Imagine a world where people knew everything we know today except for high energy physics, where their knowledge ends at our ~1950s level. Is there any real world application, any particular piece of technology, that we currently have or that is under development, they would not have because of their lack of knowledge?

To be more precise: In this fictional world, people for example know QED, renormalization and Feynman rules, but they do not know QCD, the particle zoo, the Standard Model and beyond. However, they have developed things like topological methods in condensed matter, as well as the world wide web independently, without doing research in particle physics. Also, I would not count applications such as positron emission tomography, because the ideas from particle physics it relies on predate 1950s.


closed as too broad by Gert, user36790, Kyle Kanos, John Rennie, Sebastian Riese Nov 25 '15 at 20:25

Please edit the question to limit it to a specific problem with enough detail to identify an adequate answer. Avoid asking multiple distinct questions at once. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • $\begingroup$ This is a tough question. I can't answer it. $\endgroup$ – John Duffield Nov 24 '15 at 22:37
  • $\begingroup$ The superminds at Fermilab thought about this too, and apparently did not find anything worth beyond this (no actual technology that purely belongs to the QCD realm, apparently): fnal.gov/pub/science/particle-physics/benefits/index.html $\endgroup$ – user83548 Nov 24 '15 at 22:44
  • $\begingroup$ Some kind of more sophisticated tomography such as the one used in the recently announced project to scan the Giza pyramids would qualify? I don't really know forbes.com/sites/alanboyle/2015/10/21/… $\endgroup$ – mattecapu Nov 24 '15 at 23:01
  • $\begingroup$ Although the list of direct applications might be short, the indirect effects might be substantial. You could ask in a similar manner that "What was the benefit of NASA, assuming we would have satellites anyway?" $\endgroup$ – Mikael Kuisma Nov 24 '15 at 23:23
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    $\begingroup$ I do not really understand why this question has been flagged as "too broad". Judging by the replies so far, it does not seem there are "too many possible answers". Furthermore, I think such lists of applications can be interesting, and have been compiled for example in mathematics, see e.g.: mathoverflow.net/questions/2556/… mathoverflow.net/questions/62866/… $\endgroup$ – otimes Nov 25 '15 at 23:56