Talking with LCC Director Lyn Evans – Expectations for the ILC

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

The Kitakami mountains (Kitakami highlands) in Iwate are the globally recognized candidate site for the ILC, and the Japanese national government is currently debating whether to invite the project to the country. Dr. Lyn Evans is working towards the realization of the ILC plan as the director of the Linear Collider Collaboration (LCC), and spoke with us about their initiatives going forward as well as his expectations toward Japan. (Interviewed by Hiroaki Kumagai of the Reporting Department)

―What will be your approach for future work towards the ILC?

“There will be working groups that will strive to raise the efficiency of the accelerator cavities (that will accelerate the electrons and positrons), and that sort of technological improvement will be one approach. Another approach would be to reduce costs through the advantage of the linear collider: it can be built longer at a later date. We could build the project in stages. The thinking is that we could first build a small collider, and then steadily improve its capacity.”

―You have thus far been hoping that Japan would decide to host the project. Will you be able to gather international cooperation?

“We are not politicians, but as scientists we are able to explain to government officials about the scientific significance and importance of the ILC project. When we built the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN, we met and interacted with a great many people in the political field. We can use that experience here.”

“ILC discussions have begun between Japan and the United States, and we must bring those to Europe and other areas. The European environment is quite complicated, but that’s where CERN can play a role.”

―If there should be a delay in the Japanese government’s decision, how will that change the world situation?

“We only have two or three more years before it becomes difficult for the international community of physicists to sustain working towards this single goal. In 2020, CERN will have to decide its strategies for which new, large-scale project it will work towards. If the “go sign” has not been given by the Japanese government by that time, perhaps we can build a linear collider at CERN.”

―In January of next year, Donald Trump will become the next president of the United States, changing over from the Democrats to the Republicans. How will this affect the ILC?

“Historically, the Republican party has supported fundamental science research, but I am unable to predict what the president-elect will do. I’m wary of any remarks made about fundamental science. Who he chooses as his Science Advisor will probably be the most important factor (for the ILC).”

―The people of Iwate have been very interested in the LCWS and the realization of the ILC. Do you have a message for them?

“The ILC will not be as large as CERN, but it will be an international research facility on the same level, and it will most certainly affect the region in a large way. Along with our own efforts, we researchers would like the people affiliated with local government to petition the national government to host the ILC. My thinking has never changed in that the Kitakami mountains are suited to the ILC.”

Dr. Lyn Evans

Born in Wales, graduated from Swansea University in 1970. He was the project manager for the LHC at CERN as well as served chief roles at various physics committees. In 2010, he was selected as a Fellow of the Royal Society, and in 2013, he become LCC Director.

Remarks from researchers

Contributing from the local university

Takashi Imabuchi (Graduate School of Software and Information Science, Iwate Prefectural University, Morioka)

At the All Iwate Fair, we set up a virtual reality display where you could see how the ILC would be built. We want to spread awareness of our school as a university closely linked with the region, and contribute to the ILC effort. In the future I hope to become a researcher, and I hope that we get more opportunities in Iwate to work with foreign researchers and to have more international experiences.

Thanks for your kind guidance

Yu Dan (Institute of High Energy Physics (IHEP), Beijing)

I was able to stand up and give a great round of applause with my fellow researchers at the “Science First” concept spoken about at the speech (by Hon. Takeo Kawamura). China is also proceeding forth with a plan for a circular accelerator, so we may be competing with Japan, but I think that a new accelerator is necessary for mankind no matter what place we put it in. The Iwate people are very friendly and I was so happy that they so kindly guided us around.

Inspired by your commitment (to the ILC)

Paul Marek (Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron (DESY), Hamburg)

I saw a Japanese tea ceremony for the first time at the All-Iwate Fair (run in conjunction with LCWS). I had no idea they’d have something like that, but it was a very pleasant atmosphere. I think it’s wonderful that the Iwate people and the researchers are working together for the ILC. It becomes a chance for us to convey to people what we researchers are doing too. I’m looking forward to the realization of the ILC.