KEK and CERN Conclude Agreement on R&D for International Linear Collider

On July 7th, 2023, KEK and European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) concluded an agreement on “Support for the European International Linear Collider (ILC) Technology Network,” concerning a new framework of research and development for the ILC: the ILC Technology Network (ITN).

This Agreement was signed by KEK Director General Dr. Masanori Yamauchi and CERN Director General Dr. Fabiola Gianotti while DG Yamauchi was visiting CERN. It is stated in this agreement that CERN will cooperate for ITN specific studies and at the same time will act as a coordinating and facilitating hub for ITN-specific technology developments and studies in Europe.

ITN is a framework to promote high priority tasks of the ILC accelerator development. It is based on bilateral arrangements, for instance a memorandum of understanding (MoU), an addendum to an existing agreement, or new agreement, between KEK and laboratories. This conclusion became the first agreement under this framework. KEK would like to conclude similar arrangements with other research institutes and expand this ITN framework.

Dr. Masanori Yamauchi and CERN Director General Dr. Fabiola Gianotti (left to right) (courtesy of CERN)

・International Linear Collider (ILC)
The International Linear Collider (ILC) is a next-generation particle accelerator that is being developed through international collaboration. The ILC will produce the state of the universe one trillionth of a second after its beginning by colliding electrons and positrons in a superconducting accelerator installed in a 20-kilometer-long underground tunnel. The objective of the ILC is to advance our understanding of nature to a new level by precisely measuring the particles’ reactions and elucidating unknown physical laws. Understanding the nature of the Higgs boson is a crucial matter in particle physics. It was first discovered in 2012 at the LHC accelerator at CERN. The construction of a Higgs Factory has been deemed a crucial priority by scientists worldwide. The Higgs Factory is designed to produce Higgs Bosons at a very high rate, allowing precision studies of the Higgs particle. ILC is expected to be the most mature Higgs Factory project, and KEK is making various efforts toward the realization of the ILC.

・ILC International Development Team (IDT)
IDT is an organization of international researchers established by the International Committee for Future Accelerators (ICFA) in August 2020 to promote the transition to the preparatory phase of the ILC. In response to the MEXT ILC Advisory Panel’s summary of discussions on issues related to the ILC project including matters in the Pre-Lab proposal released by IDT in June 2021, IDT is coordinating with KEK to establish the ILC Technology Network (ITN), a framework to promote high-priority tasks of the ILC accelerator development.