GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung GmbH https://www.gsi.de/ GSI RSS-Feed de-de TYPO3 News Tue, 11 Aug 2020 14:16:19 +0200 Tue, 11 Aug 2020 14:16:19 +0200 TYPO3 EXT:news news-3664 Thu, 06 Aug 2020 14:30:00 +0200 "target" Magazine Issue 18 with Special Supplement: Corona published https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////target180.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=84e3dace6d3d5c4d76ef03a987dd0e66 Two major topics are the focus of the 18th issue of our magazine "target" of GSI and FAIR. On the one hand, the corona pandemic has impacted all areas of our lives. Therefore, we have attached a special supplement to this issue, which is dedicated to the operations and research at GSI and FAIR during this time and our efforts to fight the pandemic. On the other hand, last year we celebrated our 50th anniversary with many activities and events. Two major topics are the focus of the 18th issue of our magazine "target" of GSI and FAIR. On the one hand, the corona pandemic has impacted all areas of our lives. Of course, this also applies to our campus and our activities. Therefore, we have attached a special supplement to this issue, which is dedicated to the operations and research at GSI and FAIR during this time and our efforts to fight the pandemic. On the other hand, last year we celebrated our 50th anniversary with many activities and events. You will find more in the main issue.

In addition to looking back at our history, we look to the future: to our experiments of FAIR Phase 0, to new FAIR components and to the awarding of ERC grants to our researchers. In this issue we are particularly pleased to introduce our new Administrative Managing Director, Dr. Ulrich Breuer. We also report on the meeting of international element discoverers, merging neutron stars, star collisions at 800 billion °C, other research highlights and much more.

We’ve taken our anniversary as an opportunity to give our magazine a new style. In this new look, we will continue to keep you up to date about the progress achieved by our research programs and the construction of FAIR as well as current events on our campus. (CP)

Download of "target" – Issue 18, August 2020 (PDF, 12 MB)

Download of Special Supplement: Corona, August 2020 (PDF, 3 MB)

Weitere Informationen
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news-3650 Tue, 28 Jul 2020 14:00:00 +0200 High award for GSI scientist: Marco Durante receives the Failla Award of the Radiation Research Society https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////hohe_auszeichnung_fuer_gsi_wissenschaftler_marco_durante_erhaelt_failla_preis_der_radiation_research.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=99fbb8bb3d1be9ce0242942ee412e061 Marco Durante, head of the GSI Biophysics Research Department and professor at the TU Darmstadt, has been awarded the prestigious Failla Award 2020 by the Radiation Research Society (RRS). Professor Durante has been invited to give a lecture on his scientific career at the virtual annual RRS meeting in October this year. The award has been announced at the end of June. Marco Durante, head of the GSI Biophysics Research Department and professor at the TU Darmstadt, has been awarded the prestigious Failla Award 2020 by the Radiation Research Society (RRS). Professor Durante has been invited to give a lecture on his scientific career at the virtual annual RRS meeting in October this year. The award has been announced at the end of June.

Marco Durante is an internationally recognized expert in the field of radiation biology and medical physics. He is being awarded the prize for his significant contributions to the optimization of therapy with heavy ions and for his studies on radiation protection in space. "This award is a great honour for me. As a student, I read the Failla Award paper by Cornelius Tobias (Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory), the father of heavy ion therapy, on heavy ions in therapy and space research, and I became enthusiastic about that topic. After 37 years from Tobias, spending my whole scientific career on that very topic, that same award comes to me. The award actually recognizes the research of my team at GSI/FAIR over the past years. It is the result of the work of the whole Biophysics Department", Professor Durante reacted to the news from RRS. "The prize is an enormous incentive for us to continue our research at GSI and in the future at the FAIR facility, with the Biophysics Collaboration, at the highest level.“

Professor Paolo Giubellino, scientific director of GSI and FAIR, is delighted about the award: "­I am extremely pleased that the outstanding research achievements of Marco Durante and his team have received the recognition they deserve with the Failla award, the most important worldwide in this field. The work of Marco Durante and his team is a prime example of how basic research and applications can come together at an interdisciplinary research center and underlines the excellence of scientific research at GSI and FAIR". 

