One of the main successes of ASPERA and APPEC was the development of the Roadmap for Astroparticle Physics in Europe, a description of the status and perspective of the field within Europe, linking them to activities in other parts of the world. The aim of such a document is to promote Astroparticle Physics within Europe, to stimulate coordination and cooperation within the European astroparticle community and to prepare future decisions at national and European levels.
The first ever European roadmap, entitled “European Roadmap for Astroparticle Physics” was published in 2008 and announced in a special event in Brussels. It defined for the first time the research infrastructures necessary for the development of the field: the “Magnificent Seven” of astroparticle physics. This immense work was carried out by seven thematic working groups, which consolidated the science with data concerning funding and human resources, project schedules and objectives, and R&D needs for each subject. Within this roadmap, the activities reviewed were broken into five areas, each covered by one chapter:
- Cosmology and the early Universe
- Particle properties
- Neutrinos as messengers from the Sun, supernovae and the Earth
- The non-thermal Universe
- Gravitational waves
The scientific opportunities of the field are challenged by budgetary constraints. Coordination, prioritisation, well-managed infrastructures and competitive cooperation are mandatory to maximize the scientific output given finite resources. As a result, in the framework of ASPERA-2, the Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC) prepared a complete update of the ASPERA roadmap, named the “European Strategy of Astroparticle Physics”, which was published in 2011 and celebrated with an event in Paris.
The remarkable progress that has been observed in the field of astroparticle physics over the last decade is expected to continue. One of the first actions undertaken by the APPEC consortium in 2013 was the appointment of its Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC), which regularly examines the progress of the roadmap and proposes detailed resource-aware updates of the astroparticle physics roadmap once every three years. This appears to be a very interesting moment for a new European roadmap. The SAC has been working on scenarios to chart the future discoveries and corresponding theories that will be tested in the next decade or two:
- The consolidation of the recently opened high energy gamma ray astronomy and the opening of the new astronomies: gravitational waves, neutrinos and the high energy cosmic rays
- The understanding of the neutrino sector and its cosmological role
- Large theoretical and experimental progress in the dark matter quest, reaching close to the parameter limits of current theories; the precise study of the parameters of the equation of state of dark energy and, eventually, of those of the inflation potential.
The resulting document was submitted to the General Assembly meeting in January 2015 and the updated Roadmap for Astroparticle Physics in Europe will see the light by the end of 2015.
In parallel, APPEC is keeping an update on the state of Astroparticle Physics projects in Europe with respect to legal frameworks, procedures for scientific, technical and financial review, links with funding agencies etc. Such reports are necessary for preparing and ensuring the construction of the next generation European infrastructures and will be of value to all stakeholders, including project coordinators, SMEs and funding agencies.
To download the Roadmap documents click below:
- European Roadmap for Astroparticle Physics (2008)
- European Strategy for Astroparticle Physics (2011)
- ASPERA newsletter – January 2012 (issue dedicated to the Roadmap update