An interview with ICFA Chief Geoffrey Taylor – reaffirming the necessity of the ILC

The original article was published in the Iwate Nippo (November 3rd edition). Read the original here.

(Reporting by the Sendai Bureau)

Professor Geoffrey Taylor, chief of the International Committee for Future Accelerators (Director of Center of Excellence for Particle Physics, Australia), sat down with Iwate Nippo in Sendai City for an interview. Regarding the Linear Collider Workshop, held in Tohoku (candidate site for the ILC) for the first time in three years, he said, “Scientists from around the world came together to reaffirm the importance of building the ILC, and we have had technological progress as well.” He asked for the Japanese national government to make clear to the world its deliberation process, or otherwise show some sort of positive sign for the ILC.

The Linear Collider Workshop 2019 was held by the Linear Collider Collaboration, the working organization of ICFA, over five days in Sendai until November 1st. It counted among its topics technology that would be used at the ILC, which may be sited in the Kitakami mountains in Iwate Prefecture.

Prof. Taylor mentioned the many research results presented at the LCWS, such as an improvement in function for the particle beam accelerator device that would be placed in the ILC. “We have seen a number of technological developments, which should help to bring costs down.”

He praised the fact that the LCWS was being held in Tohoku again, the first time since being held in Morioka in 2016. “Our bond has grown even stronger with the local area, since researchers were able to hear from residents directly.” At the end of LCWS, participants adopted the Sendai Statement which calls on Japan to build the ILC. “We had the largest amount of participants (over 400) at this year’s LCWS, and they adopted this statement. Researchers from all over the world are hoping for the ILC.”

Prof. Taylor is also keeping an eye on the next European strategy for particle physics (2020-2024), which the Japanese government will take into account as it deliberates on the ILC project. “For the ILC project to be placed in the European strategy, Japan will have to demonstrate some concrete information to Europe, such as how far deliberations have come, by the draft meetings which will start in January 2020.”

China is also deliberating on building a large-scale particle collider, but he emphasized the difference with the ILC. “The Chinese project is a national project, but the ILC has been planned as an international project from the very beginning, with cooperative relationships with other countries taken into account in the planning project.” To the people of Tohoku, he said, “The most pressing issue right now is conveying to the Japanese government how much you want the ILC.”

ICFA is made up of leaders of the world’s largest accelerator labs, and Prof. Taylor became chairman in January 2018. He is staying in Tohoku for the LCWS, and will visit Daito, Ichinoseki City on November 3rd to see the ILC candidate site.