What to expect in 2012? Print E-mail

ImageSome announced the end of the world for 2012... For astroparticle physics, it is rather a key year for new beginnings. And it will certainly be a «hot year» on many fronts and - why not? - discoveries?



Dark matter, neutrinos, antimatter... Many topics are on the agenda for the year 2012. This year will also be the end of the ASPERA-2 European programme, but certainly not the end of astroparticle physics coordination in Europe as ApPEC and ASPERA are moving ahead together to set up a sustainable structure continuing the work of our network with a long term vision. Last but not least, we will celebrate in 2012 the anniversary of the discovery of cosmic rays, one century ago.  Stay tuned!

Dark matter, the race in full swing!

Dark matter search closes in on mysterious dark matter. And the competition is particularly strong in the area of underground experiments looking for dark matter particles also known as WIMPs. ANAIS, CRESST, DAMA, EDELWEISS, XENON, WARP, ZEPLIN are among the experiments running in Europe. Will we have hints of  dark matter in 2012? Possibly. In any case, they are all in the spotlight and any news from each of these experiments will be watched very carefully by the community!
 dark matter hunt
 Speeding neutrinos...

Speeding neutrinos from the OPERA experiment were with no doubt the big story in 2011. This year the OPERA collaboration itself will continue to check the result and look for possible systematic errors. A new setup of a part of the experiment will run starting in spring 2012 to improve measurements. At the same time, experiments both in the United States and Japan will try to kill or confirm the OPERA result. We are far from the end of the story...
FTL Neutrinos
 Gamma rays: first light for H.E.S.S II

While the community is working hard for the preparation of CTA, the next large ground gamma ray observatory, the biggest telescope in the world should see its first light by mid-2012. With a 28 m-diameter dish and an area of 600 square meters, this Cherenkov telescope will join the four other H.E.S.S. telescopes already running in Namibia. Called H.E.S.S II, it will unveil new mysteries of the most violent phenomena in the universe.
 Neutrino properties

The confirmation of a large mixing angle θ13 is among the likely news in 2012! Here again, the competition is very strong. A measurement of this third angle would complete our picture of neutrino oscillations and will open new perspectives in understanding why we find matter and no antimatter in our today’s Universe.
 Double Chooz
 Cosmic rays & antimatter: AMS’ first results

On 14 January 2012, the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer AMS-02 hunting for cosmic rays from the outer space onboard the International Space Station had already recorded 11 billion particles. Cosmic rays composition and fluxes, antimatter and even dark matter are part of the scientific programme of AMS-02 and its first results are expected in 2012!
 AMS onboard the ISS

It is not anymore needed to present the Large Hadron Collider, the most powerful particle accelerator in the world of CERN located near Geneva. While the final answer on the Higgs boson should be delivered in 2012, other surprises may be also on the menu!
 collisions as seen in the CMS experiment at CERN
 Gravitational wave observatories’ upgrades

Gravitational wave observatories will soon reach an unprecedented sensitivity with the new upgrades coming up. In Europe, we have two gravitational waves observatories: GEO600 in Germany and VIRGO in Italy.
(Read also the following article).
 gravitational waves
 Celebrating 100 years of astroparticle physics!

100 years ago physicist Victor Hess discovered cosmic rays during his balloon flights. This discovery can be considered as the birth of astroparticle physics. Thus, activities celebrating this anniversary will happen all along the year in Europe and worldwide.
V. Hess and his balloon


Submitted by Arnaud Marsollier (CERN)

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