Thank you Jack (Gibbons) for that introduction. Jack, your leadership, guidance and advice helped craft this successful agreement. Congratulations and thank you very much.
Today, we are embarking on an extraordinary scientific journey that will take us to new heights of knowledge about the fundamental nature of the universe.
I have no doubt that when the history of the next 50 years is written, the Large Hadron Collider and all of the science, new ideas and technologies it spawns will be a major chapter.
The agreement we are signing builds on the long tradition of successful international cooperation that the Department of Energy's national laboratories and the nation's universities have created with their counterparts around the world.
Let me take a moment to thank and congratulate all of the people who have made today's historic agreement possible. They include:
Professor Sidney Drell, the distinguished Deputy Director of the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center, who led the Department of Energy's High Energy Physics Advisory Panel that recommended that the Department of Energy and National Science Foundation participate in the Large Hadron Collider initiative. Dr. Drell, would you please stand and be recognized?
And members of Congress who have been strong supporters of the LHC, including the Honorable James Sensenbrenner, Chairman of the House Science Committee, and Representatives George Brown and Sherry Boehlert. I understand we have some staff members from those Congressional here with us today. Would you stand and be recognized?
And the principal negotiators of this agreement: Dr. Martha Krebs, Dr. Robert Eisenstein (Director of Mathematical and Physical Sciences at NSF), and Professor Christopher Llewellyn Smith (Director General of CERN). This is a landmark agreement and it makes sense for America, Europe and the world. You are to be commended for your vision and hard work.
Let's give all of these individuals a well-deserved round of applause. What I would like to discuss today is:
- How this pathbreaking agreement will work.
- Why the fundamental science that will emerge from the Collider will prove so important to our future.
- And why international scientific cooperation like this plays a helping to develop common solutions to our greatest challenges.
When we sign this agreement in a few moments, it will mark the first time the U.S. government has agreed to contribute significantly to the construction, through domestically-produced hardware and technical resources, of an accelerator outside of our borders.
And this is the first agreement between the European Laboratory for Particle Physics, known as CERN, and U.S. government science agencies --which is a teaming of some of the world's greatest scientific talent.
And we aren't alone in our enthusiasm for the Large Hadron Collider. Other nations that are not members of CERN --Japan, Canada, Russia, India and Israel --have agreed to join this international scientific effort.
The Department of Energy will invest $450 million in services and goods for the Collider, while the National Science Foundation will contribute $81 million in services and goods. This is about 10% of the total cost of the Collider and detectors.
Our investment will enable about 25 percent of the U.S. experimental high energy physics community to take advantage of the unique research capabilities of the Collider when it becomes operational in 2005. And what will the Collider do? It will accelerate protons up to speeds just a fraction under the speed of light and smash them together at higher energies than any machine has ever before achieved.
The results of the collisions will allow physicists to study in unprecedented detail and precision the structure of matter, and to shed new light on some of the mysteries of the universe.
Science and Technology Results
It's sometimes difficult for a non-scientist to fully appreciate why the work at the Large Hadron Collider will be so important to our future.
I believe the answer lies with the one quality of human kind that helped our most distant ancestors begin the long climb to civilization: curiosity. As Ralph Waldo Emerson said, "Men love to wonder, and this is the seed of our science."
Human kind has never ceased wondering about the universe we inhabit. This eternal quest for knowledge is what has led to discoveries like the Top Quark at Fermilab.
I am told that this quark is 300,000 times heavier than an electron or about as heavy as an atom of gold. The long standing issue of how fundamental particles, like the Top Quark, have the masses that they do is to be the principal focus of the research at the Large Hadron Collider.
Such questions may seem remote from our daily lives, but I see at least three ways that this initiative will change the way we live and think.
First, we may obtain a deeper understanding of the origins of the universe and how the fundamental building blocks of matter are assembled. Human kind's self-comprehension and our ability to understand the universe could be profoundly enriched.
Second, this agreement will have the immediate effect of advancing our scientific and technical knowledge in magnetics, computation, materials, and a host of other disciplines. The Department of Energy will invest $200 million in the Large Hadron Collider's accelerator.
We are counting on three of the Department's national laboratories --Brookhaven, Berkeley, and Fermi --and U.S. industry to provide the superconducting cables, sophisticated magnets, and high purity alloys and films that will make this project a success.
The remaining $331 million from the Department and the NSF will be used to build the massive detectors, which by themselves are $1 billion projects being built by 4,000 scientists and engineers from 45 countries. We are using our national scientific and engineering strengths to push the technical envelope as these new detectors, computers and associated equipment are developed.
And U.S. companies and the Department's national laboratories, which are at the forefront of many of these technologies, will reap the benefits because the work we fund will be done in the United States and help us build a stronger domestic science base.
I would also like to acknowledge the importance and significance of our partnership with the National Science Foundation. Neal Lane will speak in a few moments about how this partnership will help produce the next generation of scientists and engineers who will make huge contributions to our nation's economy and society in the next millennium. The agreement we are signing today will pave the way for even larger scientific collaborations in the future.
The third way that our nation and the world will benefit from this agreement is through the cascading effect of scientific innovations. There are many examples of basic scientific exploration that have led to epoch shaping innovations. Let me give you an example.
James Clark Maxwell's work on the laws of electricity and magnetism in the 1860s led, fifty years later, to Marconi's first practical wireless transmission. And quantum mechanics, which was a radical idea when first proposed in the early part of this century, today provides the key to our understanding of atomic processes. The combination of Maxwell's Laws and quantum mechanics are the basis for the world's trillion dollar electronics industry.
A characteristic that links these important discoveries is the long time scale, running to decades, between the basic scientific discovery and its practical applications. This will also be our experience with the Large Hadron Collider. It is a safe bet that the young scientists and new technologies that will emerge from this frontier activity will provide amazing advances in the marketplace, in medical clinics, and in our daily lives.
Our planet --the blue, green and white jewel that floats through a vast cosmos --is becoming a smaller and smaller place. Astronauts who have had the privilege of seeing this fragile and beautiful globe from outer space come back humbled and more appreciative of the need to bring nations together and work toward common purposes.
Today's agreement exemplifies that noble goal by building on the long tradition of successful international partnerships that the Department of Energy's national laboratories --Fermilab, Brookhaven, the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center, Argonne, and others --and U.S. universities have created with laboratories around the world.
This collaboration, enabled through today's agreement, is truly a win/win situation. It allows the international community to benefit from each other's ideas and to work at the newest frontiers of scientific knowledge.
In turn, scientific cooperation among countries can promote world peace and the development of common solutions to international challenges.
When there is a melding of ideas, cultures and scientific disciplines of the magnitude that we will experience at CERN, the solutions to great challenges --reducing the threat posed by global climate change, finding cures for diseases, and lifting the burden of poverty --become closer to reality.
And it will take the entire international community, all of us, working together to address these challenges. We are fortunate to have some of the world's greatest scientific talent converging on CERN and working toward common solutions that will make our jewel of a planet a better place for our children and grandchildren.
As the French author Victor Hugo once wrote, "There is nothing like a dream to create the future." With today's agreement, we are turning a dream into reality and creating a better future for everyone.