This article first appeared in Fermilab Today on November 17, 2009.
Fermilab took the next step in ensuring that the high-energy physics community has choices for the path to discovery beyond the energy range of the Large Hadron Collider.
Results from the LHC will help to determine which of the proposed machines—the International Linear Collider or either the muon collider or Compact Linear Collider—is the preferred choice for the world's next energy-frontier collider.
"There is no question there will be interesting physics even in the era of 20 years running of the LHC," said workshop co-chair Fermilab theorist Estia Eichten.
The workshop, which drew about 80 participants from outside Fermilab, consolidates and builds on a decade of research with the goal of producing a white paper in 18 months and an end-to-end feasibility study within five years.
"We are within reach of finding out whether a muon collider is an option," said Steve Geer of Fermilab's Accelerator R&D Department and newly appointed interim co-director of the national Muon Accelerator Program.
Workshop attendees are off to a quick start. Prior to the meeting they produced detector simulations of backgrounds. During the workshop they moved forward with planning for Project X, a possible high-energy proton source for the muon collider; worked with members of the fourth detector, a previous design option for the ILC; and proposed horizontal collaborative efforts with the ILC and CLIC.
Collaborators plan to explore further synergies with the ILC, CLIC, and the LHC upgrade plans for lepton collider R&D, particularly for physics benchmarks and detector components.
Fermilab Deputy Director Young-Kee Kim praised the work done so far and asked for more international collaboration beyond the current US, European, and Asian participation on this "exciting, challenging journey."