Since last August, a module of the high-energy cosmic neutrino underwater telescope ANTARES (https://antares.in2p3.fr/) has been on display at the former library of the Department of Physics.
The adventure of ANTARES (Astronomy with a Neutrino Telescope and Abyss environmental RESearch) began in the late 1990s when the first operations at sea were carried out to explore potential installation sites, measure water transparency, sediment levels, bioluminescence, and biofouling. Simultaneously, simulations were conducted to optimize the detector layout. As a result, the characteristic "triplet" module, composed of 3 10-inch photomultiplier tubes, was chosen.
In 2001, the main cable was laid from Les Sablettes beach in La Seyne-sur-Mer to the chosen site, located 40 km from the coast at a depth of 2475 m. On February 14, 2006, the first 25-module detection line was put into operation, and by May 2008, ANTARES installation was complete with a total of 12 such lines.
Since 2008, ANTARES has significantly contributed to high-energy neutrino physics and multi-messenger astrophysics. The detection principle of the ANTARES neutrino telescope is based on observing Cherenkov light induced by secondary charged particles produced in neutrino interactions inside or near the detector volume, a cylinder approximately 250 m in diameter and 500 m in height. To mitigate the atmospheric muon background, the detector primarily seeks upward-going events since only neutrinos can traverse the Earth, interact near the detector, and produce particles "from below."
By the end of 2021, the construction of the two KM3NeT detectors (https://www.km3net.org/) in the Mediterranean had progressed sufficiently to surpass ANTARES' sensitivity across the entire energy range. Consequently, the decision was made to close and dismantle the ANTARES detector in 2022. February 14, 2022, marked the end of data collection for ANTARES, exactly 16 years after the deployment of the first detection line.
Throughout its scientific life, the ANTARES Collaboration has published over 90 articles in peer-reviewed journals, with approximately 40 presentations made at international conferences each year, and approximately 100 doctoral students defended their theses within the ANTARES telescope framework. The collaboration now plans to produce final studies based on the entire data sample and release a dataset for the scientific community.
The research group on ANTARES from the Department of Physics and the INFN Section of Genoa has been led over the years by Marco Anghinolfi, Mauro Taiuti, Vladimir Kulikovskiy, and Matteo Sanguineti, with technical support from Roberto Cereseto, Giacomo Ottonello, Franco Parodi, and Andrea Rottura. Thanks are extended to the management and technical service of the Department of Physics for their support, and to the INFN technical service, especially Giacomo and Stefano Ottonello, for their installation work.