The International Linear Collider will be one of the world’s largest and most sophisticated scientific endeavours. Planning, designing, funding, building and operating the ILC will require true global participation. The ILC can be realised only as a collaboration between many people in many fields: engineers, business persons, scientists, students, local officials and residents. The ILC is the culmination of an assembly of all kinds of cutting-edge technologies and expertise. We can expect the breakthroughs led by ILC R&D to have huge impact on our society, both technologically and economically, which goes far beyond the pure science results of particle physics. In addition, the fruits of the research done at the ILC will have benefits in a wide range of areas directly linked to people’s lives, such as environment, education, medicine, life science, IT, energy, and more. ILC is the project that goes beyond boundaries.
Particle physics inspires. Particle physicists are on a quest to solve the universal questions – the mysteries of the universe – by studying fundamental laws of nature. They are working together across time zones, borders and languages.
This cooperation across the world produced the World-Wide Web; the ILC may catalyze other ground-breaking technologies.
The ILC will provide a melting pot of the world’s wisdom, attracting some of the best minds in science and technology. These great minds will continue to advance technology and yield many applications in science and industry.
The ILC will also attract people who wish to fulfill their intellectual curiosity, and to share the excitement of the science.
Today at laboratories and universities around the world, several hundred students, under the guidance of senior scientists and engineers, are already contributing to the ILC. The international nature of particle physics provides younger generations with a working environment in which the experience and knowledge of different cultures are harnessed towards a common goal.
The ILC allows us to train future generations of scientists and engineers. But the ILC is not an island; ILC scientists come from other projects and work on other projects in parallel. Also, more than half of the students who obtain their PhD in particle physics go on to work for high-tech industry, financial institutions, and information technology companies. There is high demand for their talents because of their broad array of skills, as well as their physics knowledge. This benefits all of us.
The first Free-Electron Lasers (FELs) now being built or in operation in the US, Japan and Germany are direct consequences of linear-collider research. Light sources like these FELs have brought important advances in many sciences over the past decades, leading to many applications in materials science, drugs research and even the arts. Superconducting technology should also advance work on Energy Recovery Linacs (ERLs), permitting substantial savings in size and cost. The ILC technology can also be applied to the acceleration of protons and nuclei, which can lead to a wide range of studies on biological properties. The ILC detectors must deliver exquisite precision. A hallmark of the ILC detectors is their fine granularity. These detectors are 3-D imaging devices that enable unprecedented study of the physics processes. Imaging calorimeters developed for the ILC, for example, are already being used in the development of proton-computed tomography for the treatment of cancer. This is just one of the societal “spin-offs” that the ILC detector development can already point to. Fundamental research in particle physics is done to advance the boundaries of our knowledge of the Universe, not with the aim to serve other sciences or technologies. However, the track record shows that numerous applications in materials science, nuclear science, chemistry, structural biology and environmental science have already taken place. Many of these will have direct applications on everyday life.
Particle physics has been the source of many innovations. Many of those – medical diagnostics and therapy and the World Wide Web are two striking examples – have changed the way we live and do our business. History tells us that a tool for the future, such as the ILC, should be the source of yet more technological breakthroughs.
Independent experts have estimated that the social and economic impact of hosting this highly visible and prestigious facility will be great. Thousands of jobs will be created locally to directly and indirectly support the construction of the ILC and then its research programs, and there will be many other benefits from having a large world-famous science facility in the area. The campus that will grow around the ILC site will be a future home for scientists, engineers, students and their families from around the world. The campus – which can become a science city – needs to fulfil the needs of people from different cultures, such as education, medical and social services, and leisure pursuits and amusements. Those needs will definitely create significant impact on the ILC construction region and beyond, both economically and culturally.