Climate agenda permeates particle physics – News Home


The study of elementary particle physics requires a large input of energy and thus indirectly affects the climate. How to optimize energy consumption and reduce the environmental impact of basic research without compromising the scientific problem being solved is not idle and not simple at all. Although they have been presented before, in the last year there has been an increase in energy and environmental publications and activities dedicated to fundamental particle physics research.So the meeting ended a few days ago Sustainable HEPThe future of particle physics is discussed in the context of sustainable development.initiative Sustainability of HECAP A detailed paper on the current state of particle physics and astrophysics is being prepared.And in the most recent publication For the first time, energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions per Higgs boson produced by five projects at the future Higgs plant were compared. In the coming years, we can expect an increase in such publications and events.

Turning to energy-efficient technologies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the list goes on and on Carbon Footprint More broadly, finding new opportunities to minimise human impact on the environment – ​​all of which have become an integral part of not only new technologies but everyday life. Progress is progress, but it is no longer possible to act without regard to the environment. Nor does the climate agenda bypass fundamental particle physics. If earlier mentions of energy-saving technologies and the impact of collider experiments on climate were episodic, there are now a growing number of publications devoted to the topic and even separate workshops.

Experimental particle physics is a very energy-intensive field of fundamental research. The need to optimize energy consumption is not only caused by climatic factors, but also by budget constraints. Of course, when designing new colliders, always seek solutions that are as efficient as possible in terms of energy consumption. For example, work at the LHC would be unthinkable without superconducting magnets—the energy losses and operating costs would be too great if ordinary conductors were used. CERN is also taking new steps in this direction; they were mentioned in a recent thread CERN reportand in the popular note less, better, recovery in version CERN Messenger. However, CERN in summer, when the LHC is running at full speed, the energy consumption is huge, and achieve Peak power 200 MW. In winter, when electricity costs are much higher, power consumption drops to 80 megawatts, mainly because the Large Hadron Collider and other accelerators shut down during the winter.

Energy optimization at CERN involves not only the scientific equipment itself, but also the entire infrastructure of the center, starting with the mediocre warming of the site. Meanwhile, CERN is exploring the possibility of partially converting to solar energy, either generating electricity at home, equipping hundreds of CERN buildings with solar panels, or via a planned underwater power line for solar power plants in North Africa receive solar energy (Fig. 2)).

米。 2. 连接北非太阳能发电厂与 CERN 的电缆传输线项目

It should be added that this year has been exacerbated by the impending energy crisis in Europe due to a sharp rise in electricity prices.Therefore, in his recent interview newspaper Wall Street JournalSerge Claudet, chairman of CERN’s electricity coordinating group, said the lab was working on a plan to shut down some accelerators, including the LHC, during periods of peak electricity demand in France.Other research centres in Europe face similar difficulties (see note Europe’s energy crisis hits science in the magazine science)。

The electricity used for “the granite that eats the universe” isn’t just for CERN.distributed computer network grid, storing and transmitting hundreds of petabytes of collider data, hundreds of computing centers running collision analyses or performing simulations around the clock—all of which require energy and leave a climate footprint. This means that we should also consider how to optimize the resource-intensive computation of particle physics.This problem is not new: back in the 2010s, a series of workshops Sustainable Science Energy in Research InfrastructuresCommitted to optimizing the energy consumption of large research centers.

Climate and environmental aspects are not limited to energy consumption.For example, CERN maintains and publishes publicly Statistical data Emissions of greenhouse gases and other volatile compounds, water use, waste management and other aspects of center operations. Finally, regular (some might say redundant) flights of physicists for scientific visits and attendance at conferences are also a topic of discussion. Tens of thousands of scientists from all over the world visit the same CERN every year. Two years of the pandemic have shown that some forms of meetings and scientific exchanges can be shifted online, but certainly not all, nor is it obvious to find a balance given all the uncertainty.

The need to discuss the magnitude of all these problems and what can be done here with a broad community of experts prompted physicists to organize their first workshop last year. Sustainable HEP, which can be read as “a sustainable future for particle physics”. A few days ago, from September 5th to 7th, second meeting from this series. Both conferences were held online and brought together hundreds of different types of experts. All materials for both conference presentations can be found on the event schedule page (Sustainable HEP, Sustainable HEP – 2)。

March 2022, publications appear The climate impact of particle physics A brief overview of current climate conditions and recommendations in particle physics, at least for US physicists.Meanwhile, a group of caring scientists launched an initiative Sustainability of HECAP Seek opportunities to minimize the impact of particle physics and astrophysics research on climate. Currently, a team of authors is preparing a document to fix the situation and make recommendations. Its current version, released on September 6, has nearly 100 pages of text and is available on the initiative’s website.

Finally, publish research and the impact of specific scientific installations on the article Carbon footprint of proposed electronics+e Higgs Factory, which appeared in the Archives of Electronic Preprints at the end of August, discusses the carbon footprint of the Higgs plant—a future electron-positron collider, enhanced to study the Higgs boson (see Physicists discuss “Higgs” Gus Factory” option), “Elements”, 19 December 2013). To date, five projects of varying complexity have relied on different technologies; it has not yet been decided which option will be implemented. Using technical data and expected scientific returns, the publication’s authors attempted to compare five projects on two quantities: energy consumption and the carbon footprint of each Higgs boson produced by the collider (Figure 3). Estimates suggest that the leader in these two parameters is the CERN project for the FCC-ee Circulation Collider (detailed designs for future FCC colliders proposed, “Elements”, 22 January 2019).

米。 三、未来希格斯工厂5个项目的能耗对比

resource: Patrick Jarnott, Alan Blondel. Carbon footprint of proposed electronics+e Higgs Factory // preprint [arXiv:2208.10466].

Igor Ivanov

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