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Institute for interplanetary space physics


The Institute of Physics of Interplanetary Space, hereafter called IFSI, has been created by merging the original IFSI, located in Rome, and the cosmic ray group of the Institute of Cosmogeophysics, located in Turin. The new institute, notwithstanding this fusion has maintained a specific charaTechician, that derives from a common approach in accepting the challenge of participating to international programmes giving a noticeable experimental, theoretical and of data analysis contribution. The synergies between the two Institute branches are mainly in the field of neutrino physics and gravitation: thanks to that it has been possible to built up a thematic section to which belong both Turin and Rome researchers, named “Neutrino Astronomy and Gravitation”.

As far as the Rome branch is concerned, it is charaTechicianised by a predominant space research activity that is strongly international. IFSI will be involved in the preparation of space born experiment with a minor contribution of external industries. This has been possible thanks to the presence in the Institute of a rich patrimony of experimental researchers, experienced technicians, mechanical workshops, electronics laboratories, clean rooms, where it is possible built, test and calibrate space qualified experiments. This combination is somehow unique in the CNR panorama and shall be maintained and, if possible, augmented. The experimental activity is also accompanied by a strong effort in data analysis by using both data collected during space mission and ground based observations. The data analysis activity gives origin, as expected, to the largest amount of publications on specialized journals. We expect to increase the data analysis activity since in the next years several missions in which IFSI researchers are involved, will be launched. In fact next year in January the ESA mission Rosetta will be launched from Kourou, followed by the mission Mars express to Mars (June 2003). During the next year 2004, the Cassini mission will reach Saturn. The data of all these missions will increase the patrimony of data analysed by the IFSI researchers, already deeply involved in the data analysis of Cluster mission.

THE TURIN BRANCH The research lines of IFSI –Turin branch are mainly devoted to the experimental studies on cosmic ray (CR) physics with special regard to the cosmological, astrophysical and particle science implications. The CR observations are mainly carried out by ground based apparata, however the increasing possibility of performing CR experiments by space missions is not discarded.This activity of the Turin group is well eradicated into a research field that was traditionally belonging to the Astronomy and Astrophysics sectors of CNR. The Turing group has a stable and long lasting reputation thanks to the scientific results acquired also by means of the EAS_TOP and LVD Gran Sasso experiments, supported by INFN and completed in cooperation with researchers of INFN and Turin University. Present and future perspectives include important international approved experiments as Pierre Auger Observatory, Kascade-Grande and Argo. These initiatives complete the spectrum of classical ground based activities such as detection of high energy gamma photons in the Observatories of Testa Grigia (3480 m) and Chacaltaya (5230 m). Studies of Cosmogeophysics are carried out on the influence of the solar activity on the Earth environment. Detailed observations of the solar output and of the cosmic ray variations in the past are obtained by analyzing sea core sediments and meteorites.
R&D activity on new detectors to be used in the astroparticle field is carried out in collaboration with CERN.
Theoretical studies are also performed on large scale structures of the Universe and turbulences in astrophysical and planetary fluids.


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