Neutrino and Astroparticle physics are fast-moving research fields at the junction of particle physics, astrophysics and cosmology. In this context, the project NAT-NET (Neutrino and Astroparticle Theory Network) is being proposed by a group of physicists belonging to three research units based in Bari, Naples and L'Aquila (plus one member from Lecce). These groups share a strong tradition of common scientific interests, research programs and integrated activities in the theory and phenomenology of astroparticle physics and cosmology, with particular attention to the many factes of neutrino physics, and with important links with theoretical research groups worldwide and with the experimental community.
The NAT-NET theoretical and phenomenological research activities can be roughly structured into four working packages (WP) with strong connections among them and with present or future experimental searches:
- WP1 - Standard neutrino framework. Investigation of the remaining unknowns of the three-neutrino framework (absolute masses and their ordering, Dirac/Majorana nature, CP phases); refinement of our understanding of neutrino oscillations in vacuum, in matter and with self-interactions; neutrinoless double beta decay with light Majorana neutrinos: constraints on its nuclear model uncertainties and connections with cosmological bounds.
- WP2 - Beyond the standard neutrino framework. Sterile neutrino oscillations in the light of upcoming laboratory and cosmological data; constraints on new neutrino interactions; neutrinoless double beta decay beyond light Majorana neutrinos; long-distance and multi-messenger tests of dispersion relations; neutrinos as components or signals of dark matter; neutrino model building and leptogenesis.
- WP3 - Sources and fluxes of neutrinos and of other messengers. From low to high energy: relic neutrino detection prospects; axions and axion-like particles in astrophysical contexts; issues in big-bang nucleosynthesis neutrinos; improvements of solar neutrino models and low-energy flux detection; set-up of a reference geo-neutrino model; tests of core-collapse supernova physics; high-energy neutrinos: study of astrophysical sources (within a multimessenger approach) and of propagation in the Earth.
- WP4 - The standard cosmological model and beyond. Nonstandard scenarios for the relic neutrino background and big-bang nucleosynthesis; pre-big-bang and string cosmology; effects of large-scale inhomogeneities and anisotropies; laboratory approaches to vacuum energy; warm dark matter components via heavy neutrinos.