ILC Meeting in the US – Quotes from three of the researchers

The original article was published in the Iwate Nippo (February 14, print only).

Washington News Department: Hiroaki Kumagai

At the meeting of experts on the ILC hosted by the Hudson Institute in Washington, DC on February 12 (February 13, Japan time), Japanese and American researchers talked about the significance of the ILC and their hopes for scientific cooperation between their two countries. Here we have a summary of what was said by Director-General of the Linear Collider Collaboration Lyn Evans, Iwate Prefectural University President and former Director of KEK Atsuto Suzuki, and professor emeritus of New York University Paul Grannis.

(translation note: Please allow for some minor discrepencies from the original quotes as some were translated into Japanese for the article, and then back into English for this translation)

Lyn Evans, Director-General of the Linear Collider Collaboration

The particle acclerator at CERN (European Organization for Nuclear Research, home to the LHC) may have been home to the discovery of the Higgs boson particle, but accelerator achievements are not just limited to science. Accelerators have given much to society and are used in medical diagnosis and high-level calculations. The World Wide Web, the driving force of growing the internet to the status it has reached today, was started at CERN (to share results of accelerator experiments).

Europe is looking forward to Japan’s forward-thinking proposals regarding the ILC. We know that the country will be a participant, and currently we just need to see how patiently we can wait until Japan makes an official decision.

I know there are concerns about the technology, costs, schedule, and other risks, but the technical design is quite close to completion, which means that preparation for the costs and predictions of its value can take place at a more precise level. I think that its content will be something that the US Department of Energy can be confident in as well.

Atsuto Suzuki, President of Iwate Prefectural University and former director of KEK

We believe that the Japanese national government will make a decision on hosting the ILC sometime within 2017-2018. I would like for us in the [ILC candidate site’s] vicinity to prepare a grand design for the international city of research [that will rise up around the ILC], prepare transportation and communication networks, make plans for using the soil we get from digging the tunnel for the accelerator, and otherwise use this time to act proactively.

As far as the technical aspects of the ILC, it is vital that we improve the electrical efficiency for ILC operations. If we can store the heat that is generated by the ILC, we will be able to make a self-contained system that uses natural energy.

There are many issues that need to be decided upon between our governments regarding the running of the research facility. How should we prepare the construction materials? Should they be delivered by each country with their own materials, or as a joint investment? Should staff be dispatched from other places, or hired directly? This is why, to start, Japan and the US should form a core cooperative framework, then involve Europe, and then the rest of the world. I would like this to start as soon as possible.

Paul Grannis, professor emeritus at New York University

The United States has a long history of accelerator-based research. If the ILC is realized, it’s probable that our participation will be on the same scale as with the LHC (Large Hadron Collider) at CERN. There will be people who move from the LHC [to the ILC], and roughly 1,000 particle physicists will be involved.

One of the merits of the ILC will be its contribution to scientific knowledge. There are aspects of the Higgs boson that are still not confirmed, and there may be other Higgs particles or entirely new particles. We can figure out the answer [with the ILC]. Accelerator technology is also very useful to society, as it is used in high-level medical care, calculations, aerospace science, biology, and more.

Another benefit is that getting involved with new research will be a great inspiration to young researchers. In the past, the US took leadership in the accelerator field, and made contributions with its experiments.