Last week, a proposal for the Future Circular Collider revealed at CERN sparked a lot of discussion. The biggest stumbling block was the hefty price tag, with estimates of around $10 billion or more. While Elon Musk tweeted he could help save billions by digging the necessary tunnel, the QM wondered: how much is $10 billion actually?
Well, here are 10 things with a similar price tag to the Future Circular Collider:
|What?||Price tag||How many FCCs?|
|USA military spending (annually)||$677.1 billion||67|
|Brexit divorce bill||£39 ($51) billion||5|
|US government shutdown (start of this year)||$6 billion||0.6|
|Harvard University endowment||$39.2 billion||4|
|Administrative staff of the European Union (annually)||$11 billion||1|
|GDP of Luxembourg||$62.4 billion||6|
|Properties owned by the British Crown Estate||£12 ($16) billion||1.6|
|Tax breaks Amazon for opening new offices||$2.2 billion||0.2|
|Noord-Zuidlijn (metro line in Amsterdam)||€3.1 ($3.5) billion||0.3|
|USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) aircraft carrier||$12.8 billion (+ $4.7 billion for R&D)||1-2|
In comparison to these examples, it seems a lot less money than it did before – especially as a one-off construction cost, split by many different governments. If the European Union will indeed foot the bill will depend on the outcome of the European Strategy for Particle Physics Update, a conversation taking place over the next two years.
After this post was published, I became aware of several other figures of note. Examples include: $14.5 billion in tax evasion by Apple via the “double Irish with a Dutch sandwich” offshore tax construction (1.4 FCCs), an estimated $550 million for active-duty troops’ deployment at the US-Mexico border in 2019 alone (0.05 FCCs). Please feel free to contribute examples in the comment section – in particular relating to government spending.