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The ‘Magnificent Seven’ of European astroparticle physics

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Artist’s impression of a possible KM3NeT detector configuration. (Courtesy: ASPERA).

By Hamish Johnston

In July 2007 Europe’s astroparticle physicists drew up a wish list of research projects that they would like to see funded.

Dubbed the “Magnificent Seven” by ASPERA — a consortium of national agencies that fund astroparticle physics research — the projects aim to answer the fundamental questions facing astroparticle physicists.

This wish list has been through the wringer of European consulation processes and earlier this week a final roadmap document was released. It’s a 61-page report and you can find the PDF here .

The document recommends that seven projects be supported by European funding agencies , and gives three projects “priority” status.

These three are the Cherenkov Telescope Array (CTA) for detecting of cosmic high-energy gamma rays; KM3NeT, a cubic kilometre-scale neutrino telescope in the Mediterranean Sea; and the Pierre Auger North array for the detection of charged cosmic rays.

The other recommended projects are:

*Tonne-scale detectors for dark matter search
*A tonne-scale detector for the determination of the fundamental nature and mass of neutrinos
*A Megatonne-scale detector for proton decay’s search, neutrino astrophysics & investigation of neutrino properties
*A third-generation underground gravitational antenna

The projects will be built over the next ten years and are expected to cost as much as €1.5bn in total.

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One comment to The ‘Magnificent Seven’ of European astroparticle physics

  1. Ender

    As compared to other experiments (and financial bailouts…and war in Iraq) that sounds quite unexpensive. The Auger-South experiment is already producing very interesting results. It would be great it it could be coupled to an Auger-North experiment.

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