BB.20.006 – Capturing the Universe from all angles: Multi-messenger Astrophysics

Route: Building blocks of matter and fundaments of space and time

Cluster question: 127 What are the origins, history, and future of the universe?

Since centuries, astronomers are studying the Universe with telescopes in visible light, while in the previous century further observational tools were developed using other parts of the electromagnetic spectrum such as radiowaves or X-rays. Very recently, however, new exciting technological developments have given scientists a whole new set of tools to capture the Universe from different angles: detectors for gravitational waves, and observatories for high-energy particles including neutrinos, cosmic rays and gamma-ray photons. These observatories can also be regarded as telescopes pointed at the Universe, and when they are combined with conventional telescopes in the new field of multi-messenger astrophysics, they allow for a revolution in our understanding of the Universe. The Netherlands are strong partners in leading astroparticle physics facilities including the Virgo gravitational wave observatory, the Pierre Auger Observatory, the KM3NeT neutrino telescope, the Xenon dark matter search experiment, and are founding partners in new initiatives such as GRAND and DARWIN. This ORC proposal aims to initiate and facilitate collaborative efforts focused on multi-messenger astrophysics with these facilities in the Netherlands, both for time-integrated analyses of cosmic sources and for transient sources with real-time alerts. We aim to answer questions like: What are the primary sources of the highest energy cosmic rays, gamma rays and neutrinos, and how do they correlate with sources of gravitational waves? What is the particle composition of the highest energy cosmic rays? What fundamental physics can we do with these ultra-high energy particle sources? What is the energy spectrum of cosmic gamma rays and of neutrinos, and what is their relation? Can we find evidence for dark matter in the spectra of cosmic rays, neutrinos and gamma rays; can we find dark matter directly in the lab, and what does combining the results tell us about the nature of dark matter?


Astroparticle physics, Astrophysics, cosmic rays, dark matter, multi-messenger, neutrinos

Other organisations

Leiden University (LEI), NIKHEF, Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen (RU), Utrecht University (UU)


Organisation Universiteit van Amsterdam
Name Prof. dr. ir. P.J. (Paul) de Jong