CERN Accelerating science

Highlights from the FCC Week 2017

by Panos Charitos

The 3rd annual meeting of the Future Circular Collider collaboration brought together more than 500 leading minds in engineering, science and industry to discuss the progress of the study and lay the foundations for the FCC design report. The increasing number of participants, coming from 147 institutes, reflect the attractiveness of the project and the diversity of the scientific programme and technological challenges. 

During the FCC week the progress in all aspects of the study, from accelerator to detectors and experiments including the technological R&D developments and infrastructure were reviewed. As Michael Benedikt, the FCC study leader, noted: “In the past years we studied in depth the parameters of future colliders that will push the energy and intensity frontiers. We now have a very good understanding of all the parameters that enter in building and operating these machines in line with the physics motivation for them.”

Building and operating these large-scale research infrastructures in an efficient and reliable way poses certain challenges for scientists working in different fields. Significant advances in superconducting magnets, cryogenics, SRF technologies and RF power sources and other key technologies have been made since the beginning of the study. The 16 Tesla magnets remain one of the most challenging aspects of a future hadron-hadron collider along with the development of superconducting wires with performance exceeding that of present state-of-the-art materials.

New reference designs for future experiments both in future proton-proton and lepton-lepton circular colliders were discussed during the meeting. Consensus exists that the next generation of detectors will have to surpass the achievements of the LHC experiments and cope with the challenges of energy and intensity colliders. This is not a trivial task but, learning from the LHC experiments and exploiting recent technological advances scientists made meaningful progress.

Special focus was also given in public engagement and outreach activities. “Small particles, big machines” was the theme of the public hands-on exhibition that ran in parallel to the FCC Week 2017. The aim of the exhibition was to bring the science and technology of particle physics and particle accelerators. closer to the public In addition, the FCC Innovation awards were presented, celebrating the most exciting technological and scientific developments in the collaboration.

Participants renewed their appointment in Amsterdam for the FCC week 2018. The meeting will review the feasibility, the available technological options and costs for future circular colliders. This will be a key meeting before the presentation of the conceptual design report, in time for the next update of the European Strategy for Particle Physics in 2019.


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