A symposium for the ILC led by Nobel laureates was held at Ochanomizu University in Tokyo on August 5th. There, two American Nobel laureates in physics, Sheldon Glashow and Barry Barish, gave presentations where they stressed the scientific significance of the ILC, and its effect on many other fields. They urged the Japanese government to quickly voice a yes towards realizing the ILC as a national project.
The symposium was jointly held by 17 organizations, including KEK and other laboratories, universities, and other groups. Around 1,000 people attended, including Governor of Iwate Takuya Tasso, and Iwate ILC Promotion Council Chief Kunihisa Yamura.
Barish said that the ILC had the potential to contribute greatly to the evolution of elementary particle physics through its precision study of the Higgs boson particle (thought to give mass to matter). “Researchers will gather from around the world to work on the ILC, and they will bring diverse skills and knowledge. I hope that Japan will make a decision in the near future.”
Glashow said that the ILC might lead to a clue that would unravel the mysteries behind things the Standard Model cannot explain. “The ILC is a device that could potentially make huge discoveries. It will, without a doubt, become a global laboratory.”
At the panel discussion, the two Nobel laureates explained the need for basic science research, and how it was worth it for junior high and high school students to study the ILC.
The Kitakami mountains of Iwate Prefecture is the leading candidate site for the ILC. The Ministry of Education, Sports, Culture, Science and Technology (MEXT) asked for the Science Council of Japan to deliberate on the project, and deliberations started this month. Scientists around the world are urging Japan to make a decision within the year, and deliberations at the national government have reached the final stage.