TLEP design study forges ahead

As the Future Circular Collider (FCC) study is launched, one of its component parts, TLEP, enjoys a successful workshop at CERN. The FCC study looks at all options for a future circular collider with the emphasis on a hadron machine with TLEP as a possible intermediate step.


The poster of the sixth TLEP workshop that took place at CERN. Japanese artist Kazuya Akimoto kindly agreed to the use of one of his works as the basis for the poster’s backdrop.

October 16 to 18 saw a three-day workshop on TLEP, the sixth in the series. The workshop took place at CERN and was well attended, informative and stimulating. To name just one of the influential people present, Herwig Schopper, ex-Director General of CERN and instrumental in the approval, construction and success of LEP, was among the participants.

But what exactly is TLEP? The name was, somehow serendipitously, coined from future lepton collider option studies and stands for triple-LEP, a machine three times the size of LEP. But this is now history. John Ellis, member of the TLEP steering group said: “I would like to think it stands for tremendous.”

TLEP would make use of a new, large, 80-km tunnel to produce copious quantities of Higgs, W and Z bosons (as well as top quarks), to study their properties with unprecedented precision. The experimental precision would actually be so high that matching the theory errors would represent a formidable task. On the accelerator side, lepton collider technologies proven at B factories will be pushed to their limits to deliver luminosities many orders of magnitude higher than LEP.

Since its conception about a year and a half ago, TLEP has attracted more than 350 collaborators wishing to participate in all aspects of a design study that aims to produce a conceptual design report by 2018, in time for the next update of the European Strategy for Particle Physics. By that time, the first results of the full energy run of the LHC will be available.

Sergio Bertolucci, CERN’s Director for Research and Computing, welcomed the workshop participants with an inspiring speech. He stressed that the project of future colliders in a large tunnel could well be the long term future of CERN, offering frontier machines energy (using a hadron accelerator), for precision (using lepton machines) and much more (e-p and ions). He exhorted the respective communities to push together in the FCC study, and promised that CERN will play its role in a global effort towards this ambitious goal.

The Word from the DG in this issue mentions the FCC study. Please read also "The future is just around the corner" article by Rolf Heuer published on 7 February 2014.

by Alain Blondel & Mike Koratzinos