Thursday, February 07, 2008

UK Confirms Withdrawal From ILC

The funding council for the UK has refused to reconsider the withdrawal from the International Linear Collider (ILC) consortium (link requires free registration for full access).

But despite strong protests from physicists, the STFC says in a statement released today that it has “reaffirmed its decision to stop funding the ILC”, which is seen as the next big experiment in particle physics after the Large Hadron Collider at CERN. The statement was released following a meeting of the STFC’s council last week.

Of course, this doesn't sit well with many people.

Brian Foster from Oxford University in the UK, who is European director of the ILC’s global design effort, says he regrets — but is not surprised by — the STFC council’s decision to withdraw from the ILC.

“At no time has council or any of its subsidiary bodies, or the chief executive, seen fit to discuss this ill-informed decision with me or our international partners, but has instead presented it as a fait accompli,” Foster told “While I am grateful that various STFC officials are working constructively with me to try to rescue some of the world-leading work in the UK, I can never accept the legitimacy of the deeply flawed process that has led to the STFC’s withdrawal from the ILC. I will continue to make the case for this vital world project in the hope that STFC will rejoin in the future.”

There's a prevailing "doom" around many places that were involved in the ILC. It is quite conceivable that the ILC is dead, and that even with some restored funding, the momentum for it is lost forever, at least for the US and UK. The possible hope for the resurrection of the ILC would be to site it in either Japan or China. It certainly would signify the complete and final end to particle collider experiment in the US.


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