Next-Gen Super Collider Design Teams Join Forces
In an effort to build a next generation of super-colliders to gain ever deeper insights into the fundamental mechanisms of the universe, and especially to examine the properties of the Higgs-like particle that was discovered by the Large Hadron Collider in Geneva last year, a new partnership called Linear Collider Collaboration was announced this week. It aims to join the efforts of two projects for next-generation particle colliders to strengthen worldwide efforts to understand the universe through particle physics.
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Currently still in the planning stage, the ILC will consist of two linear accelerators facing each other that will bring some 10 billion electrons and positrons together at nearly the speed of light. The current design specifies that, with upgrades, the collider could stretch up to 50 kilometres long and operate at energies as high as 500 GeV.
CLIC, a proposed electron-positron collider under development at CERN, will give physicists direct access to new phenomena at the multi-TeV scale beyond the scope of current particle accelerators. The Compact Linear Collider relies on a novel two-beam acceleration concept: the main beam, to be accelerated, and a drive beam to provide the power for acceleration. This would reach a final energy of 3 TeV, while keeping size and cost within reach.
Lyn Evans, former Project Leader of CERN's Large Hadron Collider, will head the collaboration. "There are a lot of areas where the ILC and CLIC are very similar,” says Evans. “Now we will bring the two groups together in a project where they can actually collaborate."
Indeed both the ILC and CLIC are designed to collide electrons and positrons, with the advantage that it creates very clean and accurate conditions for detailed and precise measurements, which is in most cases superior to what is possible at the LHC, according to senior physicist Steinar Stapnes, who is leading the Linear Collider activities at CERN. “On the other hand, LHC guidance is very much needed to establish the best strategy for implementation of Linear Colliders.”
Main objective is the Higgs-like particle, which needs to be studied in great detail to evaluate its properties and determine whether or not it fits with the Standard Model. Further down the road, with results from the LHC at nominal energy, there is also hope that linear colliders can play a key role in directly exploring new phenomena beyond the Standard Model.
“Now that the LHC has delivered its first and exciting discovery I am eager to help the next project on its way,” says Evans. “I am an accelerator builder, and with the strong support the ILC receives from Japan, the LCC may be getting the tunneling machines out soon for a Higgs factory in Japan while at the same time pushing frontiers in CLIC technology.”