Physics terminology


The opposite (antiparticle) of an electron. A positron has a positive charge, in opposition to the electron’s negative charge.

The Big Bang

The giant explosion that occurred at the beginning of the universe. According to the Big Bang theory, the universe started approximately 13.7 billion years ago with an explosion (the Big Bang), and as the universe expanded, elementary particles, atoms, molecules, stars, and galaxies were created.

Higgs Boson Particle

In the same way that water fills the ocean, the universe is filled with Higgs boson particles, and it is believed that they are what give elementary particles mass. Immediately after the Big Bang, the elementary particles had no mass, but as the universe expanded and began to cool, an ocean of Higgs particles was created. The elementary particles encountered resistance from the ocean of Higgs particles, and it is thought that this difficulty in moving is connected to mass.

Elementary Particle

The smallest unit that matter is composed of. A particle that cannot be subdivided any smaller.

Local place names


This name can refer to a lot of things! On this website, Kitakami is referring to the Kitakami mountains, or highlands, a grouping of hills and small mountains with villages and farmland lying in the valley. But there is also a Kitakami River, the longest river in Tohoku, and a Kitakami City, a city in the center of Iwate. Literally, it means “ascending north.”


A region in Japan that lies to the north of Tokyo. Literally, Tohoku means “East-North.” It usually means the grouping of Aomori, Akita, Iwate, Yamagata, Miyagi, and Fukushima Prefectures, but sometimes includes Niigata Prefecture as well.


Iwate is a prefecture, or state/province, of Japan. The 2nd largest prefecture in all of Japan after Hokkaido, Iwate is home to abundant nature and friendly people. In its southern regions lies the Kitakami mountains and the ILC candidate site.


Oshu is a city in the south of Iwate and the ILC’s northern end would stop here.


Ichinoseki is one of the largest cities in Iwate and lies to the south of Oshu. The interaction point of the ILC, or point where electrons and positrons collide, is planned to be within Ichinoseki.


Miyagi is the prefecture that lies to the south of Iwate. Miyagi is also home to Sendai City, the largest city in all of Tohoku.


A coastal city in northern Miyagi. The southern end of the ILC would stop within the city’s borders.

Research facility acronyms


The Advanced Accelerator Association Promoting Science & Technology (Japan)


High Energy Accelerator Research Organization (Japan; KEK comes from the Japanese name of “Kou enerugii kasokuki kenkyuu kikou”)


European Organization for Nuclear Research (Switzerland). The Large Hadron Collider is housed here.


Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron (Germany); German Electron Synchrotron


Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory; also called Fermilab (United States)


SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, originally named Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (United States)

Organizations related to the ILC in Japan

National-level organizations

MEXT (Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology)
The Japanese government’s decision on the ILC is expected to take place in 2017 or 2018 based on factors such as discussions by the MEXT panel of experts and worldwide research trends.

Federation of Diet Members for the ILC (FDMILC)
A non-partisan group of Diet members (national-level politicians) that are promoting the ILC. Chair: Hon. Takeo Kawamura

Tohoku-level organizations

Tohoku ILC Promotion Council
This council, consisting of industry, academic, and government representatives, has been established to promote basic scientific research and to deepen the understanding of the ILC, as well as to research and create an environment for receiving the ILC. (Sometimes translated as Tohoku Conference for the Promotion of the ILC)

Tohoku ILC Preparation Office
Opened by the Tohoku ILC Promotion Council. The office is formed up of 4 working groups: local industry promotion, local reception of new residents, public relations, and technical considerations.  9 organizations including government bodies from Iwate Prefecture and Miyagi Prefecture, universities and economic groups will participate, considering and sharing information in the 4 working groups and moving forward with goals as one.

Tohoku University
A nationally-run university located in Sendai City, the largest city in Tohoku.

Tohoku Economic Federation (sometimes called Tokeiren)
A comprehensive economic organization with members hailing from around 800 companies in Aomori, Iwate, Miyagi, Akita, Yamagata, Fukushima, and Niigata prefectures.

Iwate-level organizations

Iwate Prefecture ILC Promotion Council (within the Morioka Chamber of Commerce)
A council consisting of industry, academic, and government representatives of Iwate that will work to deepen understanding of the ILC as well as to research and create the environment for receiving the ILC.

Iwate Prefecture Office of Science and ILC Promotion
The office within the Iwate Prefectural Government that handles all ILC-related affairs.

Iwate Prefecture ILC Coordination Office
An office set up as a venue for meetings on issues including preparing for international researchers and nation-wide level promotion of the ILC, and as a gathering place for people working with the ILC.

Iwate University
A nationally-run university in Morioka City.

Iwate Prefectural University
A prefecturally-run university in Takizawa City (right outside of Morioka).