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Particle Physics

United States and Japan Projects

ILC Computing

Physicists have been trying to explain the origin of mass and exploring extra dimensions for many years. Recent experiments and observations have led to the realization that we can only account for 5 percent of the universe; the remaining 95 percent is dark matter and dark energy. Physicists believe that a machine like the International Linear Collider (ILC) will help us discover more about the composition of the universe and how it works.


The ILC is a proposed electron-positron machine with a collision energy √s ≈ 500 GeV. The science communities in Europe, Japan, and the United States issued strong recommendations in support of this project after the publication of the 2013 ILC technical design report. A candidate site for the ILC has been chosen in the Kitakami region in northern Japan.

The ILC physics program has three pillars:

  • Measure Standard Model processes with unprecedented precision
  • Understand the Higgs and its role in nature in detail
  • Search for new phenomena in regions that are currently inaccessible.

The results will help us answer long-standing questions about the nature of dark matter and hopefully solve the puzzle why some of the elementary particles are so much heavier than others.

Two detector concepts, silicon detector (SiD) and international large detector (ILD), expect to share time at the ILC, and are studying ways to measure the collision events with the required precision and to analyze and process them efficiently.

PNNL scientists are leading detector optimization studies for the SiD concept with the aim of a more precise, reliable, and affordable experiment. Our expertise in computing is shaping the model for how to distribute the data on a global infrastructure of data centers and how to make it available to a global collaboration.

Belle II Computing

PNNL provides high-performance computing and data analysis capabilities to Belle II. In the next decade, the project is expected to produce one of the world's largest scientific data sets, totaling hundreds of petabytes. To put that in perspective, consider that one petabyte of MP3 music files would be enough to play songs continuously for over 2,000 years.

Belle II Detector

PNNL is leading the U.S. contribution to the Belle II experiment, which involves more than 600 researchers from 23 countries. Using a highly specialized particle detector in Japan about the size of a three-story house to conduct research with unprecedented precision, scientists are working to understand why the universe contains matter, but is nearly void of antimatter.

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