(Reporting by the Tokyo Bureau)
An international symposium for the ILC was held at the University of Tokyo in Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo on February 8th. There, Nobel Laureates Peter Higgs (UK) and Kobayashi Makoto gave seminars. Higgs, who more than fifty years ago predicted the existence of the particle which the ILC will research, said, “It is necessary to build the ILC swiftly, and Japan is in the position to lead the project.”
The symposium was hosted by twelve organizations, including the High Energy Accelerator Research Organization (KEK, Tsukuba City, Ibaraki) and the Tohoku ILC Promotion Council. It was broadcast in Morioka, Hiroshima, and Fukuoka cities, and around 600 people participated over all four venues.
Peter Higgs, a professor emeritus at University of Edinburgh who won the Nobel Prize in 2013 for predicting the existence of the Higgs boson that gives mass to matter, gave his speech via video conference call. He said how important it was to conduct in-depth research of the Higgs particle in order to solve the unanswered questions of particle physics. Moreover, “It’s necessary to swiftly build the next generation facility, which can make many of these particles. Japan is in the position to lead the project.”
Regarding the construction costs that form a hurdle to realizing the project, he said, “It may be seen as an economic burden, but the benefits the ILC’s construction will have on the local economy will be greater than its burden.”
Special Professor Emeritus Kobayashi Makoto of KEK, who received the Nobel Prize in 2008, held a panel discussion with Professor Murayama Hitoshi (UC Berkeley) and Professor Komamiya Sachio (Waseda University). Professor Kobayashi said, “There are still a lot of things we don’t know about the Higgs boson, including its basic principles. I expect that the experiments at the ILC will give an important hint.” Special Professor Maskawa Toshihide of Nagoya University (who received his Nobel Prize at the same time as Professor Kobayashi) sent in a video message.
The world’s leading candidate site for the ILC is the Kitakami mountains which straddle the prefectures of Iwate and Miyagi. The ILC is planned to conduct in-depth research on the Higgs boson particle. The scientific community of the US and Europe have strongly called on Japan to host the project, and the central Japanese government is currently deliberating the project.