Retirement postponed!

As the LHC celebrates a highly successful year so far, the world accelerator community is already looking ahead to the next collider. It has appointed a CERN past master of accelerator building to coordinate the development of future linear collider efforts.


Lyn Evans at SM-18.

Lyn Evans, former LHC project leader, has just been appointed director of the new Linear Collider organisation which brings together the two existing linear collider programmes under one roof. “We will initially continue to work in parallel on both CLIC and the ILC,” says Evans. The two proposed accelerators have a number of elements in common, from the damping rings to the final focus systems. Both have very similar detector designs, with the exception of the data acquisition systems as the machines have very different time structures. “The technologies for the two accelerators are at very different levels of maturity,” summarises Evans.

When the time comes to make the final decision, Evans feels strongly that it should be based on science, rather than politics or personal preference. “That’s why the Higgs result is so important for the future linear collider. It’s essential that enough data is collected before the first long shut-down. That way we can really nail down the science which will dictate what kind of collider is needed. The recent decision to extend the LHC 2012 run is in order to accumulate as much data as possible.”

Evans’ goal during his three-year term is two-fold: first to reach a decision about which accelerator to build and where, and secondly to get the plan and its funding approved. “It’s going to be a tough job,” he says, “but then so was the LHC!”

“With the LHC it made all the difference that the physics community was really united in wanting a high energy hadron collider,” adds Evans. “For a future linear collider we are much more likely to get an accelerator approved if we can show a true consensus on what kind of machine is needed.”

Given its size, the project will need a global approach. And the International Committee for Future Accelerators which appointed Evans is already working on three continents: “My nomination came about after consultation with the American, Asian and European physics communities. I will work to keep the Linear Collider organisation a world-wide effort,” concludes Evans.

by Joannah Caborn Wengler