Barry Barish, professor emeritus at California Institute of Technology, is one of the winners of the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics. He is also deeply involved with the ILC project, even coming to Iwate Prefecture to visit the Kitakami candidate site. Officials involved with the ILC effort in Iwate were thrilled to hear of the news, and expectations for the ILC to become a reality have grown even higher.
Dr. Barish was recognized for his achievement in observing gravitational waves for the first time in history. Iwate Prefectural University President Atsuto Suzuki (former KEK chief and current director of the Tohoku ILC Preparation Office) praised Barish, saying, “Accelerator technology was used in his research (of gravitational waves), which shows just how important they are.” He has high hopes for the future: “I think this will send an even larger message for making the ILC a reality.”
As the director of the Global Design Effort for the ILC, Dr. Barish worked on creating the technical design report for the project. He visited the Kitakami mountains in January 2012. Hisashi Odaira, Senior Executive Director of the Iwate Prefectural Government, accompanied him at the time. “He was a serious person who came to the area with a real goal in mind. He praised our beautiful scenery, and seemed to have a good impression of Iwate.”
Former Governor of Iwate Hiroya Masuda has been involved with the ILC effort as the leader of the Japan Policy Council. On October 4th, he attended a Tohoku Economic Federation Forum held in Morioka, and spoke afterwards to reporters. “It was significant that Dr. Barish praised the local area’s steady push of fundamental science research. I hope his win of the Nobel Prize helps the ILC become a reality.”
Iwate ILC Promotion Council Chair Kunihisa Yamura (also Chair of the Iwate Federation of Chambers of Commerce) met Dr. Barish at the end of 2012 when the GDE presented the technical design report in Tokyo. “I feel that Dr. Barish has a connection to Iwate. I hope that the Nobel Prize winners join together with all other stake holders in making the ILC a reality.”