Date: Tuesday 13th November 2001
Title: ANTARES: A Neutrino Telescope in the Mediterranean Sea
Speaker: Dr. John Carr (CPPM Marseille)
Observing the Universe using the weakly interacting neutrino as a "messenger" is an old idea. The ANTARES Collaboration was formed in 1996 with the objective of building a deep-sea neutrino telescope. A neutrino telescope is currently operating in the ice at the South Ploe, but attempts to build a large-scale in the sea have not been successful. ANTARES benefits from advances in marine technology developed for the oil industry and from close collaboration with oceanographic institutes in order to overcome the difficulties experienced by previous projects. The talk will discuss the rich scientific potential of the ANTARES project in the fields of astronomy, cosmic ray physics, particle physics as well as marine biology and oceanography. The first phase of the project has been to acquire the technology and experience necessary to construct such an instrument. A major aspect of this stage of the project was the choice and evaluation of the site which will be 40km south of Toulon in France. With the successful completion of this first stage, the collaboration has moved on to the construction of a detector of sufficient size to start to observe neutrino events from outer space: a detector woth an effective area of 0.1km^2. The detector will be a further step towards the ultimate goal of the construction of a neutrino telescope with volume 1km^3 in the northern hemisphere which would give complementary coverage to the south pole project and in addition enable the observation of the centre of our own galaxy.