:50:09.905]around the world, each government
- [00:50:11.448]and each nation is going to have to be
responsible for addressing climate change.
- [00:50:15.139]And that is, as you say,
the only way that it will change.
- [00:50:19.937]That will
- [00:50:20.743]mean directing more people
towards this problem that are currently
- [00:50:23.662]working on it, directing more dollars,
research dollars that exist
- [00:50:27.554]or funded by each separate government
towards this problem and
- [00:50:32.922]I mean, is there a risk that
the cost of saving this kind of science
- [00:50:36.781]is diverting the people in dollars
to that kind of science,
- [00:50:40.337]which then means you have nobody left
to do particle physics or whatever?
- [00:50:44.397]The other thing is,
- [00:50:45.773]there are so few people in the world
doing particle physics as it is, right?
- [00:50:48.457]I mean, I that's I think it's going to be
relatively small impact.
- [00:50:52.517]But again, I mean, the point
- [00:50:53.524]I made before more generally,
I mean, I mean, we're underinvesting in
- [00:50:56.778]in the sort of research
that will attack these problems, right?
- [00:50:59.127]I mean, we should be trying
to draw more people into this,
- [00:51:03.623]you know, through support for education,
through support for research
- [00:51:06.609]at universities and elsewhere.
- [00:51:07.885]And hopefully we can, you know,
I mean, it's
- [00:51:10.703]I hope it's not a zero sum game, right?
- [00:51:12.381]We won't be able to generate
- [00:51:13.823]if we keep saying
we need more scientists. Right.
- [00:51:15.568]And we need them for things like this.
- [00:51:17.581]But we were going to make the investments
to to educate people.
- [00:51:22.111]And that's you know, it takes a long time
to to be a trained scientist.
- [00:51:25.735]We got to invest in K-12,
We've got to invest in universities,
- [00:51:28.788]and we have to make,
you know, good lives for scientists
- [00:51:31.405]that they'll want to pursue this thing.
- [00:51:35.733]And, you know,
there's the federal budget is big, right?
- [00:51:39.055]And there are many choices
that can be made.
- [00:51:40.464]And, you know, these sorts of things
are a very small part of it.
- [00:51:46.437]I have a certain bias.
- [00:51:48.282]Fine. That
- [00:52:00.093]are. Thank you very much.
- [00:52:01.435]Okay. Thank you.
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