September 2, 2005  


SLAC Physicists Join ILC Design Team

SLAC members of the ILC Design Team.
(Photos courtesy of Heather Rock Woods and TIS)

By Heather Rock Woods

Eight thousand feet above sea level in Snowmass, Colorado, five of SLAC’s accelerator experts joined the central, international design team charged with designing the proposed International Linear Collider (ILC).

During the Second ILC Accelerator Workshop, held August 14-27, the Global Design Effort (GDE) officially held its first meeting. The GDE has 49 members from Asia, Europe and the Americas who will work the equivalent of 20 full-time jobs.

The group will produce a Baseline Configuration Document by the end of the year. This document involves designing the entire layout of the machine, including choices of components and manufacturing techniques. The team will spend the next year doing a more detailed reference design that includes costs and engineering.

“The unique thing SLAC has to contribute is the experience of running the first and only linear collider. All SLAC members bring in that experience,” said Tom Markiewicz (ILC). Some non-SLAC members have also ‘done time’ on the Stanford Linear Collider (SLC), he noted.

Nan Phinney (ILC) possesses “years of operational experience in running SLC.” She says that while it will take time for the GDE to become fully organized, GDE Director Barry Barish (Caltech) has set out a clear manner for reaching decisions.

 “Recommendations will be made by working groups or multiple working groups for issues with overlap,” said Phinney. “If they have a clear consensus, the decisions will tend to be accepted unless there’s a big cost impact. Otherwise (if there’s no consensus), a small subgroup of the GDE will make a recommendation. If the bigger group doesn’t like that, it will go to some kind of GDE jury. In the end, all recommendations will be decided by Barry.”

Tom Himel and Chris Adolphsen (both ILC) also joined the GDE at Snowmass.

“We both have a lot of experience running a real accelerator, linear or otherwise,” said Himel.

“SLC was helpful. As the only linear collider it had a unique set of problems that we learned to solve,” said Adolphsen.

Tor Raubenheimer, head of the ILC program at SLAC, is also a member of the GDE. Because of a climbing injury, he could not attend the workshop but listened to meetings by phone. He also sent out an e-mail message just before surgery outlining important considerations, which Barish read to the first gathering of the accelerator designers. Raubenheimer is one of the ‘Gang of Three,’ made up of the lead accelerator experts from each region.

One year ago, an international panel decided that the world’s next-generation linear collider should use superconducting technology to accelerate electrons and positrons to the collision point. Although SLAC had been working on the normal conducting technology, the decision represented only a small detour in a road long traveled by SLAC physicists to develop high energy frontier machines.

“I’m glad to have a role in the decision making process. There’s a certain satisfaction to those of us working in the linear collider field for so long to be able to contribute in this way,” Markiewicz said.

Related Story: ILC Newsline - Weekly News of the GDE





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

Last update Thursday September 01, 2005 by Chip Dalby