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Astroparticle physicists publish 'roadmap to the stars'

A new roadmap defining a common strategic plan for astroparticle physics has been published by the AStroParticle European Research Area (ASPERA) ERA-NET and the Astroparticle Physics European Coordination (ApPEC) consortium.

The 'roadmap to the stars' is an attempt to forge a...
Astroparticle physicists publish 'roadmap to the stars'
A new roadmap defining a common strategic plan for astroparticle physics has been published by the AStroParticle European Research Area (ASPERA) ERA-NET and the Astroparticle Physics European Coordination (ApPEC) consortium.

The 'roadmap to the stars' is an attempt to forge an international consensus on what the astroparticle physics community needs in the way of facilities for the future. It follows an analysis by ApPEC and ASPERA, engaging all astroparticle physicists, of the future of the discipline.

Astroparticle physicists seek to answer questions such as 'What is the universe made of?', 'What is the origin of cosmic rays?' and 'What is the nature of gravity?' They also look to increase knowledge of phenomena such as supernova explosions, neutron stars and black holes.

Rapid advances in astroparticle physics have led to the design of new infrastructures, including underground laboratories, new telescopes and antennas. Together with new detection methods, these have enabled the observation of a wide range of cosmic particles: neutrinos, gamma-rays, cosmic rays at the highest energies, gravitational waves and dark matter particles.

The roadmap is still in its infancy, but already identifies four large infrastructures that would benefit astroparticle physics: the Cherenkov Telescope Array (an observatory for high-energy gamma rays); a bolometric detector for cryogenic research into dark matter (EURECA); a detector for proton decay and neutrino astronomy (LAGUNA); and the Einstein Telescope, a next generation gravitational wave antenna.

The roadmap is described as 'the first step towards a European coordination of astroparticle physics'. ASPERA coordinator Professor Stavros Katsanevas said: 'It will be the first time that astroparticle physics funding will be concentrated by the participating European agencies on commonly agreed targets.'

The infrastructures identified in the roadmap will be discussed during a workshop in Amsterdam in September. Participants at the conference will also compare the priorities for Europe's astroparticle physics community with those of non-European researchers.

The ASPERA ERA-NET, funded under the EU's Sixth Framework Programme (FP6), brings together national funding agencies responsible for astroparticle physics from 12 European countries, as well as the European Centre for Nuclear Research (CERN).

ApPEC was founded in 2001, when six European scientific agencies decided to coordinate in order to encourage astroparticle physics in Europe.

Source: CERN

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Record Number: 27944 / Last updated on: 2007-06-28
Category: Other
Provider: EC
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