GSI and FAIR Timeline: From 1969 until 2019

The GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2019. During the decades, GSI has developed from a national research institute with worldwide collaborations into an international campus. With the international FAIR accelerator center, in which GSI is the German and also the main shareholder, people from all over the world will carry out cutting-edge research for decades to come. We have compiled the highlights of the GSI history. Join us on a journey through time, click your way through 50 years of GSI, and take a look into the future of FAIR.


This is what the campus looked like in the beginning of GSI history 50 years ago. In this interactive image gallery you can see the changes that took place in 50 years of GSI.


Milestones of GSI History


Foundation of Gesellschaft für Schwerionenforschung mbH


Participation in the the Arbeitsgemeinschaft der Großforschungseinrichtungen (AGF) (now the Helmholtz Association)


First experiments with linear accelerator UNILAC

1981 until 2010

Discovery of six new chemical elements and their official recognization by IUPAC in the Periodic Table of the Elements: Bohrium, Hassium, Meitnerium, Darmstadtium, Roentgenium, Copernicium


Commissioning of the ring accelerator SIS-18 and the storage ring ESR


First patient treatment with carbon ions at GSI therapy facility


Federal Ministry of Education and Research gives green light for the realization of the new accelerator facility FAIR with international participation


FAIR Start Event – official start of the project, FAIR partner countries sign joint communiqué


Commissioning of the PHELIX laser system


Renaming into GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung GmbH (GSI Helmholtz Center for Heavy Ion Research)


Opening of the Heidelberg Ion-Beam Therapy Center (HIT)


Foundation of FAIR GmbH, GSI holds a share of 75 percent


Groundbreaking for FAIR

50 years, 50 pictures — Our favorite photos

Almost 500 participants have selected their favorite photos out of 50 pictures from five decades of GSI history. Take a look at our Top 10 of the pictures with the most votes.