Van der Waals-Zeeman Colloquium

Tuesday, 16 February 2010, 16:00

ANTARES, Stepping Stone to KM3NeT

Dr. Els de Wolf

The observation of high-energy cosmic neutrinos is one of the most promising future options to increase our knowledge on non-thermal processes in the Universe. Cosmic neutrinos can bring us information over distances much larger than can be achieved with electromagnetic radiation. They point straight back to their source, thus allowing for its identification, and can escape from the inner core of violent astrophysical objects, such as Gamma Ray Burst or Active Galactic Nuclei. Since neutrinos interact only weakly with matter, their observation requires detectors of cubic kilometre scale. At the South Pole, the IceCube neutrino telescope is being built and taking data. In 2008, the ANTARES neutrino telescope has been completed at the bottom of the Mediterranean Sea at a depth of about 2.5 km. Together, these telescopes provide full sky coverage for the observation of cosmic neutrinos. Building on the experience with the ANTARES detector, the next generation neutrino telescope KM3NeT is being designed. The presentation reports on results of ANTARES and the status of the design of KM3NeT.