The Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC), Menlo Park, Calif., has signed a formal memorandum of understanding with the Tsukuba-based High Energy Accelerator Research Organization (KEK) in Japan. Together, they will develop a common design for a 500-GeV (upgradable to 1 or 1.5 TeV) linear electron collider. SLAC and the KEK laboratory will devote significant efforts toward this accelerator design, including designing and building prototype accelerators to test the technologies required. This work then will go into development of the Next Linear Collider (NLC).
The NLC is an international collaborative project that aims to design a high-energy, large-scale positron-electron collider. Once completed, the collider will be used to extend the understanding of particle physics by studying the matter created when electrons and positrons collide. This information will be key to helping scientists answer fundamental questions about the behavior of matter and the origins of the universe.
The United States, through its representatives, will play a crucial role in the project. Stanford, for example, brings its unique linear-collider technology and experience gained through construction and operation of the Stanford Linear Collider. Other participants are Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), Livermore, Calif., and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), Berkeley, Calif.
Japan, another primary nation in the project, will headquarter at KEK. KEK will contribute its ongoing research and development in the areas of particle, nuclear physics, and material science using advanced accelerometers. Once complete, the NLC will stretch some 20 miles and be able to smash electrons into its anti-matter counterparts, creating exotic new particles from pure energy.