ICALEPCS—Particle Accelerators & Colliders
In the conference, the keynote speakers kicked off with an overview of particle accelerators. The LHC—Large Hadron Collider built at CERN seeks to discover the Higgs particle – the smallest particle suspected to exist.
The International Linear Collider or ILC works in collaboration with the LHC. It’s an accelerator that will help fill out the missing pieces from the LHC experiments and research. It’s known that we need the ILC, but not yet exactly how. The ILC consists of two linear accelerators that face each other. The resulting collision of particles generates over 500 billion-electron-volts (GeV). The ILC grew out of the SLC (Stanford Linear Collider) which pioneered the technique of two accelerators facing each other. This made the design simple yet powerful enough to create the collision forces required to generate the desired energy level. These colliders are by nature multinational in development and support due to the substantial financial requirements to design, deploy and maintain.
There are a number of “boutique” accelerator/colliders such as the Muon collider which seeks to generate high luminosity particles which are easier to generate and study compared to linear colliders. Also there are accelerators seeking to reduce the cost and distance required to generate high energy fields. One example here is the Laser Plasma Accelerator. Laser Plasma Accelerators fire a laser into a plasma beam to create high energy fields but with far less space and equipment.