News & AnalysisHigh-Energy Physics

Japan Stands Alone in Bid for $10 Billion Collider

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Science  14 Dec 2012:
Vol. 338, Issue 6113, pp. 1404
DOI: 10.1126/science.338.6113.1404

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On 15 December, scientists will celebrate the completion of the technical design report for their dream machine, the International Linear Collider. But figuring out where to build it and who will pay for it will be an even bigger challenge. The contest seems to be Japan's to lose, as no other nation has shown much interest. The ILC will send particles in a straight line through a 31-kilometer-long tunnel and its superconducting magnets will accelerate electrons and their antimatter counterparts, positrons, to a hair shy of the speed of light and smash them together at high energies. While researchers in Europe, Japan, and the United States started working on linear colliders separately but joined forces in 2004, this is the first time that a high-energy physics facility has been designed by an international collaboration.

  • * With reporting by Adrian Cho.