Beijing’s Institute of High Energy Physics has unveiled plans for a Circular Electron Positron Collider (CEPC). A two-volume conceptual design report released last month details the accelerator and detector, physics performance, and site requirements. Longer term, the beam lines in the 100 km tunnel could be retooled to make a 100 TeV proton–proton collider.

The estimated $6 billion project still awaits approval from China’s Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST), which in two years will weigh the CEPC against several other contenders. If it goes ahead, it will be “a truly major high-energy physics facility that Asia deserves,” says George Wei-Shu Hou of National Taiwan University and chair of the Asia-Pacific High Energy Physics Panel.

The CEPC would accelerate electrons and positrons in opposite directions in separate beam pipes and collide them at two points. It would run as a Higgs factory with collisions at 240 GeV, producing at least a million Higgs bosons over a planned seven years. With so much statistical power, researchers would obtain precise measurements of mass, spin, coupling, and other properties (see the article by Joe Lykken and Maria Spiropulu, Physics Today, December 2013, page 28). Electron–positron collisions are much cleaner than the messy proton–proton events at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), where the Higgs was first observed in 2012.

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