This week’s FALC meeting

Fermilab Director
Pier Oddone

The Funding Agencies for Large Colliders organization, known as FALC, was formed in 2003 with a different name—the Funding Agencies for the Linear Collider. One of FALC’s early activities was to set up a common fund to support the Global Design Effort that would carry out the R&D and the design of the ILC. The L in FALC was generalized from “Linear” to “Large” a few years later.

FALC is a voluntary organization set up by the agencies of the principal countries that support particle physics. It meets twice a year to discuss all issues relevant to the construction of very large global facilities. It has served to acquaint the senior managers of the various national agencies with their counterparts in other regions of the world, helping to build the trust necessary to someday embark on a large global facility. FALC also invites three laboratory directors, one each from the Americas, Asia and Europe, to participate in their meetings.

The latest meeting of FALC took place yesterday at Fermilab. It is a particularly interesting time for this organization with the discovery at CERN of a Higgs-like particle and the statements by the Japanese high-energy physics community of their strong desire to host the International Linear Collider in Japan. While the Japanese government has not issued a formal statement inviting the world to help Japan build this global facility, the ILC clearly enjoys strong political support in Japan, where it is part of a broader effort to create a new global city. It is natural in the interim for our Japanese colleagues to seek support from the rest of the world, which would help convince their government to go ahead with such a project.

FALC has undertaken the writing of a report on the Global Design Effort activities of the last few years with the purpose of articulating the lessons learned for both the science community and the funding agencies. To this end, FALC heard extensive presentations from GDE members on their successful experience in completing the R&D and the technical design of the ILC, despite turbulence in the various collaborating regions. The GDE will complete the technical design for the ILC before the end of the year. Then, in December, an augmented ILC Project Advisory Committee will review the design at KEK. Early in the New Year an ad-hoc committee led by Norbert Holtkamp of SLAC will conduct an independent cost review. Finally, at the February 2013 meeting of the International Committee on Future Accelerators, a new linear collider organization will begin, merging the management of the ILC and CLIC efforts under Lyn Evans’ leadership.

Members of the Funding Agencies for Large Colliders met this week at Fermilab. Photo: Reidar Hahn