ICFA Statements

17 January 1994 Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Statement of the International Committee for Future Accelerators (ICFA) on International Collaboration in the Construction of Major High-Energy Facilities


High-energy physics seeks to discover basic principles that underlie the workings of the physical universe through the exploration of the building blocks of matter and forces among them. World-wide effort over the past half-century has produced a remarkably successful theoretical picture describing all matter and energy as built of certain constituents, interacting through specific forces according to general principles of symmetry, relativity and quantum mechanics. Yet the picture contains gapsÑprofound questions that can only be answered with new facilities. The answers to these questions hold the promise of yielding an historic unification of ideas and principles, as significant as those that have marked past revolutionary advances in scientific understanding.

Particle accelerators and detectors have served as experimenters' most successful tools for this exploration of the subatomic world, and will do so for the foreseeable future. To probe matter and energy at the point where revolutionary discoveries are expected particle accelerators of energies higher than are now available must be built. Drawn by the importance and the scientific challenge of such discoveries, high-energy physics experimenters have traditionally pooled their resources to build detectors, across international boundaries, forming large regional centers and scientific collaborations to meet the higher costs of advancing exploration.

The termination of the Superconducting Super Collider Project, the highest energy collider ever begun, is a very great loss to the world high-energy physics community. The outcome illustrates the need to make the construction of new large facilities the result of a worldwide strategy, in the same collaborative spirit that has characterized the construction of major experimental detectors.

Following the cancellation of the SSC the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN now offers the only realistic opportunity to study multi-TeV hadron collisions. ICFA notes that the LHC project is now ready for approval and is currently being evaluated by the CERN Council. The energy and luminosity of the LHC represent a great advance over the Tevatron, now the highest energy collider in operation (seven times in energy and a thousand times in luminosity). There are compelling arguments that fundamental new physics will appear in the energy domain that will be opened up by the LHC, including the origin of electroweak symmetry breaking (and hence the origin of mass). The LHC will remain a unique facility for the foreseeable future and ICFA considers that it is now the correct next step for particle physics at the high-energy frontier. ICFA therefore hopes that the nineteen Member States of CERN will quickly approve the LHC for timely completion. ICFA notes the worldwide interest in participation in LHC and that the CERN Council wishes to bring non-member states into the project. ICFA urges that appropriate mechanisms and means be found to allow this to happen and that the LHC be available for research by the world particle physics community.

In the not-too-distant future, accelerator specialists will complete the research and development necessary to begin the design of an electron-positron collider capable of exploring the comparable mass region. As has been the case in the past such an approach will be complementary to what will be done with proton-proton colliders. ICFA notes that the research and development for the design of a large electron-positron linear collider is being carried out under an interregional collaboration. The signatories of the memorandum of understanding among the participants of that collaboration have pledged to admit all institutions that are prepared to make significant contributions to the research and development effort. The participants further share a common vision of a facility that will be built as a worldwide collaboration. ICFA continues to strongly endorse the goals of this collaboration.

ICFA believes that the time has come for the governments of all nations engaged in the science of high-energy physics to join in the construction of major high-energy facilities, so that this unique human endeavor can continue to go forward.


21 February 1994

Background for the ICFA Statement of 17 January, 1994

ICFA, the International Committee for Future Accelerators, was created to facilitate international collaboration in the construction and use of accelerators for high energy physics. It was created in 1976 by the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics. Its purposes, as stated in 1985, are as follows:

  • To promote international collaboration in all phases of the construction and exploitation of very high energy accelerators.
  • To organize regularly world-inclusive meetings for the exchange of information on future plans for regional facilities and for the formulation of advice on joint studies and uses.
  • To organize workshops for the study of problems related to super high-energy accelerator complexes and their international exploitation and to foster research and development of necessary technology.

The Committee has fourteen members, selected primarily from the regions most deeply involved in high energy physics.

The termination of funding for construction of the SSC by the US Congress has already had a severe impact on the worldwide high energy physics community. Given the severity of this event, ICFA met in order to develop a statement expressing its views on the need for worldwide participation in the construction and use of those accelerators whose construction was beyond the capability of a single region. ICFA met with directors of laboratories deeply engaged in high energy physics in Geneva, Switzerland at the European Laboratory for Particle Physics, CERN, on December 4, 1993 and again in Vancouver, Canada, at TRIUMF on January 16 and 17, 1994. The statement was prepared jointly by the ICFA membership and the high energy laboratory directors and it was endorsed by all of the members of ICFA and the laboratory directors who participated in the meetings.

ICFA members endorsing the statement of 17 January 1994

Prof. A. Amatuni, Yerevan Physics Institute
Prof. G. Flügge, III. Physikalisches Institut Aachen, Chairman ECFA
Dr. V. Kryshkin, Institute for High Energy Physics, Protvino
Dr. J. Peoples, Director Fermilab, Chairman ICFA
Prof. B. Richter, Director Stanford Linear Accelerator Center
Prof. J. Sacton, Université Libre de Bruxelles Dr. R. Schwitters, SSC Laboratory
Prof. C. Llewellyn Smith, Director­General CERN
Prof. D. Stairs, McGill University
Prof. A. Vorobyov, St. Petersburg Nuclear Physics Institute
Prof. B. Wiik, Director­General DESY
Prof. S. Yamada, University of Tokyo
Prof. Zheng Zhipeng, Director­General Institute of High Energy Physics, Beijing

Laboratory directors endorsing the statement of 17 January 1994

Prof. K. Berkelman, Director Newman Laboratory, Cornell University
Dr. E. Iarocci, Director Laboratori Nazionali di Frascati
Prof. V. Kadyshevsky, Director JINR, Dubna
Prof. R. Mkrtchyan, Director Yerevan Physics Institute
Prof. A. Logunov, Director Institute for High Energy Physics, Protvino
Prof. C. Rubbia, former Director-General CERN
Prof. N. Samios, Director Brookhaven National Laboratory
Prof. A. N. Skrinsky, Director Budker Institute of Nuclear Physics, Novosibirsk
Prof. H. Sugawara, Director National Laboratory for High Energy Physics,KEK
Dr. E. Vogt, Director TRIUMF
Dr. P. Williams, Director Rutherford Appleton Laboratory