From the Geosphere to the Cosmos

On 1 -2 December, the European Network ASPERA will be organising the “From the Geosphere to the Cosmos” workshop at the Palais de la Découverte in Paris. The LIDO platform, 3D-radiography projects for volcanoes, and CERN’s CLOUD experiment are among the interdisciplinary projects that will be presented at the workshop.


Astroparticle physics is a new field mixing both particle physics and astrophysics. It offers many new opportunities for environmental disciplines such as oceanography, climate science and studies of the atmosphere, and geology. “From the Geosphere to the Cosmos” workshop will present them to the scientific community and the press.

LIDO: Probing new territories
Whales sing at the same wavelength as the neutrinos emitted by stars. This happy coincidence gave physicists the idea to share their undersea telescopes with marine biologists. By helping the development of a bioacoustics network to monitor the deep-sea environment, they have already enabled the discovery of the unexpected presence of sperm whales in the Mediterranean Sea. Thanks to the LIDO (Listen to the Deep Ocean) platform, it is even possible to listen to whale songs live from home with a personal computer connected to the web.

Making 3D images of volcanoes
Just as it is possible to image the human body with X-rays, particle physics detectors should soon be able to make three-dimensional images of volcanoes, and thus help better understand their mechanisms and, indeed, risk prevention. As they interact very weakly with ordinary matter, some particles, such as neutrinos and muons, cross huge thicknesses of rock, revealing the densities of the different layers they go through. In addition, geoneutrinos could allow studies of the Earth’s core.

CLOUD: Better understanding of the atmosphere and climate
Studies suggest that cosmic rays might have an influence on the amount of cloud cover through the formation of aerosols. The CLOUD experiment at CERN uses a cloud chamber to study the possible link between cosmic rays and cloud formation. The results could greatly modify our understanding of clouds and climate.

The programme of the workshop is available here: