The International Committee on Future Accelerators that I chair met at the TRIUMF laboratory in Vancouver, Canada on February 21st and 22nd. ICFA meets twice a year, with the directors of all the world’s principal accelerator laboratories joining for the winter meeting. This particular meeting was very well attended because it marked a special occasion: the official joining of the International Linear Collider and Compact Linear Collider efforts into the new Linear Collider Board. All senior leaders in the new Linear Collider organization have been appointed and will guide continuing work on the two projects over the next few years.
The ICFA meeting also celebrated another major linear collider milestone: the completion of the technical design report (TDR) for the ILC. Caltech’s Barry Barish led the worldwide, multi-year ILC Global Design Effort that culminated in the TDR. The report received good marks from a recent project advisory committee review. Another panel of global experts, led by SLAC’s Norbert Holtkamp, reviewed one particular aspect of the ILC contained in the TDR: the project’s estimated cost. The cost contained in the TDR for a 500 GeV ILC is in line with that presented in 2007 at the completion of the Reference Design Report. The methodology for estimating the cost is quite intricate and is similar to that established for other international projects. The resulting cost estimate was discussed by Barry Barish at a press conference in Vancouver held to announce the transition to the new linear collider organization.
Our Japanese colleagues are very interested in hosting the ILC in Japan as a global project. Demonstrating the strong interest by their country in the project, more than a dozen Japanese reporters remotely attended the press conference.
Another major topic of discussion at the ICFA meeting was the draft of the European Strategy for Particle Physics. It is impressive to see the efforts and plans both in Europe and in Asia at a time when our ambitions in the US are colliding with strong budget pressures. Even in the face of uncertainty we must continue to aim high in our quest to build a world-leading Intensity Frontier program, and work to bring our international colleagues on board while we continue to collaborate on projects in Europe and Asia.