Last week scientists at the CERN-recognized KM3NeT collaboration have publicly announced KM3NeT 2.0.
KM3NeT 2.0, which is located at the bottom of the Mediterranean Sea, will continue the work done by the experiment to study neutrino astronomy, but will also expand its scientific reach to study neutrino oscillations.
The two major scientific goals of KM3NeT 2.0 are the discovery of astrophysical sources of neutrinos in the Universe with the KM3NeT/ARCA detector and the determination of the neutrino mass hierarchy using atmospheric neutrinos with the KM3NeT/ORCA detector. Thanks to the flexible KM3NeT design, efficient detection of neutrinos is possible over a wide energy range (GeV to PeV) with an almost identical implementation.
The KM3NeT scientists estimate that with the ARCA detector installed at the KM3NeT-It site south of Sicily, Italy, the observation of the cosmic neutrino flux reported by the IceCube Collaboration will be possible within one year of operation. With the ORCA detector installed at the KM3NeT-Fr site south of Toulon, France, they expect to determine neutrino mass hierarchy with at least 3-sigma significance after three years of operation.
"With the densely instrumented ORCA detector of KM3NeT we will be able to determine the relative ordering of the neutrino masses, also referred to as the neutrino mass hierarchy,” says Antoine Kouchner, KM3NeT Workgroup leader of ORCA.
Now open for scrutiny by the neutrino scientific community, the letter of intent details the science performance as well as the technical design of the KM3NeT 2.0 infrastructure.
“The modular design of KM3NeT with detector blocks for the telescope makes it possible to swiftly react on new scientific developments. With KM3NeT 2.0 we are able to not only perform all-flavour neutrino astroparticle physics but also advance fundamental neutrino particle physics,” explains Uli Katz, managaer of KM3NeT Physics and Software.
While KM3NeT is a CERN recognized experiment, they have also worked closely with CERN scientists on the White Rabbit project. This project, which looks at the synchronisation of computers in a large network, has provided KM3NeT with a structure on which their research infrastructure technology is based.
Pending funding, KM3NeT 2.0 could become reality as early as in 2020.