What useful technologies have been developed or are in development due to advances of knowledge in modern physics?
Reading all these recent news stories about the Large Hadron Collider
has got me wondering if there is a purpose, besides knowledge for knowledge's sake, in building such a gigantic and incredibly expensive machine. I understand there will be scientific experiments done with the machine to answer questions regarding Higgs bosons, baryons, supersymmetry, etc.; but will this knowledge actually be put to use in improving human life through the development of useful technology?
I'm wondering if there any examples of cutting edge physics research generating knowledge leading to developments in commonly used, or at least useful, technology of today. A similar question was asked about Einstein's
contributions to science and technology, but I'm more interested in work done in the last couple decades.
I understand that the "point" of science isn't merely to develop useful tools to helps humans through life, and I would usually wholeheartedly support advancing branches of science that might appear to have no practical use. That said, with the LHC costing nearly 10 billion dollars, this seems to be something that should be carefully considered and thoroughly debated.