KM3NeT - Collaboration

Blog for posts about issues important for the KM3NeT collaboration such as collaboration meetings, social events, new member-institutes, new funding etc.

A vibrant Collaboration meeting in Athens!

27 May 2022 – Last week the KM3NeT Collaboration joined in Athens for an in-person Collaboration meeting. It was a long-awaited achievement, after two years of remote meetings.  Many thanks to our hosts at NCSR Demokritos for an excellent organisation!

The pleasure to be together again gave new impulse to all activities, and vibrant discussions took place about progress in construction of ARCA and ORCA, preparation of deployments campaigns and the latest methods and results of data analysis.

Besides the fact that we were extremely happy to meet in person again, we have also learned from the pandemic and our ZOOM-experience: With an eye on sustainability, family situations or other obligations, we also offered the possibility to join the meeting remotely. Which worked great!

Of course we also discussed about the war in Ukraine: With deep sadness for the horror which has been developing there for months now, the Collaboration decided to formally suspend all relationships with public institutions in Russia, including those institutes which had a status of observer institutes in the Collaboration. This won’t impact, though, on the solidarity and friendship with our colleagues in Russia, many of whom have openly stood up against the war, who will be therefore still welcome to participate in KM3NeT on a private basis.

During the meeting, the University of Georgia, which participates in KM3NeT with a team led by Kakhaber Tavzarashvili, changed its membership status from observer to member institute, and several colleagues from various institutes made their debut.

Finally, the meeting gave a good opportunity to refine the plans for the newly approved projects of KM3NeT Infradev-2, supported by EU, and the French project NEUMED.

What a feeling to take a nice Collaboration picture again!


Online but happy collaboration meeting

19 November 2021 – Our collaboration met this week for its traditional Fall meeting – the 5th to be organised online. Despite the physical distance, we had lively and interesting exchange over the week. Many new data analyses were presented, and more than 120 participants connected to the sessions. The week ended by fun social events, and the wish to chat face to face, in-person at the next meeting.

 

 

We also welcomed new institutes in the Collaboration:

– University of Sharjah, UAE;
– Khalifa University, UAE;
Lebedev Physical Institute, Russia;
UCLouvain, Belgium.

The new institutes will work on various topics ranging from neutrino astronomy to neutrino physics, while contributing to detector construction. Welcome in the collaboration!

Finally, we celebrated 6 months of ARCA data taking with 6 detection units! For the occasion, some of the artists in our collaboration prepared a 6hand piano piece. Enjoy!


Yahya Tayalati awarded the Mustafa Prize

13 October 2021 – The KM3NeT Collaboration is proud to announce that Yahya Tayalati, professor at University Mohammed V in Rabat, Morocco and member of the ANTARES and KM3NeT collaborations, has been awarded the prestigious Mustafa Prize.

The Mustafa Prize is a top science and technology award, granted biennially to the researchers and scientists of the Islamic world. Some of the criteria considered by the selection committee are the innovative and outstanding aspect of the research and the high scientific profile and international appreciation of the researcher. Professor Tayalati is receiving this prestigious award for his contribution in beyond standard model physics, especially the “Observation of the Light by Light Scattering and the Search for Magnetic Monopoles”. He was selected together with 4 other recipients among more than 500 candidates.

Yahya is the principal investigator of ANTARES and KM3NeT in Morocco. In addition to being one of the leaders of the dark matter group in the two collaborations, Yahya is leading integration activities for KM3NeT DOMs at two different sites in Morocco.

Video of the Rabat integration site aired on Al Araby TV, an international television network broadcasting in Arabic: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rKHzYG2igBA

Heartiest congratulations, Yahya!


Congratulations to Rebecca Gozzini

Picture of Sara Rebecca Gozzini

The KM3NeT Collaboration congratulates Sara Rebecca Gozzini, who has received a fellowship from the Program to support talented researchers – GenT Plan – of the Generalitat Valenciana (Valencian regional government) in Spain. The fellowship has a duration of 4 (+ 2) years to develop a research project at the Instituto de Física Corpuscular, IFIC, in Valencia and is thought as a tenure-track position promoted by the regional government for the consolidation of young researchers with international projection.

