Director's Corner

15 June 2006


Barry Barish

"Able was I ere I saw Elba"

This famous palindrome was purportedly spoken by Napoleon when referring to his first sighting of Elba, the island where the British exiled him in 1814. One cannot help but wonder what they had in mind when they put Napoleon and a thousand of his most loyal men on this beautiful island with mountain ridges and varied coastline. Regardless, he quickly escaped to Cannes in early 1815 and began the 100 day campaign on Paris.

In the modern particle physics world, Isola d'Elba has taken on a quite different identity, not one of exile, but rather an elegant setting where physicists gather to discuss the latest developments in particle detection techniques. At the end of May, the 10 th Pisa workshop entitled "Frontier Detectors for Frontier Physics" was held. I participated in special session on "Strategies for Future Accelerators," that included A. Wagner (DESY and ICFA), J. Engelen (CERN), J. Strait (Fermilab), A. Suzuki (KEK) and R. Petronzio on plans in Italy.

Atsuto Suzuki
Atsuto Suzuki, KEK Director, speaking at Elba

Of particular interest to me was the talk by Atsuto Suzuki, the new director of KEK, who gave his first presentation outside of Japan since taking on his new position. We are all anxious to learn about the future plans in Japan and the priorities of the new KEK director. Atsuto's talk was very impressive, from his beautifully animated powerpoint slides to his obvious mastery of the entire Japanese program.

Suzuki showed the performance of KEK-B, a world record 1.6 x 1034 cm2 / sec and described a technical feasibility of an upgrade to a Super-KEKB Factory that could increase the luminosity to 5 x 1035 cm2 / sec. He also showed an R&D effort for a possible Energy Recovery Linac Project. Regarding the J-PARC construction status, he presented the broad scientific potential of this accelerator facility and remarked with regard to other future initiatives that "Nothing significant could be undertaken until the accelerator starts operation successfully."

Finally, Suzuki presented a set of choices and possible future timelines for the KEK program, including one with an early start on an ILC sited in Japan, and another having a later construction start.

-- Barry Barish