On the highly important ILC, Japan must take leadership – An interview with Dr. Joachim Mnich, Chair of the ICFA

The original article was published in the Iwate Nippo. Read the original here.

Discussions about the challenges involved with building the ILC continued on December 7 during the Linear Collider Workshop (LCWS) held in Morioka City. Joachim Mnich, Chair of the International Committee for Future Accelerators (ICFA), agreed to an interview with Iwate Nippo. He encouraged the Japanese government to make a prompt decision on the ILC, saying, “The need for the ILC is growing at the highest level. I hope for Japan to take leadership in making the ILC a reality.”

Mnich explained, “The reason for the growing need is that we discovered the Higgs boson three years ago. The ILC can examine (what kind of qualities the Higgs has) with extreme precision.”

He talked about the qualities of a linear colliders: “The highest energy level of circular colliders is set in stone from the moment you decide their circumference. But with linear colliders, you can just increase the length of the device in order to increase the energy level.” He stressed the strong possibility of finding new scientific discoveries at the ILC.

In effect, the Kitakami mountains of Iwate Prefecture are the only candidate site for the ILC, so “I hope for Japan to take leadership in realizing the project.” If the decision is delayed? “There are a number of other projects right now, so we would lose the international dedication for the ILC. It is vital that the decision be made in the next two or three years.”

In January 2017, the Linear Collider Collaboration (LCC) which heads the project at the international level, will be changing its structure and starting with some new members. About this new approach, Mnich said, “They will be working towards politically convincing Japan, of course, but also Europe and the United States to get involved. On the technical side, they will further develop the collider design including reducing construction costs.”

Mnich’s impression of Iwate during the LCWS: “I’m very happy to see the region’s dedication for the project as they prepare the area to receive it. I want to answer their prayers and work together to realize the ILC.”

International Committee for Future Accelerators (ICFA)

The International Union of Pure and Applied Physics (IUPAP) founded the ICFA in 1976 to push forth the construction of colliders used in high energy physics, as well as gain international support for their usage. The ICFA is made up of 16 members of top leaders from the world’s most advanced accelerator facilities, including Director General at KEK, Masanori Yamauchi. The ICFA is also the head organization above the Linear Collider Collaboration (LCC), and the ICFA chair is Joachim Mnich, director for Particle Physics and Astroparticle Physics at Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron (DESY).