Particles are not Species

Why do we study subatomic particles? This: “Particles aren’t like insects, you don’t find rare new types scattered in out-of-the-way locations. That’s because each type of particle isn’t like a species of animal. Instead, each particle is a fundamental law of nature.”

4 gravitons

It has been estimated that there are 7.5 million undiscovered species of animals, plants and fungi . Most of these species are insects. If someone wanted billions of dollars to search the Amazon rainforest with the goal of cataloging every species of insect, you’d want them to have a pretty good reason. Maybe they are searching for genes that could cure diseases, or trying to understand why an ecosystem is dying.

The primary goal of the Large Hadron Collider is to search for new subatomic particles. If we’re spending billions searching for these things, they must have some use, right? After all, it’s all well and good knowing about a bunch of different particles, but there must be a whole lot of sorts of particles out there, at least if you judge by science fiction (thesetwo are also relevant). Surely we could just focus on finding the useful…

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