Skip to main content

Event Category

Event

Article available in the folowing languages:

Physicists plan electron-positron collider

Physicists from around the world are gathering in Oxford, England, for the ECFA/DESY Linear Collider Workshop, between 20 and 23 March 1999, when they will develop plans for two 10km-long particle accelerators, which will fire beams of electrons and positrons (anti-electrons) ...

20 March 1999 - 20 March 1999
null

Physicists from around the world are gathering in Oxford, England, for the ECFA/DESY Linear Collider Workshop, between 20 and 23 March 1999, when they will develop plans for two 10km-long particle accelerators, which will fire beams of electrons and positrons (anti-electrons) at each other.

When matter and antimatter collide, they disappear - annihilate - in a burst of energy. The energy then rematerialises as new particles of matter (and antimatter) in processes that echo the first instants of the early Universe. To test their theories of these processes, physicists need to study higher energies than they can currently create - and, in effect, go further back in time towards the origins of the Universe.

Physicists already shoot beams of electrons and positrons at each other in circular machines, but the beams lose hard-won energy as they travel round the bends. The highest energies practical in a circular machine have been achieved at LEP, the Large Electron Positron collider at the European Laboratory for Particle Physics, CERN, in Geneva. LEP is due to reach a total energy of 200GeV (giga electron volts) this summer, but physicists need higher energies to test theories that predict new effects. So, they plan to build the electron-positron collider which will fire beams from linear accelerators straight at each other.

The proposed linear collider would aim for a total energy of 1000GeV, which will require challenging technologies. At present, three rival schemes are being pursued in Europe, Japan and the US. Whichever scheme is finally chosen, the project, worth billions of euro, will offer great opportunities for hi-tech industry in the Europe to supply advanced components.
For more details, please contact:

Dr Philip Burrow
Oxford University
Tel. +44-1865-273398; Fax +44-1865-273418
E-mail: p.burrows1@physics.ox.ac.uk