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January 5 2013

Large Hadron Collider's heir likely destined for Japan


It feels like the Large Hadron Collider has just barely started doing science (and it's not even at full strength yet), but already plans are underway for its successor: the International Linear Collider, or ILC. The ILC will likely cost between $10 and $20 billion, and it's now looking like the host country will probably be Japan.

The LHC has done a stupendous job of colliding hadrons with each other. Hadrons, of course, are particles made up of other particles: a proton, for example, is made of three quarks (two up quarks and a down quark) held together with gluons. The LHC's circular design makes it possible to accelerate hadrons up to enormous energies and collide them efficiently.

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