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Real life practical applications of the theories of modern particle physics

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According to this Internet source here some physics majors go on to become professional physicists but the majority pursue careers in fields where they can put their knowledge to more practical applications (like electronics, computer science, finance, medicine etc).

 

So my question is: What could be some of the real life applications of particle physics, supersymmetry, supergravity and the other theories of modern particle physics in medicine, electronics, computers, new power sources etc?

Edited by Uri
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Particle physics has been useful in medical physics: X-rays, proton therapy, positron emission tomography and I am sure many others.

 

As for the modern theories who knows. What I am sure of is that spin-off technologies from experimental particle physics will continue. These will have an impact on medicine, computing and other things.

 

Maybe this report from the IOP may help.

Edited by ajb
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I am hoping that we can have a black hole in every kitchen by 2020. Not only would it act as a garbage disposal, but it is a universal recycler, taking in anything at all and re-radiating its energy as heat (a perfect black-body spectrum). Just watch your fingers on that event horizon!

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Particle physics has been useful in medical physics: X-rays, proton therapy, positron emission tomography and I am sure many others.

 

As for the modern theories who knows. What I am sure of is that spin-off technologies from experimental particle physics will continue. These will have an impact on medicine, computing and other things.

 

Maybe this report from the IOP may help.

 

But what will be the future applications of quantum gravity theories like string theory? Do quantum gravity theories have any applications at all?

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But what will be the future applications of quantum gravity theories like string theory? Do quantum gravity theories have any applications at all?

 

At the moment everything would be very, very speculative as we do not have a fully working theory of gravity. It is like asking Maxwell to predict the electronic revolution. No way he could have known.

 

Things like space flight and time travel applications could be envisaged via wormholes, warp drives or something. Energy production via feeding black-holes and Hawking radiation also. Other aspects of "space-time engineering" also. There are things in classical relativity for which it is not clear if they are physical or not. Quantum gravity would sort this out.

 

All are at the moment very "sci-fi".

 

The more immediate "use" probably comes in the form of motivating new mathematics. Quantum theory and physics in a wider context has been very good at this. The motivation for noncommutative geometry is heavily motivated (but not exclusively) by the want of a quantum theory of gravity.

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A quantum theory of gravity will surely open the way to advanced propulsion techonologies, perhaps even interstellar travel. Medicine will surely benefit too: for instance, we don't know yet the potential benefit of the new particles of dark matter and dark energy on the human body.

 

I'm not sure about computer science though. In the limits of quantum computers, Scott Aaronson (a computer scientist) talks about exotic computers which will use time travel to solve PSPACE problems. He even talks about superstring computers in this article.

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Newton, Navier and Stokes didn't invent the airplane. The Wright brothers did.

 

We'll have to wait and see when the theoretical physics is turned into applied physics by inventors.

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