CERN Accelerating science

 Highlights from the FCC week 
 by Cristina Martin Perez (CERN), Charlotte Houghton (STFC)

Opening session by US congressman Bill Foster
Image credit: FCC

The FCC Week 2015 took place in  Washington DC (USA) from 23 to 27 march 2015 and drew the attention of 340 participants from science and industry. The first annual meeting of this visionary study marked a milestone of the first exploratory study phase. 290 contributions from all domains of the study give impressive evidence of the progress achieved and the challenges ahead.

The FCC-hh and FCC-ee machine studies are progressing in all units and are preparing to make the critical choices to achieve the performance and availability goals. The teams are now focusing on baseline parameters and a preliminary layout. First integrated lattices have been shown. It became clear that designing machines that can meet the required parameters calls for considerable R&D efforts far beyond the current state-of-science. Consensus between scientists, engineers and industry is that significant advances in superconducting magnets, in SRF technologies and RF power sources and other key technologies are needed; and that these need to be launched now to be ready for new machines by the mid 2030ies. The EuroCirCol EU Horizon 2020 project targets the core aspects of the hadron collider design, such as the arc & IR optics and the feasibility studies of key technologies like a 16 T accelerator magnet.

Industry participation - exhibitor stand 
Image credit: FCC

With the current developments in accelerator design and technology there has been substantial progress on the geology studies for a tunnel in the Geneva area.  These studies have been linked to the CERN accelerator complex, based on 93 km and 100 km scenarios, which fit well the geographical conditions. First ideas discussed are on installation aspects, global computing infrastructures beyond the Grid, controls and machine protection, as well as operational aspects such as energy consumption and safety, were addressed.

Looking forward to an intense year 2015 aiming at substantial progress for the study to be reported during the FCC Week 2016, unique physics capabilities and discovery potentials will be documented in the near future. FCC working groups have scanned the physics panorama both beyond and within the Standard Model and have identified the main areas where new methods for theoretical calculations or experimental inputs are needed. The implementation of a common environment for physics and detector simulations has progressed. This allows performing detailed event simulations to help match and understand better requirements of the detectors.

An inspiring talk by US congressman Bill Foster reminded the audience how high-energy physicists should “never be shy for standing up for the unique nature of their field, and never be afraid of big numbers”. The FCC the week witnessed significant eagerness from the US particle and accelerator community to collaborate in the global R&D effort, focusing on studies of superconducting materials and designs for high-field magnets suitable for a 100 TeV c.m. proton-proton collider. Technological and manufacturing breakthroughs are needed here to meet both, performance and cost goals.

Michael Benedikt, FCC Study leader, pointed out that 2015 should be the year in which the world-wide collaboration reaches consensus agreement on the baseline parameters and concepts and fleshes out the collider layout, injector and infrastructure concepts. “It is time to put a Nb3Sn 16 Tesla magnet program on solid feet, to define and launch other selected technology R&D programs”, says Benedikt. The FCC community will reinforce physics and detector simulations, and will pursue MDI and experiment studies. The 2016 annual FCC Week will take place in Rome, Italy.