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Muon Collider

Alexander Hellemans (News, 9 Jan., p. 169) conveys the physics of muon colliders to an admirable extent, and I agree with much of what is said in his article. I am an advocate of working on muon collider research and development (R&D), and I am even a subspokesman for the collaboration, for which Robert Palmer of Brookhaven National Laboratory is the spokesman. However, because of the context of certain quotes, the article conveys an inaccurate impression of some of my views.

Although I am working hard to make it a reality, I would not say, for example, "We can build a Higgs factory." My view is that the option is very attractive, but must receive strong funding support from the U.S. Department of Energy and strong R&D commitment from the community if we are to know that such a machine is a viable option at the time that we must make a choice among the various alternatives.

Palmer, I, and the rest of the Muon Collider Collaboration, which now consists of 100 working physicists, agree in thinking that R&D money should be spent on muon colliders; in particular, both the production of muons and the cooling of the muon beam need experimental demonstration. This is the only way to find out if this exciting possibility is "real" or not. Still to be seen is whether the funding agencies agree with us.

Andrew M. Sessler
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory,
Berkeley, CA 94720, USA
E-mail: amsessler@lbl.gov

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Volume 279, Number 5352 Issue of 6 February 1998, p 783
©1998 by The American Association for the Advancement of Science.

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Copyright © 1998 by the American Association for the Advancement of Science.