From KEK: Regarding the “Assessment of the revised International Linear Collider Project”

21 December 2018

Image: Rey. Hori

Image: Rey. Hori

We would like to express our gratitude to the review committee of the revised International Linear Collider (ILC) project of the Science Council of Japan (SCJ) for their prompt and detailed evaluation. We here present our opinions in response to the final report published by the Science Council of Japan.

The SCJ appreciated the scientific significance of the ILC project, the “pursuit of new physics beyond the standard model,” but also pointed out issues concerning the hosting of the ILC project in Japan, in particular the cost-sharing as an international project and the international project organization and management. To address these issues, we ask the Japanese government to promptly convey a forward-looking position regarding the implementation of international discussions toward the realization of the ILC.

Humankind has so far revealed the extreme microscopic world by studies using accelerators. However, there remain big questions regarding the natural world that remain unanswered, and it is the greatest challenge of modern physics to elucidate them. There is broad consensus among particle physicists that the Higgs particle holds the key. Precision studies of the Higgs particle have the potential to expand the horizon of humankind’s understanding of nature. The Linear Collider is an important project that can be a major turning point in deciding the “direction of physics” for the next 50 to 100 years.

The scientific significance of the ILC project is widely accepted, but the significance and consequences of Japan taking on a major part of the ILC project should be discussed not only from the academic but also societal points of view. Investigations of the project by researchers have now reached the stage at which further progress requires international discussions by the government. If, in the course of these discussions, it becomes clear that international and domestic conditions are not satisfied, the project will be canceled. We will advance the ILC project, establishing worldwide consensus, including on its budget, while gaining support from both academic circles and society at large. 

As for the identified technical issues, the global community will cooperate, combining resources to resolve them. Based on our experience and achievements at LHC, KEKB, European XFEL, and other research facilities, we are convinced that we can solve them.

— this article has been previously released on the KEK website in Japanese.

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