Elizabeth Clements, ILC-Americas, +1-630-399-1777, email@example.com
Youhei Morita, ILC-Asia, +81-29-879-6047, firstname.lastname@example.org
Perrine Royole-Degieux, ILC-Europe, +33-6-74-11-73-78, email@example.com
Barbara Warmbein, ILC-Europe, +49-170-3346816, firstname.lastname@example.org
Beijing, China - The International Committee for Future Accelerators (ICFA) today announced the release of the Reference Design Report (RDR) for the International Linear Collider (ILC), a proposed future particle accelerator.
Hurling some 10 billion electrons and their anti-particles, positrons, toward each other at nearly the speed of light, beams in the ILC will collide 14,000 times every second at extremely high energies - 500 billion-electronvolts (GeV). These spectacular collisions create an array of new particles that will answer some of the most fundamental questions about the nature of the universe, such as the origin of mass, dark matter, dark energy, extra dimensions and beyond. The current 31-kilometre design allows for an upgrade to a 50-kilometre, 1 trillion-electronvolt (TeV) machine during the second stage of the project. Organised by the Global Design Effort (GDE), a team of more than 60 scientists, the ILC is an international endeavour that brings together more than 1000 scientists and engineers from more than 100 universities and laboratories in over two dozen countries.
Together with the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), scheduled to start operating in 2007, scientists believe that the ILC will answer some of science's greatest remaining questions about the nature of the universe. With its high energy electron-positron collisions that provide very precise data, the ILC will give scientists the information they need to understand the Higgs mechanism, examine supersymmetric particles, probe dark matter candidates and possibly find a way to reunite laws of nature by discovering new forces. The scientific importance of both the LHC and the ILC have been stressed by such influential reports as "Revealing the Hidden Nature of Space and Time: Charting the Course for Elementary Particle Physics" and "The European Strategy for Particle Physics."
The reference design provides the first detailed technical snapshot of the next-generation machine, defining in detail the technical parameters and components that make up each section of the 31-kilometre long accelerator. This report provides guidance for the worldwide R&D programme, motivates international industrial studies and serves as the basis for the final engineering design needed to make an official project proposal later this decade.
"With the publication of the ILC's Reference Design Report, the project has reached another major milestone," said Albrecht Wagner, chair of the International Committee for Future Accelerators and Director General of DESY. "The Report demonstrates convincingly the readiness for building the ILC in the near future. ICFA would like to congratulate the Global Design Effort and all scientists involved in research and development for the ILC for the impressive work they have done in the past years. ICFA therefore continues to give the ILC its full support and is looking forward to seeing the ILC take further shape as global project."
"I am very pleased to present our ILC reference design to ICFA, the international body that represents the leadership of high energy physics." said GDE Director Barry Barish. "Producing a complete design that addresses the exciting physics opportunities is a very big milestone. The Reference Design Report sets the scale for the costs of the project and provides a strong basis for guiding both the R&D programme and the engineering design efforts - the next steps toward realising the ILC."
As part of the Reference Design Report, the Global Design Effort produced a preliminary value estimate of the cost for the ILC in its present design and at the present level of engineering and industrialisation. The estimate contains three elements:
- 1.8 Billion ILC Value Units for site-related costs, such as the costs for tunnelling in a specific region,
- 4.9 Billion ILC Value Units for the value of the high technology and conventional components;
- Approximately 2,000 persons per year or 13,000 person-years for the required supporting manpower (= 22 million person-hours)
For this value estimate: 1 ILC Value Unit = 1 US Dollar (2007) = 0.83 Euro = 117 Yen.
This estimate is comparable to the cost for the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN in Geneva, Switzerland, when costs for pre-existing facilities are included.
The value cost estimate provides guidance for optimisation of both the design and the R&D to be done during the engineering phase, which will formally start in fall of 2007 after the Reference Design Report is internationally reviewed and presented to ICFA. Based on what has been learned so far, the GDE is confident that the value can be maintained at this level as the design is optimised during the engineering design phase. Putting the value estimate into the cost accounting framework used in any particular nation will require a translation.
"The funding agencies have been following this process for a number of years. With the release of the value estimate an important milestone has been reached", said Roberto Petronzio, chair of FALC, the Funding Agencies for Large Colliders, a group of representatives from funding agencies and governments around the world that will help develop international funding mechanisms for the ILC.
Upon receiving the reference design, Shin-Ichi Kurokawa, chair of the International Linear Collider Steering Committee and chair of the Asian Committee for Future Accelerators thanked the GDE for their work. "We appreciate the enormous efforts of the GDE members to accomplish a very detailed design and cost study of the ILC," he said. "We still have to work hard to achieve this enormous project, but this is clearly a big milestone to the road ahead."
The reference design sets the stage for an R&D programme that will involve the three regions: Americas, Asia and Europe.
"The RDR will point the way for a focused worldwide R&D programme on key technologies," said Gerry Dugan, ILC Regional Director for the Americas. "In the Americas, we look forward to fully supporting the evolving machine design, contributing to the key R&D goals and developing our regional capabilities for participation in the global ILC project."
The ILC has already adopted international models for collaborative R&D programmes. "Strong support from funding agencies around the world has been crucial in this endeavour," said Brian Foster, ILC Regional Director for Europe. "European scientists and engineers have made vital contributions in achieving this result, working with their GDE colleagues across the world. The achievement of the RDR consolidates the ILC's position as a crucial component of the European Roadmaps for particle physics and for large-scale infrastructures." The superconducting technology that was selected for the ILC in 2004 is being used in other fields of research, such as the European free-electron laser XFEL.
All three regions involved in the ILC contributed to the Reference Design Report, reflecting the true international cooperation of the project. "Accomplishing the reference design is a crucial step forward for a very challenging international scientific endeavour," said Mitsuaki Nozaki, ILC Regional Director for Asia. "The science explored by the ILC is so attractive that the strong international partnership has been unprecedented. We hope to keep up the international momentum in the next phase, when a coherent R&D plan will turn the reference design into a real engineering design for this global project."
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