For the near term CERN's LHC will be a fantastic
particle collider with enormous promise for exploring particle physics.
Beyond the LHC the situation is challenging. An international
consortium is now forming to design and build an electron-positron
collider, the International
Linear Collider or ILC. (Earlier versions of ILC
were known as Tesla and NLC for Next Linear Collider.) The ILC is
different and complimentary to
the LHC. This machine will consist of two linacs that collide electrons
head on. The device will explore different areas of particle physics
that are not accessible to the LHC. The ILC will be a difficult
It is costly and requires forefront technology. Because of the
technology, cost, and world-wide interest in the project it will have
to be built and operated by an international consortium. Teams around
the world are now involved in the program. A recent plan for the
accelerator is shown in the schematic on the left.
Beyond the International Linear Collider the future of
particle accelerators is even more challeging. New technologies such as
or plasma acceleration may be necessary. Whether these
technologies can succeed in time to impact and link to our century of science is
still open to question.