FAIR — The Universe in the Lab
Currently the international accelerator facility FAIR, one of the largest research projects worldwide, is being built in Darmstadt, Germany. At FAIR, matter that usually only exists in the depth of space will be produced in a lab for research. Scientists from all over the world will be able to gain new insights into the structure of matter and the evolution of the universe from the Big Bang to the present.
In giant planets, stars, and during stellar explosions and collisions, matter is subject to extreme conditions such as very high temperatures, pressures, and densities. FAIR will enable scientists to create such conditions in the laboratory. To do so, they will bombard small samples of matter with particles. These collisions will, for very short periods of time, create cosmic matter at the tiny impact points. The FAIR research is subdivided into the four experiment pillars: NUSTAR, CBM, PANDA, APPA.
FAIR will generate particle beams of a previously unparalleled intensity and quality. The variety of these particles will be unique: Ions of all the natural elements in the periodic table, as well as antiprotons, can be accelerated. The key component of FAIR is a ring accelerator with a circumference of 1,100 meters. Connected to this is a complex system of storage rings and experimental stations. The existing GSI accelerators will serve as the first acceleration stage.
The FAIR particle accelerator facility in Darmstadt is one of the world’s biggest and most complex construction projects for international cutting-edge research. On a site of approximately 20 hectares, unique buildings are being constructed in order to house and operate newly developed high-tech research facilities. This multinational and highly complex mega construction project has entailed the development of integrated construction workflow planning that closely coordinates building, civil and construction engineering, accelerator development and construction, and scientific experiments.
Cutting-edge technologies and extremely innovative measuring methods and techniques are being developed for the unique FAIR particle accelerator facility. In order to create the facilities for acceleration and experiments, high-level scientists, engineers, and other experts are working in international partnership to advance new technological developments in many areas such as information and superconductor technology.