The prestigious award is named after the scientist Gioacchino Failla, former president of RRS and one of its founding fathers. It is awarded annually to an outstanding member of the radiation research community who has made significant contributions in the fields of radiation science. The handover of the prize money of $2000 and an accompanying medal usually takes place during the annual meeting of the RRS. It is the highest award of RRS, established in 1963 and has been received only by a few Europeans, including a single researcher working in Germany (Herwig Paretzke in 2007). Due to the corona pandemic, the RRS is organising its annual meeting virtually this year, so that the prize is delivered in advance. During the online event in October 2020 Durante will deliver his Failla lecture.

Marco Durante is head of the GSI Biophysics Research Department and professor at the TU Darmstadt Department of Physics, Institute of Condensed Matter of Physics. He studied physics and got his PhD at the University Federico II in Italy. His post doc positions took him to the NASA Johnson Space Center in Texas and to the National Institute of Radiological Sciences in Japan. During his studies, he specialized in charged particle therapy, cosmic radiation, radiation cytogenetics and radiation biophysics. He has received numerous awards for his research, including the Galileo Galilei prize from the European Federation of Organizations for Medical Physics (EFOMP), the Timoffeeff-Ressovsky award of the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS), the Warren Sinclair award of the US National Council of Radiation Protection (NCRP), the IBA-­Europhysics Prize of the European Physical Society (EPS) and the Bacq & Alexander award of the European Radiation Research Society (ERRS). He has recently been awarded an ERC advanced grant. (JL)

More information:

Web-Site ot the Radiation Research Society

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news-3662 Mon, 27 Jul 2020 11:00:00 +0200 From the beginning of life to the origin of the universe https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////vom_beginn_des_lebens_zum_ursprung_des_weltalls0.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=68719a591dc197000a4a23cebded9e8b Does life exist only on earth? How did the universe we live in come into being? And what holds matter together at its core? Researchers at the Bergische Universität Wuppertal are getting to the bottom of these questions using various large-scale experiments. The astroparticle physicists receive funding for their research from the Federal Ministry of Science and Research, the Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy, represented by the project management organizations DLR and PT-DESY (Deutsches Elektronen-S This news is based on a press release of Bergische Universität Wuppertal

Does life exist only on earth? How did the universe we live in come into being? And what holds matter together at its core? Researchers at the Bergische Universität Wuppertal are getting to the bottom of these questions using various large-scale experiments. The astroparticle physicists receive funding for their research from the Federal Ministry of Science and Research, the Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy, represented by the project management organizations DLR and PT-DESY (Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron), and the GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung.

For their projects, the Wuppertal researchers, led by astroparticle physicists Professor Dr. Karl-Heinz Kampert and Professor Dr. Klaus Helbing, will get a total of around two million euros in funding. Several major projects are associated with this.

A mission to the outer solar system will investigate whether life has developed there. As part of a project initiated by the German Aerospace Center (DLR), researchers at the University of Wuppertal are developing new techniques for radar-based navigation in the ice. These methods are to be used on a possible mission to the icy moon Europa.

In the galaxy beyond our solar system, supernovae, i.e. massive stars, play an important role in the origin of the chemical elements that make life possible for us. Which forces are present and how does matter behave under extreme conditions, existing for example inside neutron stars? The researchers involved in the CBM experiment are investigating these questions. The experiment for Compressed Baryonic Matter (CBM) is currently being realized within the FAIR project. It is one of the four major research pillars of the future accelerator center FAIR, which is being built at the GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung in Darmstadt. This will enable researchers to study processes in neutron stars with unprecedented precision and over a very wide range of densities.

Another project deals with high-energy particles from huge galaxies far away from the Milky Way. How do they reach these extreme energies and how do they get to Earth over millions of years through the extra-galactic magnetic fields? To gain new insights, the various particles are measured with the Pierre Auger Observatory on Earth and compared with cosmological simulations. The detection of photons that travel these huge distances also provides important information on the space-time structure. 

