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ILC and CLIC: Linear Colliders

Experiments at future accelerators

Illustration of a CLIC detector with a simulated particle collision
Illustration of a CLIC detector with a simulated particle collision (Picture: CLIC)

Futur accelerator experiments are being developed in a global collaboration – projects which allow a precise investigation of the Higgs boson and the top quark, the heaviest particles in the Standard Model of particle physics. In addition, they should offer discovery potential for “new physics”, complementing the possibilities afforded by the LHC.

The “Future Detectors” Group at the MPP investigates the physics potential of future linear accelerators. It develops detector technologies for the next generation of experiments in particle physics. The Group is an active partner in various research collaborations:


•    in CALICE to develop highly granular calorimeters,
•    in CLIC Detectors und Physics (CLICdp),
•    in the International Large Detector (ILD) concept for the ILC.

Furthermore, the detector technologies developed in CALICE are being used in the commissioning of the SuperKEKB accelerator in Japan.

The ILC and CLIC linear colliders

In contrast to what happens in the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), it is electrons and their antiparticles, the positrons, that are made to collide at high energy in these accelerators. These experiment are intended to allow researchers to study tera-scale physics: The work here focuses on questions relating to the origin of mass, the nature of the dark matter in the universe, possible new symmetries and new spatial dimensions.

Unlike the protons used in the LHC, electrons and positrons are elementary particles without a substructure. Their collisions therefore provide cleaner events, have a much lower background, and thus a higher measurement precision. This allows detailed investigations of the physics within and beyond the Standard Model.

Electrons and positrons must be on linear trajectories in order to be accelerated to the highest energies; on a circular trajectory, their low mass means that they lose too much energy through synchrotron radiation.

A linear accelerator therefore comprises two long tubes which accelerate the particles to high energies before bringing them to collision. Two technologies are currently being developed for this: The International Linear Collider (ILC), with a maximum energy of 500 gigaelectronvolts up to 1 teraelectronvolt, and the Compact Linear Collider (CLIC), with energies up to 3 teraelectronvolts. At the same time, complex detector systems are being developed in order to achieve the best possible precision. Several hundred scientists around the world are involved in the development of these new accelerators.

Further information on the group "ILC & CLIC"

News releases


On May 2 and 3, 2016, a workshop will take place at the MPP to open discussion on concepts for future electron-positron accelerators. These accelerators bring matter and antimatter particles into collision and are an important complement to the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). The goal of this and...

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It’s all about high-energy and astroparticle physics at Wildbad Kreuth from Oct. 4 to 9, 2015, when the Max Planck Institute for Physics hosts this year’s International Symposium on Multiparticle Dynamics (ISMD). Held annually since 1970, the ISMD conference rotates from year to year among different...

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From Sept. 9 to 11, 2015, scientists of the CALICE collaboration will be meeting at the Max Planck Institute for Physics. In this project researchers are developing novel detectors to be used in future particle accelerators. The detectors measure the energy of particle fragments that are produced in...

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On Thursday, April 30 2015, Frank Simon from the Max Planck Institute for Physics was elected new spokesperson of CALICE. The CALICE (CAlorimeter for LInear Collider Experiment) collaboration unites more than 300 physicists and engineers worldwide. The collaboration's goal is to develop new...

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Group members

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Emberger, Lorenz

Student 393

Gabriel, Miroslav

PhD Student 556

Graf, Christian

PhD Student 307

Heuchel, Daniel

Student 393

Homa, Lina

Student 393

Israeli, Yasmine

PhD Student 402

Kroepsch, Rene

Student 393

Resina Urpi, Guia

Student 393

Simon, Frank, Dr.

Scientist 535

Szalay, Marco

PhD Student 307

Events and meetings

Currently, there are no events or meetings.

Key publications

Physics Case for the International Linear Collider
ILC Physics Working Group
arXiv:1506.05992 [hep-ex]

The Time Structure of Hadronic Showers in highly granular Calorimeters with Tungsten and Steel Absorbers
CALICE Collaboration
JINST 9, P07022  (2014)
arXiv:1404.6454 [hep-ex]

Top quark mass measurements at and above threshold at CLIC
Eur. Phys. J. C73, 2530 (2013)

Hadronic energy resolution of a highly granular scintillator- steel hadron calorimeter using software compensation techniques
CALICE Collaboration
JINST 7, P09017 (2012)
arxiv:1207.4210 [physics.ins-det]

The CLIC Programme: Towards a Staged e+e- Linear Collider Exploring the Terascale: CLIC Conceptual Design Report
P. Lebrun, L. Linssen, A. Lucaci-Timoce, D. Schulte, F. Simon, S. Stapnes, N. Toge and H. Weerts et al.
arXiv:1209.2543 [physics.ins-det]