Scientists unveil plans for 19-mile-long particle smasher

A rendering of the International Linear Collider, which could be build in the Japanese mountains.

(Credit: Rey Hori/KEK)

The Large Hadron Collider is a monumentally awesome machine, and has given us tentative confirmation of the existence of the Higgs boson, the so-called “God particle.” Now scientists hope to follow that with a new accelerator that could explain what makes up 95 percent of the universe.

At three ceremonies around the world Wednesday, researchers hailed blueprints for the International Linear Collider (ILC), a 19-mile-long smasher that might help solve the riddle of dark matter and dark energy, unseen forces with major gravitational effects.

The publication of the five-volume ILC Technical Design Report was marked by events in Tokyo, Geneva, and Chicago.

More than 1,000 scientists are involved in the global project, but funding, which could run to $8 billion or more, as well as a host site, have yet to be secured. Japan is considered the most likely candidate as it lost out to France in its bid to host the prototype fusion reactor … [Read more]

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