May 21, 2004  




Director’s Corner

By Jonathan Dorfan

The mills of international high energy physics may grind slowly, but they certainly grind very, very fine. Several laboratories around the world have been developing conceptual designs, technologies and hardware for a linear collider with an energy range of 500 GeV to 1 TeV. The time has come to choose and the selection process is rigorous.

Photo by Diana Rogers

The International Linear Collider Steering Committee set up the International Technology Recommendation Panel (ITRP) with the charge to ‘recommend a Linear Collider technology to the International Linear Collider Steering Committee ……based on all relevant scientific, technical, schedule and cost considerations.’ This panel, composed of 12 experts, four from Asia, four from Europe and four from the U.S., came to SLAC on April 26 and 27 to take stock of the NLC collaboration.

SLAC’s rigorous preparations for the visit paid off as we were able to demonstrate the outstanding in depth knowledge of everyone involved in the project both here at SLAC and at the other laboratories in the NLC collaboration. The first day was a combination of presentations and a hands-on tour of the NLCTA. The tour started in the control room, where our guests could see stable beam in the test accelerator, and continued to a series of stands in End Station B, each focusing on a different aspect of NLC technology.

The second day was spent on in depth questioning on NLC topics and discussion among the panel.

We got our message over. We showed that NLC incorporates 40 years of SLAC experience and success in the development, implementation and operation of electron/positron linacs and storage rings; that SLAC is accustomed to taking bold steps and our associated technical choices have an excellent record of success. We showed that the design also incorporates the vast experience of the full NLC collaboration which includes the powerful cadre of Fermilab, Berkeley, Livermore and Brookhaven. We showed that we have a long standing collaborator in Japan’s KEK laboratory and that both labs have chosen the same ‘warm’ technology for the linear collider. Above all we demonstrated that our technology works and that we are ready to go ahead to design finalization.

I thank everyone who contributed to the success of the ITRP visit. You did an outstanding job. Your enthusiasm was infectious and you demonstrated the highest level of professional competence to the members of the ITRP. I know that the NLC design for a linear collider is the best for the exciting physics of the next decades, and whatever the final ITRP decision may be, SLAC presented its case in the best possible way.


The Stanford Linear Accelerator Center is managed by Stanford University for the US Department of Energy

Last update Tuesday May 18, 2004 by Emily Ball