Director's Corner

10 November 2005


Barry Barish
Funding Agencies for the Linear Collider
All of us recognize that the ILC will be too expensive to be undertaken by one country or even probably, by one region. For that reason, ground-breaking steps have been taken to internationalize the effort from the very beginning. This means the parameters of the machine, the concepts, the technologies, as well as the organization are being determined through an international framework set-up and guided by the International Committee for Future Accelerators (ICFA). In my last column, I described ICFA and its connection to the International Union of Physics and Applied Physics (IUPAP), which is the primary international organization of physicists.

The ideas and early R&D toward a TeV scale linear collider were developed regionally at DESY, KEK and SLAC. As the concept developed, steps to bring these efforts together and to make it a truly global were undertaking. ICFA, through a subcommittee, obtained a worldwide consensus on the parameters or requirements for the machine and they setup another subcommittee, the International Linear Collider Steering Committee (ILCSC) to coordinate the international program. ILCSC appointed a committee to make the decision between the two competing technologies and more recently, formed the GDE.


Representatives from the FALC meeting that was held on Friday, 4 November at Fermilab.
ICFA has no funds even for the R&D, let alone for the ILC itself. The ongoing ILC R&D program is supported through the traditional funding to our particle physics laboratories and universities. In order to begin to develop international funding mechanisms for the ILC, a group of representatives of funding agency and governments called Funding Agencies for the Linear Collider (FALC) was formed. Ian Halliday, then of PPARC in the UK, took the lead in creating this group and chaired the meetings until he retired from his PPARC position earlier this year. Roberto Petronzio, President of the INFN in Italy, has taken over as the new chair of FALC and he is interviewed separately in this issue of ILC NewsLine.

Even though FALC is just an informal group, the fact is that we have an established mechanism for carrying out a dialogue with the funding agencies and between the funding agencies regarding the ILC. They are engaged in the process of creating a technical design that will be the basis of a funding proposal and this is a crucially important development. At the FALC meeting held at Fermilab this past week, I reported in detail on the progress and plans for the GDE and Shin-ichi Kurokawa participated and reported on ILCSC activities. Issues being discussed by FALC included how to create a 'common fund' for the GDE and when and how a more centrally funded management will be needed for the GDE.

--Barry Barish