The first Italian workshop on the Future Circular Collider (FCC) took place in Rome from 21 to 22 March and was attended by around 120 researchers.
The FCC study is exploring the technical and financial feasibility of a 91 km-circumference collider situated under French and Swiss territory near CERN, thus exploiting existing infrastructures. In a first phase (FCC-ee) the tunnel would host an electron–positron collider at energies from 90 to 365 GeV, which would be replaced by a proton–proton collider (FCC-hh) with a centre-of-mass energy of at least 100 TeV, almost an order of magnitude higher than that of the LHC. The proposed roadmap foresees the R&D for the 16 T superconducting dipole magnets needed to keep the FCC-hh proton beams on track to take place in parallel with FCC-ee construction and operation.
“The FCC is a large infrastructure that would allow Europe to maintain its worldwide leadership in high-energy physics research. This project is therefore of strategic importance in the international science scenario of the coming years,” remarked INFN president Antonio Zoccoli in his introduction. “INFN has great potential and could make a significant contribution to its implementation. In this perspective, it is important to clearly identify the main activities in which to invest, assemble the necessary human resources and identify possible industrial partners.”
The workshop was opened by FCC study leader Michael Benedikt, who gave an overview of the FCC feasibility study, while deputy study leader Frank Zimmermann covered the technological challenges, design features and machine studies for FCC-ee. Opportunities for technological development related to the FCC-ee were then presented, along with machine studies, in which INFN are already involved. Scientific and technological R&D areas where collaborations could be strengthened or initiated were also identified, prompting an interesting discussion with CERN colleagues.
INFN is already well integrated both in the FCC coordination structure and several ongoing studies, having participated in the project since its beginning, and provides important contributions on all aspects of the FCC study. These range from accelerator and detector R&D, such as the development of superconducting magnets, to experimental and theoretical physics studies. This is made evident by the strong Italian involvement in FCC-related European programmes, such as EuroCirCol for FCC-hh and FCC-IS for FCC-ee, and AIDAinnova on innovative detector technologies for future accelerators. INFN is committed to the development of superconducting magnets for FCC-hh, for which substantial additional funding could come from a project in the context of the next-generation funding programme Horizon Europe.
The second day of the workshop focused on the work that experimental and theoretical physicists have been carrying out to deeply understand the scientific potential of the visionary FCC project, the specific requests for the detectors and the associated R&D activities.
This workshop was the first in a series organised by INFN to promote and support the FCC project and pursue the key technological R&D needed to demonstrate its feasibility by the next update of the European strategy for particle physics.