At the moment, LHC is setting the pace of particle physics. OK, there are intriguing, unexpected things about neutrinos, which might or might not be real, hints for possible direct signs for Dark Matter, just to give two examples. But clearly, we are all watching the LHC, and with each additional collected inverse femtobarn, hopes are rising higher for hints for New Physics, and we expect to finally get more insight into the mechanism of electroweak symmetry breaking by the discovery or non-discovery of the Higgs particle over the next year or so.
Amid the flood of papers coming out of the LHC experiments at the moment, it is important to remember that the spectacular results build on a quarter of a century of intense efforts, with first ideas for LHC in the eighties, detector concepts and technology development in the nineties and beyond, and construction over the last decade. Given these long time scales for large experiments (which are getting even substantially longer today!), the particle physics community has to plan for new accelerators and new experiments already before results from the present generation comes in. One such project is CLIC, the Compact Linear Collider, an accelerator that is, by design, capable of colliding electrons and positrons at energies up to 3 TeV. The accelerator concept is currently being developed into maturity, and over the last two years, detector designs for experiments at such a machine have been developed from the already well established proposals for the International Linear Collider ILC.
For this project, a Conceptual Design Report (CDR) is currently being written, providing a complete overview over the accelerator technology as well as over the physics case and the detectors. The second volume, summarizing physics and detectors, has been recently released and was reviewed earlier this week by an internal committee in an intense three day meeting in Manchester, UK. This draft of the report is available on the web, and the team is inviting signatures from particle physicists who “wish to express support to the physics case and the study of a multi-TeV Linear Collider based on the CLIC technology, and its detector concepts”.
Over the next few posts, I will try to discuss some of the ideas and results presented in the report, so stay tuned for a glimpse at a possible future of collider-based particle physics at the energy frontier!