Title: The Art and Science of Making a Major Technical Decision: Choosing the Technology for the International Linear Collider


Following a decade of intense R&D, two competing technologies have emerged for the basis of the main linac of the proposed TeV scale linear collider. At SLAC and at KEK, a "warm" technology has been developed, based on a room temperature X-band accelerating structures, while at DESY a "cold" technology has been similarly demonstrated, based on L-band superconducting rf. Several detailed studies of both technologies failed to reveal a preference for one of the technologies. To resolve this problem, the International Committee on Future Accelerators (ICFA) defined and implemented an unprecedented process for deciding which technology to use as the basis of the continuing R&D toward the linear collider final design, in anticipation of proposing a construction project to begin about 2010. In this seminar, I will review and reflect on the process and the decision that has now been made to base the linear collider design on superconducting rf technology.