The ILC community

Image: DESY

Who are the people who want to build the International Linear Collider? They are accelerator and particle physicists, engineers, theorists, technicians, students, software experts, even a few communicators, administrators and economists from all corners of the world. They are united by one goal: trying to answers physics' big questions by building the next-generation particle accelerator ILC to accompany the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). They work on the design and the technologies of the ILC in laboratories, universities, research institutes and organisations in around twenty countries in America, Asia and Europe. In total, some 2000 people are involved in planning the future of physics. Most ILC collaborators are also involved in other scientific projects like the European X-Ray Free-electron Laser (XFEL) in Germany, the LHC at CERN in Switzerland, the Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS) in the USA or other national and international projects. Also, collaborative R&D with related projects such as Energy Recovery Linac Projects (ERL), or High-Intensity Compact X-ray Source Projects in Japan are ongoing.

Physics democracy

Typical for particle physics projects, the ILC community is self-organised and there is no official management or hierarchy that dictates the work that is to be done. However, to make sure that all efforts are streamlined, the Linear Collider Directorate coordinates the R&D work for the linear collider and the future detectors, reporting to the Linear Collider Board (LCB), a panel overseen by the International Committee for Future Accelerators (ICFA). The Linear Collider Collaboration has one overall Director and Deputy as well as one Director each for ILC, CLIC and Physics & Detector activities and three regional Directors for Asia, America and Europe.

Machine and detectors

The linear collider community consists of two large groups. One group designs and develops the accelerator technologies and all systems needed to run the collider properly to meet the challenging operational goals. The other works on the detectors, enormous facilities full of unprecedented technology that will record and analyse the particle collisions and ultimately help scientists answer their big questions. Both groups are divided up into smaller, specialised subgroups, and the whole community meets regularly to exchange news, ideas and review progress on their common project, the linear collider, working together across time zones, borders, and languages. Several hundred students are also already contributing to the work. The ILC provides a beacon for future worldwide collaborations in science, technology, and beyond. It will take international collaboration in science and technology to new levels and can be a model for the emerging science projects of our new century.

What are they working on now

The ILC project is focusing on the possibility of construction in Japan. While R&D work continues on accelerator and detector technologies, a project design specific to the potential site in northern Japan is being developed.

The publication of the ILC Technical Design Report (TDR)in 2013 marked the completion of many years of globally coordinated R&D and completed the mandate of the Global Design Effort. The TDR contains all the elements needed to propose the ILC to collaborating governments, including a technical design and implementation plan, that are realistic and have been optimised for performance, cost and risk. The CLIC study published its Conceptual Design Report in 2012. Consequently, the linear collider projects ILC and CLIC merged to form the Linear Collider Collaboration in 2013.

More about the status of the project

Linear Collider Collaboration

In 2013, the International Linear Collider and the Compact Linear Collider (CLIC) merge to form one Linear Collider Collaboration, headed by former LHC project leader Lyn Evans.

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