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  21-09-2007: FROM OPPORTUNITIES TO REALITY: EUROPEAN ASTROPARTICLE PHYSICISTS DEFINE THEIR STRATEGY IN AMSTERDAM. 
 COMPLETE LIST 



Amsterdam, 20th September 2007. On the road to the discovery of
dark-matter particles, gravitational waves and the origin of cosmic rays,
astroparticle physicists defined today their plans in Amsterdam during an
important meeting of 200 physicists. After publishing their European
Roadmap in June, they were for the first time able to compare detailed
plans for European future large infrastructures with the available funds
in the European agencies. Furthermore, foreign agencies from the United
States and China were represented at the highest levels in view on a world
convergence.

At the intersection of particle physics and astrophysics - at the frontier
of the infinitely small and infinitely large - astroparticle physics is a
rising field. It has been strongly emerging for the past ten years and has
a very high discovery potential, aiming to answer the most exciting
questions about the Universe such as "What is the Universe made of?",
"What is the origin of cosmic rays?" or "What is the nature of gravity or
dark matter?".

From undersea and underground laboratories to space, or in the most
isolated deserts, astroparticle physics experiments accept very exciting
challenges in which Europe is one of the major players. Astroparticle
physics is really a science of the future and for next years will develop
very large scientific instruments in order to detect the most elusive
particles, and to penetrate the most intimate secrets of the Universe.

Joined together within the ASPERA* European network, the European agencies
for research from 12 countries decided for the first time to share their
efforts to define together the policy to be followed in this field. What
are the great questions to solve? How is it possible to coordinate
astroparticle physics at a European level? What will be the large European
infrastructures for tomorrow? To answer these questions, ASPERA engaged in
an important prospective work towards a common roadmap. This roadmap
process was coordinated by a group of European and non-European experts
chaired by Dr. Christian Spiering from DESY - Germany.

"An important milestone will be the elaboration of a final European
roadmap associated with a detailed census of the existing budget and human
resources available in the participating agencies. The enthusiasm with
which the scientific community and the funding agencies embraced the
process makes me confident of the outcome." said Professor Stavros
Katsanevas from CNRS - France, the coordinator of ASPERA.

The European Commission already supports the design studies of important
projects such as KM3NeT, a large future undersea neutrino telescope, which
will be built in the depths of the Mediterranean Sea. It also recently
announced its support for the design studies of two new large facilities,
LAGUNA, a very large detector for proton decay and neutrino astronomy and
the Einstein Telescope (ET), a next generation gravitational wave antenna.

Considering the European convergence criteria and their strong scientific
interest, it was also recommended to engage the design studies for the
Cherenkov Telescope Array (CTA), a new generation of European observatory
for high-energy gamma rays and EURECA, a ton-scale bolometric detector for
cryogenic research of dark matter.

The success of the ASPERA process unceasingly attracts new partners and
the important meeting held in Amsterdam was for ASPERA the occasion to
announce the request of Romania to enter the ASPERA network.

Defining the European strategy for Astroparticle physics with the whole
community is the innovative challenge engaged by the ASPERA European
network. It is a strong symbol that the construction of European research
is on the move.

European Astroparticle Roadmap is available online at: www.aspera-eu.org

For further information please contact:

ASPERA press officer
Arnaud MARSOLLIER
Tel. +41 22 767 37 09
arnaud.marsollier@cern.ch

ASPERA coordinator
Stavros Katsanevas
Tel. +33 1 44 96 47 57
katsan@admin.in2p3.fr

Chairman of ASPERA Peer Review Committee
Christian Spiering
Tel. +49 33762 77218
christian.spiering@desy.de


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