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Milestone for Neutrino Physics: Start of Design Study for LAGUNA

Neutrinos are messengers from astrophysical objects as well as the Early Universe and can give us information on processes happening in the Universe, which cannot be studied otherwise. The first successful detection of neutrinos from the supernova SN-1987A by the Kamiokande underground experiment (Japan), recognized with the Nobel Prize in 2002, has opened the field of low energy neutrino astronomy, to date a 20-year long tradition of incredibly rich physics with large underground detectors.

A European collaboration of 26 research institutes including the Technische Universität München (TUM) is working on building a next-generation observatory for neutrino detection: The new, giant underground laboratory is called LAGUNA (Large Apparatus for Grand Unification and Neutrino Astrophysics). October 2008 was the official start of a design study to evaluate seven European sites for LAGUNA: Finnland, Poland, Rumania, Italy, France, Spain, England. The study is expected to be accomplished by 2010.

The core of the new lab will be one or several neutrino detectors. As there are different detector options, a further decision step deals with the question, which detector(s) is or are best suited to meet the requirements for research with LAGUNA. One of the three detector options, a 50 kiloton liquid scintillator detector (LENA), is currently being investigated with the help of the Excellence Cluster Universe. The two remaining detector types are a 700 kiloton water detector (MEMPHYS) and a 100 kiloton liquid argon detector (GLACIER). All detector types will have to be evaluated for all seven sites.

Technische Universitaet Muenchen
Exzellenzcluster Universe

Boltzmannstr. 2
D-85748 Garching

Tel. + 49 89 35831 - 7100
Fax + 49 89 3299 - 4002