April 1, 2005  


Director of Global Design Effort Announced at International Linear Collider Workshop

By Heather Rock Woods

The 2005 International Linear Collider Workshop kicked off March 18 by announcing the director for the newly formed Global Design Effort (GDE) for the proposed electron-positron collider.

Barry Barish (Caltech) with SLAC Director Jonathan Dorfan.

Jonathan Dorfan (DO), in his capacity as the head of the International Committee for Future Accelerators (ICFA), formally offered the job to Barry Barish, a Caltech professor of physics, during his speech welcoming the 370 participants. Barish, scheduled to speak next, accepted the job. He explained that the design effort will be a distributed one, not centralized in one location.

“Why do I feel this is the right approach?” Barish said. “For one thing, we in particle physics know how to work this way. I believe it’s the best approach to get the right people involved in the GDE, allowing them to contribute their expertise and capabilities without changing where they live. Although I am an American and I live in America, my job, and the job of the GDE, is to respond to the international ILC community.”

The workshop was hosted by SLAC and sponsored by the World Wide Study for future e+e- Linear Colliders. It was the eighth in a series of workshops going back 14 years that have been devoted to the physics and detectors associated with electron-positron linear colliders.

Last year, the workshop took place on the Left Bank of Paris. This year, the conversations occurred in Palo Alto, at Stanford, and on a dinner cruise on the San Francisco Bay.

Barish’s appointment is just one of the major steps taken since the Paris meeting last April. Other milestones include: the choice of superconducting (cold) technology, christening the project with the name International Linear Collider (ILC), the first ILC collaboration meeting on accelerator design (in Japan last November), and the initiation of meetings between representatives from international funding agencies to discuss advancing the project.

During the workshop, 15 working groups tackled the nitty-gritty physics and detector issues—from beam polarization and calorimeters to Higgs and supersymmetry searches.

“A lot of detailed work was done in the working group sessions to design the detectors, address the interface between machine and detector, and do the physics calculations to support the detector design and sharpen the physics case for the machine,” said local organizing chair JoAnne Hewett (THP).

A new working group made its debut this year. The cosmology connections group is looking at the substantive ways ILC could measure the properties of dark matter. “When you know the properties of dark matter, then you can make comparisons with cosmological observations,” Hewett said.

In addition, three major international detector efforts gathered steam at the meeting. The three efforts correspond to different detector concepts rather than different geographical regions.

Dorfan wrapped up the meeting by emphasizing the discovery potential of the ILC. “The scientific terrain is vast and uncharted,” he said. “Keep up the pace, keep up the momentum—the scientific imperative is compelling.”

ILC physicists had been meeting internationally every 18 months to two years, and each geographical region (Asia, the Americas and Europe) met twice a year. From now on, regional and international meetings will be held annually.

The next stop for the ILC community: Snowmass, Colorado, where a two-week workshop this summer will welcome both the accelerator (machine) community and the detector and physics community.




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

Last update Wednesday March 30, 2005 by Emily Ball