Scope of the meeting Print E-mail

Astroparticle physics is the study of particles and radiation from outer space, and of rare, cosmologically-significant elementary particle reactions. The scales of distances examined range from the realm of elementary particles to the outer reaches of the observable Universe, placing the field at the intersection of cosmology, astrophysics, particle physics and nuclear physics. Major fundamental research challenges are within the scope of the field, notably, understanding the properties of dark matter, dark energy, and gravitational radiation, and exploring the unification of the fundamental forces of nature. Furthermore, extreme astrophysical phenomena that produce high-energy particles and radiation are of intrinsic interest because they have had, and continue to have, a major influence on the structure and evolution of the Universe.

Astroparticle physics started as a specialised endeavour, pursued by a few charismatic pioneers who reached out beyond traditional disciplinary boundaries and used unconventional, innovative experimental techniques. Since then, the field has become a mature, globally-integrated research activity, involving approximately 4000 researchers, with experiments being conducted underground, underwater, on the Earth’s surface, in the atmosphere, and in space, and funded at the level of some 400 million dollars per year (excluding space launch costs). Today, astroparticle physics stands on the threshold of an era of discovery, with a new generation of proposed instruments that are likely to deliver scientific breakthroughs based on enhanced sensitivity and resolution. While the scientific prospects for the future are exciting, it is important to ensure that this potential is fully realised via a corresponding effort in the domain of science policy.

In Europe ASPERA (EU ERANET 2006-2009) produced a strategy for Astroparticle Physics that would describe the status and perspective of the field within Europe, and link the field to activities in other parts of the world. This roadmap, entitled “Astroparticle Physics – the European Strategy” was officially presented in a high-profile international meeting in Brussels at 29-30 September 2008.

Because Astroparticle Physics is a rapidly growing dynamical field, new results, progress in technology readiness as well as roadmapping exercises in other parts of the world have refined the research landscape. For this reason ASPERA-2 (ERANET 2009-2012) has charged the ASPERA-2 Science Advisory Committee (SAC) to produce an update of the previous document. The new roadmap, entitled “European Roadmap for Astroparticle Physics” , will be presented on the 21st and 22nd of November 2011 at the Collège de France in Paris.

The workshop will also be an opportunity to discuss how the priorities of European Astroparticle Physics are embedded in the European Large Infrastructure policy (ESFRI, CERN, ESO, ASTRONET), the synergies with more applied disciplines as e.g. the Geological or Environmental Sciences, as well as computing and industrial transfer actions. It will above all be an opportunity to discuss with agency leaders from other regions of the world the respective priorities and methods of coordination, which has started in the framework of the Astroparticle Physics International Forum (APIF).

The program of the talks can be found here.

This event is free and open to everyone, but registration is required.

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