1997 ICFA Seminar Statement

KEK, 18 October 1996

1997 ICFA Seminar Statement

The 5th triennial ICFA Seminar on High Energy Physics (HEP) was held at the Japanese National Laboratory for High Energy Physics (KEK) on October 15-18, 1996. It was attended by over 100 scientists from some 20 countries and discussed the future plans of the world’s HEP laboratories.

The program focused on the high energy frontier. The LHC proton collider project at CERN is essential for progress in the field and ICFA hopes that it will be completed as early as possible. This facility will address today’s key questions and open a new energy domain. Its importance is indicated by the commitment of CERN non-Member States to support both the facility and experiments. The LHC is becoming a true world facility. We note with concern recent indications of possible problems in CERN Member States with LHC funding. Stable funding is important for effective realization of such large projects. ICFA is therefore pleased to note that the Member States recently "reaffirmed their strong and unanimous support for the LHC program and their wish to find a quick and stable solution to the budget problem which will allow the LHC to be completed in a single stage as early as possible".

Much of the progress of the last 25 years has come because of the different capabilities of two types of accelerator: hadron and electron colliders. Thus, the second major focus of the Seminar was on progress in developing the technology that will allow the construction of an electron linear collider that will complement the LHC. A well coordinated worldwide R&D program has been underway for many years. It now appears that an engineering design study can begin in the next few years that will result in a proposal for a specific project. We believe that such a facility should be realized as a worldwide enterprise on a basis developed jointly by interested scientific communities and their governments.

The Seminar included reviews of the ongoing programs and projects close to completion at the world’s particle accelerator laboratories. Difficult financial climates in most regions of the world have required hard choices. Even so, ICFA notes impressive progress and anticipates that the coming few years will result in substantial advances in our understanding of the nature of matter and forces.