The Compact Linear Collider

Physicists and engineers at CERN are pursuing advanced accelerator research and development for a machine to exploit the Large Hadron Collider’s discoveries at the high-energy frontier. The Compact Linear Collider (CLIC) study is an international collaboration working on a concept for a machine to collide electrons and positrons (antielectrons) head-on at energies up to several teraelectronvolts (TeV). This energy range is similar to the LHC’s, but using electrons and their antiparticles rather than protons, physicists will gain a different perspective on the underlying physics.

The aim is to use radiofrequency (RF) structures and a two-beam concept to produce accelerating fields as high as 100 MV per metre to reach a nominal total energy of 3 TeV, keeping the size and cost of the project within reach. The CLIC test facility, CTF3, provides the electron beam for the studies.

In the two-beam acceleration concept, the high RF power needed to accelerate the main beam is extracted from a second high-intensity electron beam – the “drive beam” – that runs parallel to the main beam. This drive beam is decelerated in special power extraction structures and the generated RF power is used to accelerate the main beam.

In a related project, the CLIC detector and physics collaboration is developing a detector to record collisions at the future high-energy Compact Linear Collider.