Director's Corner

10 August 2005Barry Barish
Next week the Snowmass ILC Workshop will begin. More than 600 participants have already signed up! Snowmass promises to be a very exciting and productive two weeks for the ILC. The workshop will consist of both the 2005 International Linear Collider Physics and Detector Workshop and the Second ILC Accelerator Workshop. In addition, it will be the first time the newly created GDE will be physically together; and therefore it represents our kickoff meeting.

The Physics and Detector Workshop will be a regional American Linear Collider Physics Group (ALCPG) Workshop with expanded World Wide Study (WWS) participation. That workshop contains a set of panels: Physics Case panels; Two Complementary Detectors Panel; Software Tools Panel; Benchmarks Panel; Costing Panel; R&D Panel; Test Beam Panel; etc. Snowmass will represent a significant step forward in interactions between the WWS and ILC communities. Besides the large overlap for studies of the machine-detector interface, we hope to stimulate far more extensive interactions, including a set of lunchtime pedagogical talks on ILC-related accelerator physics..

A short statement sums up the GDE goals for the 2nd ILC Workshop and for the rest of this calendar year: Define an ILC Baseline Configuration Document, to be completed by the end of 2005, and an R&D plan.

The working groups at Snowmass will work toward agreement on the collider design, develop paths to resolution of outstanding issues, make recommendations and start documentation of the BCD, and identify critical R&D topics and timescales. A dedicated working group on ILC communication will complete a strategic plan for communicating the ILC to our colleagues and to the broader community. Finally, a set of global groups will begin to consider overall design considerations such as parameters and layout, reliability, cost engineering, civil engineering and conventional facilities.

You might ask what we mean when we say we will create a "baseline configuration." The Concise Oxford Dictionary defines these words as follows:
Baseline = a minimum or starting point used for comparisons.
Configuration = an arrangement of parts or elements in a particular form or figure.

These definitions are as good as any that I might write for our application of creating a set of agreed-to technologies and parameters for the ILC (a baseline configuration) that we can use to create the reference design next calendar year. My guideline to the working groups in creating the baseline is to be as forward as possible, consistent with making decisions that will allow us to create a robust baseline design next year that we will be able to reliably cost.

Finally, the baseline we create will become the basis for developing the ILC reference design. We fully expect that this will not be the final design, and that the design will evolve as technology and our knowledge improve. We must plan to pursue a vigorous R&D program in order to demonstrate performance, industrialize the key technologies and develop technical alternatives that promise to improve the performance or lower the cost of the machine. As we make decisions to define the baseline, we also need to determine the priorities for the accompanying R&D program.