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Exciting time for the ILC technical design

| 20 December 2012

The handover was followed by a panel discussion.

Worldwide efforts toward the realisation of the International Linear collider advanced one step further last weekend. On 15 December, the draft of the Technical Design Report (TDR) for ILC was handed over to Jonathan Bagger, the chair of the International Linear Collider Steering Committee (ILCSC), at an official ceremony held in Tokyo, Japan. This event was jointly hosted by the Global Design Effort (GDE), ILC Research Directorate (RD), the Advanced Accelerator Association promoting Science and Technology (AAA), and Japan’s High Energy Accelerator Research Organization (KEK).

“On behalf of the ILCSC, I am pleased to accept the draft report. I am looking forward to seeing the final design,“ Bagger said.

This draft is the product of many years of research and development and a series of in-depth technical reviews for the ILC. The purpose of the event was to report the completion of the TDR for technical and cost review by high-level international committees of experts, which means that the technologies to be used for the ILC have reached a stage where, should governments decide in favour, the collider could be built immediately.

The TDR consists of three volumes: Volume 1 describes the physics potential of the ILC, Volume 2 the accelerator R&D achievements and accelerator design and Volume 3 the detectors for the ILC. Volumes 1 and 3 were written by the ILC’s Research Directorate overseeing detector studies, and Volume 2 by GDE, the team that coordinated the R&D on accelerator technologies. The TDR is handed over by the corresponding directors Sakue Yamada (Research Director) and Barry Barish (GDE Director).

The TDR contains descriptions of the successful establishment of the key ILC technologies, the advances in the ILC detector R&D programme, and physics study. The physics study reflects the exciting discovery of a ‘Higgs-like’ boson at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN in July this year.

The earlier Reference Design Report, was released in 2007, only one and half years after the official formation of the GDE in summer in 2005. It conceptually described the design with many items waiting for technological demonstrations. Now the TDR has been completed based on five years of intensive R&D work and design improvements.

The second half of the handover ceremony was a panel discussion moderated by Hitoshi Murayama, Director of the Kavli Institute for Physics and Mathematics of the Universe (IPMU), and the future deputy director for the Linear Collider Collaboration, the international body that will combine the two linear collider projects, ILC and CLIC, under one organisational roof.

The panelists had a lively discussion on the ILC from different point of views. In addition to Bagger, Barish and Yamada, Hiroya Masuda, the chair of the Japan Policy Council (JPC), Takashi Nishioka, the chair of the AAA, and Atsuto Suzuki, director general of KEK participated in the panel discussion.

The discussion started with a comment from Murayama looking back to his graduate student days. “I had a chance to talk to Kaoru Yokoya, now the Asian regional director of the GDE, and he told me about the linear collider. What I thought back then was ‘no way, it is impossible to build such a complicated machine’. Today, Seeing the completion of the design, I would like to congratulate and express my respect to all who contributed this accomplishment.”

Barish took a look back on his eight years of the work with GDE. Barish said, “As Hitoshi said, I myself was also sceptical about the linear collider in the 90’s.” In 2003, Barish became the chair of the committee to choose the accelerating technology for the next-generation linear collider, the International Technology Review Panel, or ITRP. The choice was between warm and cold technologies, and his involvement to the linear collider started there. “It was a wonderful process with many experts to produce the best design. I am sure this collider can provide wonderful physics results,” he said.

Yamada, who led thousands of scientists spread over the world specialising in detector technologies, was asked about the challenges of his work. Yamada replied, “Of course there were many arguments and a lot of competition, but we have the common language of physics, and the common goal to unveil the mystery of the universe using the ILC, so things settled down to the best spot eventually. It is exciting to work with people who you can compete with.”

Industry has numerous experiences working in international collaborations for their business. Nishioka gave examples of the big international projects and difficulties in management. One of the examples was the Taiwan High Speed Rail project, which was a mixture of the technology of Japan’s Shinkansen system with European standards. “Within an international collaboration, working towards one single standard is a great challenge. But, if you have a concrete, agreed standard at the beginning of the project, things will go smoothly. I think the TDR is exactly this concrete standard.”

Masuda explained the Japan Policy Council’s recommendation entitled “Creation of Global Cities by hosting the International Linear Collider” published in July this year. He emphasised the importance of regional efforts to build a global city where foreigners can live comfortably and easily. He said that “work towards realising such a city is now in process.” In response to his statement, Bagger asked Masuda: “Physicists are often considered strange people. Can the regional community accept thousands of strange people?”, making the audience burst out in laughter. Masuda said, “There is no worry. It is more likely that those exciting people will help revitalise the region”.

Suzuki explained the concept of the future ILC Laboratory. “Future big projects will certainly need to have a new management system where each country shares costs and human resources. I am hoping that the ILC will be the first example of such an entity.”

At the end of the discussion, Murayama introduced Sachio Komamiya and Lyn Evans to the audience. Komamiya will lead the new Linear Collider Collaboration Board, which is a new oversight committee for the Linear Collider Collaboration. Lyn Evans was appointed to the Director of the new Linear Collider Collaboration, whose  mandate is to realise the accelerator.

The handed-over TDR did not include the cost chapter. The new cost estimation will be disclosed after the official international cost review, which will take place next year.

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