Rebecca joined ANTARES and KM3NeT in 2017. She took charge of different searches for dark matter: search for Galactic Centre WIMPs, search for heavy secluded dark matter, and a combined analysis with IceCube. She currently coordinates the working group ‘Dark Matter and Exotics Physics’ in KM3NeT.

The project presented by Rebecca for her GenT application, “Search for new physics signatures and measurement of fundamental neutrino properties with the KM3NeT telescope”, will have as priority objectives the search for dark matter signatures in KM3NeT, as well as new physics phenomena associated with neutrinos, such as non-standard interactions and others. The grant awarded to Rebecca includes also a budget to hire two PhD students.

The GenT Plan of the Generalitat Valenciana was born in 2017 as a commitment for the recovery, attraction and consolidation of researchers of international excellence in the Valencian research, development and innovation system, in all areas of knowledge to develop their R & D projects in public universities and research centres of the Valencian Community. Paco Salesa and Agustín Sánchez, also members of KM3NeT, are currently working at IFIC thanks to this initiative, too.

Limits on Galactic Centre WIMPs with ANTARES and KM3NeT
Limits from the search for a WIMP signal from the Galactic Centre with ANTARES and KM3NeT (plot presented by Rebecca at the 37th International Cosmic Ray Conference, 2021)

In memoriam

Giorgos Androulakis

(1978 – 2021)

 

With shock and great sadness the KM3NeT Collaboration learned that our colleague and dear friend Giorgos Androulakis passed away suddenly on the 9th of July 2021, aged 43.

 

Giorgos joined KM3NeT in 2014 as a member of the NCSR “Demokritos” in Athens, Greece and from the start he became deeply involved with the construction of the detectors. In 2017, he took over as the QA/QC Manager of the Collaboration, coordinating the activities for quality control during detector construction and operation and managing a team of local quality supervisors at the institutes involved in the detector construction. He was a key long-term member of the KM3NeT Management Team and the Steering Committee.

Giorgos was unfailing in his help to the institutes when setting up their facilities for the detector construction, to help understand the origin of problems when they arose, and to support people with the intricacies of the database. On the management side his careful following of non-conformities and probing questions would often lead us to an understanding and a solution for the issue of the day. His logical approach, insight and sage advice was invaluable for many important decisions.

The recent successes of the collaboration in the construction of the seafloor infrastructures and detection units owes so much to his skills, dedication and hard work.

Giorgos was greatly appreciated by all the members of the collaboration; he was the oil that kept us all moving smoothly in the right direction. Many of us mourn a good friend. Personally, I will certainly miss our discussions over a few beers after a hard day at the Collaboration meeting and especially his unique and ironic sense of humour.

 

On behalf of the KM3NeT Collaboration I would like to express our sincere condolences to his family and friends at this difficult time.

 

We will miss him dearly.

 

Paschal Coyle, Spokesperson KM3NeT Collaboration

 


Yet another virtual spring meeting

A few weeks ago, KM3NeT held its two-week long spring meeting, once again virtually, like almost all meetings nowadays.

With twelve detection units operating in the ARCA and ORCA detectors, it was a joy to discuss the progress of the data analysis groups and prepare for the reports at the summer conferences. With our smooth network of almost twenty production sites new detection units are being prepared at the maximum speed that the COVID-19 restrictions allow. New deployment campaigns are in preparation.

Although at a distance, we felt close to each other thanks to the virtual coffee breaks in the gather town set up by our colleagues of Laboratoire de Physique Corpusculaire de Caen (many thanks!). We concluded the meeting with an exciting quest to fix the unexpected problems found in a virtual shift room: this was a run against the clock to find out the password to get free from the locked room and reconvene for a final party at the bottom of the sea – real shifts won’t ever be so hilarious!

As usual, the meeting was also the occasion to welcome the many newcomers and to remind the accomplishments of those that are leaving the collaboration for a next step in their professional career. Thanks a lot for your work for KM3NeT. We wish you all the best and success in your  new working environment!

