A more powerful linear collider
Undetermined, possibly at CERN
: Electrons and positrons
Not likely in near term (technology still unproven)
The Compact Linear Collider
(CLIC) concept works on most of the same principles as the International Linear Collider (and other linear colliders in general). The key difference is in how CLIC provides the electromagnetic fields that accelerate the electrons and positrons it collides. In theory, these fields can be much stronger than those produced by a standard linear collider, but in practice there's still a lot of proving out to be done.
To generate these stronger accelerating fields, the CLIC begins with two beams in each accelerator--a main beam and a drive beam. The drive beam would contain many, many particles (making it high-intensity) but would be at a relatively low energy. A specially designed exchanger (and the magic of particle physics) then siphons particles and energy from the drive beam and injects them into the main beam, which is accelerated via this transfer. These main beams go on to collide at the center of the CLIC.
âIt's an idea where people have started to demonstrate that this idea works, but there are still many more stages in the R&D to really demonstrate that this technique could work on a massive scale when you have a 30- or 40-kilometer long accelerator,â Wyatt says. âWhere the proponents of the ILC say we could virtually start building it tomorrow, the CLIC needs to go through several more stages of demonstrating. It's further away in terms of technological readiness.â