ILC International Development Team goes live, based at KEK

The original article was published in the Iwate Nippo (August 6th edition). Read the original here.

An International Development Team that will push forth the ILC project has started its activities. Their base-of-activities is located at KEK (Japan’s High Energy Accelerator Research Organization, in Tsukuba, Ibaraki), and by 2021, they will develop the organizational framework for the preliminary organization that will prepare for the ILC. They will also improve upon the technology to be used at the experimental facilities. With this, the ILC project has now moved into its preparation phase.

The International Committee for Future Accelerators (ICFA, led by Prof. Geoffrey Taylor) recognized the team on August 2nd, and there was a press release by KEK on the 5th.

The heads of the development team are representatives from the US, Europe and Asia/Oceania, along with the leads of working groups. The head of the team shall be Professor Nakata Tatsuya of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, as he has also served in positions that pushed forth the ILC within ICFA.

There shall be three working groups which will undergo discussions with relevant organizations/labs in other countries in hopes of putting together the organizational framework of the preliminary ILC organization; deliberate on what the facility holding the accelerator will look like; and improve the technology used in the detectors that will observe and record the phenomena observed during particle collisions. Their base will be at KEK.

The Linear Collider Collaboration (led by Lyn Evans), ICFA’s team on the ground that had thus far pushed forth the ILC, was disbanded at the end of June. Their mission has been taken on by the new development team.

They are scheduled to end their design work by the end of 2021, and the preliminary ILC organization will be formed the next year. If all involved countries come an agreement, the ILC laboratory and the construction of the facility could begin as early as 2026. If things go smoothly, the ILC will be up and running by the mid 2030s.

In response to Iwate Nippo, KEK’s Director Okada Yasuhiro said, “The forming of the international development team is a concrete step forward for the ILC, and a crucial stage for bringing the project to fruition.”

The ILC’s candidate site is in the Kitakami mountains of Iwate and Miyagi prefectures, and seeks to unlock the secrets of the universe. Within the next European strategy for particle physics, the ILC was positioned as the highest priority for the next accelerator to study the Higgs particle, and they will support the project should it be realized in a timely manner.