Friday, August 23, 2013

Tohoku, JP wins the International Linear Collider

The project may still be cancelled...

In June 2013, I discussed the contest between the Sefuri mountains and the Kitakami mountains who will build the International Linear Collider if any collider will be built. Recall that the former offered a sexy 4-minute musical video; the latter offered a somewhat boring, 21-minute-long educational video.

The "boring" video guys won! ;-) Congratulations to Hitoshi Murayama et al.
Tohoku pitched for ¥1 trillion [$10 billion] collider (JP Times)

Miyagi, Iwate prefecture mountains picked as possible site for int'l particle accelerator (The Mainichi)
The Japan Times tell us that 50% of the cost should be paid for by the host country and there seems to be some degree of skepticism in the newspaper and in the ministry of education etc.

83% of the overall expenses are construction costs; the rest is paid for land acquisition, salaries, and the production of the equipment.

I am convinced that $5 billion is a small amount for Japan that would earn a special status for the Land of the Rising Sun. Whether you like it or not, the state-of-the-art particle physics collider is still the #1 science project that turns the host country into a natural candidate for the headquarters of the world's pure scientific research. Even among non-friends of physics, I believe that the LHC contributes to the feeling that Europe is perhaps not quite entering the process of irreversible decay (in some respects, it's perhaps ahead of the U.S. and China etc.) and Japan could get revived in a similar way.

Incidentally, I want to mention that CDF and DZERO published a new paper on the top quark-antiquark forward-backward asymmetry,
Differential cross section \(\dd \sigma/\dd(\cos \theta t)\) for top-quark-pair-production in \(p\bar p\) collisions at \(\sqrt{s} = 1.96\TeV\),
where they insist on the existence of the strange effect and claim that the whole effect may be attributed to the first, "linear" spherical harmonic \(Y_{10}\). The other coefficients (up to something like \(\ell=7\)) of the spherical harmonics seem to be OK.

Thanks to Joseph S. for the links.


  1. Is the $50 billion a typo or do you mean that even 50B would be small?

  2. Those complicated yens. ;-) I meant $5 billion but yes, I do think that even $50 billion would be very small for the gain.


  3. Good for Japan :-)

    If the US had won the ILC, I would have been worried about it ever being built or if it would not rather share the fate of the SSC in view of the fact that the US governement gives a damn about HEP since too long a time now ... :-/

  4. The cost of a medium sized aircraft carrier.

  5. Hmm. A 50 km long particle accelerator in an area prone to earthquakes. There was a magnitude 6 quake near Miyagi earlier this month. It sounds like there were only 2 bids. Maybe the winner was the least bad one.

  6. Dear frost, I am not really a geology or construction experts but I do believe that such tunnels are - on the contrary - some of the safest places during earthquakes. See e.g.

    At any rate, if that's wrong and an earthquake just happens to destroy it, which is unlikely given the fine-tuning in location etc., it will only destroy the product or its part. You can insure it against it, just a small increase of the price, and build a new one if you are unlucky.