The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN can be thought of as a giant microscope. In LHC physicists collide proton beams against each other and look for new particles in the collision debris. If the proton beams are energetic enough the probability of finding the particles that supposedly existed in the early universe increases. The primary goal of the LHC experiments is to re-produce the conditions of the early universe in a microscopic scale and understand the physics of the early universe. The reason we use the microscope analogy is that we are effectively looking into the microscopic vortices of energy found in the collision debris.
LHC is a giant microscope but its focus is not very good. It shows blurry images, if you will. To see sharper images we need to collide electrons and positrons against each other. The debris from the proton-proton collisions makes the measurements less precise. We need a next generation electron-positron collider for precision measurements of the new physics discovered in LHC.
Physicists have been working on the design of such a collider. It is known as the International Linear Collider (ILC). Thousands of physicists and engineers worked on the design of ILC in the last decades. The design ideas and the technology of the superconducting RF cavities have matured and they were able to finalize the ILC design. They recently announced that the project is ready for construction. As of this writing, Japan is the strongest candidate to host the ILC.
Please note the question marks in the image above. In my opinion there are question marks in every stage of the evolution of the universe. The so-called “PRESENT” is not any less mysterious than the beginning (“BIG BANG”).
The main web site for ILC: http://www.linearcollider.org/ILC
This website explains the goals in a much better way:
The Wikipedia article on ILC