We sincerely congratulate Diego Real whose PhD thesis was recently awarded an important prize of the Spanish Society of Astronomy!

We were pleased to welcome new teams from the University of Toulon and Institut de Ciències del Mar in Barcelona – both aim at new investigations in the deep-sea environment and have already collaborated with the ANTARES telescope and the NEMO pilot project in the Mediterranean.

Among the new activities announced at the meeting: an Open Science Committee has been established, while the representatives of our early-career-scientists put forward a plan for making the life of our youngest collaborators easier even in these difficult times.

It was a fruitful and pleasant meeting!

The call for an institute to organise the next Collaboration meeting in the fall has been opened – hopefully the next meeting will be in person?


A collaboration in corona times

18 February 2021 – Like everyone else the KM3NeT Collaboration has to follow the restrictive measures against the COVID-19 pandemic. So, once more, the last two weeks we held our Collaboration meeting on-line. At this virtual meeting we discussed the many details of building the telescopes, analysing the data and developing the simulation programs.  We are very encouraged by the large progress with constructing the many detector components and the installation of the ARCA and ORCA telescope infrastructures. We are excited by the many analyses of data from the installed detector units on which we will  report at the upcoming conferences. Nevertheless, we  tremendously miss our colleagues.  In particular, for the young scientists in our Collaboration these are difficult times, but they are amazing in their efforts for the Collaboration.

During the Collaboration meeting we virtually said goodbye and thank you to Marco Anghinolfi, who will be retiring soon after many years of service to the Collaboration.  We hope you enjoy your retirement. Arrivederci, but no goodbye!

We virtually raised a glass to thank Mauro Taiuti for his four years of leadership as Spokesperson of KM3NeT. Fortunately, he has promised to continue his scientific career in the Collaboration!

We are looking forward to the new leadership of Paschal Coyle and his team. All the best for executing the tremendous task ahead of building the telescopes and executing the scientific program – also in corona times. We will do our best to support you!

We virtually applauded our PhD students who have recently completed their theses and wished our postdocs leaving the Collaboration all the best for their careers!

We virtually welcomed new students and postdocs who will work on the nitty gritty of data analysis and detector calibration. We hope to meet you face-to-face very soon!

Last but not least, we  virtually welcomed LPC Caen, France as a new group in the collaboration who  will participate in both the construction work and the scientific program. Super!

On the bright side of virtual meetings our conference committee reported a more diverse participation of our Collaboration in the international conferences. More people took part and the representation among speakers was better balanced in seniority and gender.

Building and operating a telescope is an attractive, tremendous, collaborative effort relying on  a lot of human interaction, hard to recreate in a virtual environment – but we did our best! We were still able to generate our customary  Collaboration group picture as you can see below: a collaboration in corona times.

 

 


‘6 strings, 6 months’

On 27 July 2020, the ORCA detector of KM3NeT reached a milestone: its first 6 strings were continuously taking data since 6 months. With two musical productions of the amazing talents in the KM3NeT Collaboration, the milestone  was celebrated.

Enjoy ‘6 strings, 6 months’, the song of the Route 66 of KM3NeT and an instrumental piece on 6 pianos by 6 players.

Both productions were recorded in corona times – at large distances between the performers.


KM3NeT against racism and discrimination

10 June 2020 – The KM3NeT  Collaboration is deeply saddened by the recent outbreaks of violence and hatred against people of colour. They once again laid bare the enduring worldwide systemic racism.

The researchers in KM3NeT are strongly against any kind of racism or discrimination. We urge all citizens of the world and their leaders to embrace all actions suited to establish equal opportunities for all, and forever.

As a collaboration, we will increase awareness on the impact of unintended racism and discrimination in our universities and research institutes and in particular in our collaboration.


KM3NeT collaboration meets online

8 June 2020 – Like so many other meetings, also the Spring Collaboration meeting of KM3NeT went online during corona times.  A week full of discussions  started today. An online concert and quiz are planned. Of course the traditional group photo has already been made.