The ILC scientific community has developed a set of benchmark physics processes that drive the design of the ILC accelerator and detectors. Scientists have chosen a subset of these benchmark processes which tests the performance of the proposed detectors. Some benchmarks include representative examples of new particle species that might be produced at the ILC. Others stress test particular aspects of the detector, such as the tracking system, calorimetry or muon identification. Some processes have been chosen to test the integrated performance of the detector for new particles that are preferentially produced in the forward region, that is, close the beam direction.
As detector designs evolve, scientists use advanced simulation and reconstruction computer programs to compute the sensitivity of the detector design to these benchmark processes. The programs are constantly updated to reflect the state of the art of our understanding of the detectors and the benchmark processes. As each new idea is proposed, scientists use these advanced simulation and reconstruction computer programs to determine by how much the new idea improves or degrades the sensitivity of the detector to the benchmark processes. Often this is a very subtle question because of the complicated interplay among the many components in a detector. A proposed change, for example, might improve the sensitivity to some benchmark processes but degrade sensitivity to others.
The ensemble of these benchmark results will guide the detector R&D process over the coming years. As the design process matures, the ILC scientific community will use these results to decide which detector concepts should advance to a detailed technical engineering design. Fermilab scientists, in collaboration with scientists from around the world, are participating in this effort.
Detailed information on simulated analyses of benchmark processes run at Fermilab and on how to contribute to the benchmark effort is also available.