Our present universe consists mainly of matter and not of antimatter. The reasons for this dominance are still completely unknown. A key to understanding this could be the so-called "ghost particle" neutrino. The KATRIN experiment (KArlsruhe TRItium Neutrino Experiment) aims to determine the mass of the neutrino, which could be a key to this mystery. Particles that interact with the neutrinos as so-called "dark matter" could also be detected in this framework. 

The neutrino has also been used in astronomy and cosmology for several years. With the IceCube telescope, located directly at the South Pole in Antarctica, Wuppertal researchers are looking for particles that are thought to have been emitted shortly after the Big Bang. From their characteristics, the processes during the formation of the universe can be reconstructed. Work is currently underway on an upgrade for this particle detector. The Wuppertal scientists are working with international colleagues to develop new sensors for this purpose. (BUW/BP)

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news-3660 Mon, 20 Jul 2020 08:37:12 +0200 Patrick Burghardt visits FAIR and GSI https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////besuch_burghardt0.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=87b829b7b194e5ae29a7b00e7ffac1e2 Patrick Burghardt, State Secretary in the Hessian Ministry for Digital Strategy and Development and CIO of the Federal State of Hesse, was a guest at GSI and FAIR. His visit focused on the energy-efficient high-performance computer center Green IT Cube and the progress of the FAIR project. He was accompanied by the Hessian Co-CIO Roland Jabkowski. Patrick Burghardt, State Secretary in the Hessian Ministry for Digital Strategy and Development and CIO of the Federal State of Hesse, was a guest at GSI and FAIR. His visit focused on the energy-efficient high-performance computer center Green IT Cube and the progress of the FAIR project. He was accompanied by the Hessian Co-CIO Roland Jabkowski.

The guests were welcomed by Professor Paolo Giubellino, Scientific Managing Director of GSI and FAIR, Dr. Ulrich Breuer, Administrative Managing Director, and Jörg Blaurock, Technical Managing Director. Furthermore, the head of the IT department at GSI and FAIR, Dr. Thorsten Kollegger, the head of technology transfer, Dr. Tobias Engert, and Carola Pomplun from the press and public relations department were also participating for GSI and FAIR.

Central topic of Patrick Burghardt's visit was sustainable digitalization. Here, the energy-efficient Green IT Cube offers huge scientific and technological as well as economic potential. During presentations and a guided tour of the Green IT Cube, the State Secretary used the opportunity to obtain comprehensive information about the high-performance data center and its infrastructure and expressed great interest in the very promising prospects. The subsequent discussions also focused on exploring potential cooperation and joint objectives for research, development and use of Green IT technology.

The Green IT Cube on the GSI/FAIR campus provides enormous computing capacities for experiments at the accelerator facilities of GSI and, in the future, FAIR. It is one of the most capable scientific computing centers in the world. At the same time, it sets standards in IT technology and energy saving: Thanks to a special cooling system, it is particularly energy- and cost-efficient. Therefore, the energy required for cooling is less than seven percent of the electrical power used for computing. In conventional data centers with air cooling, this relation amounts to 30 up to 100 percent. The Green IT Cube has already received numerous awards, including recently the Blue Angel, the eco label of the German government.

After visiting the Green IT Cube, the guests had the opportunity to inform themselves about the current status of the FAIR construction project and to take a look at the progress on the 20-hectare construction site: from the completed sections for the central ring accelerator SIS100 and the transfer building to the excavation pit for the first of the future experimental caves. (BP)

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news-3658 Wed, 15 Jul 2020 08:32:00 +0200 Researchers present concept for a new technique to study superheavy elements https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////she_spektroskopie0.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=851bebfa75a534bc40208c5b3139ce79 Superheavy elements are intriguing nuclear and atomic quantum systems that challenge experimental probing as they do not occur in nature and, when synthesized, vanish within seconds. Pushing the forefront atomic physics research to these elements requires breakthrough developments towards fast atomic spectroscopy techniques with extreme sensitivity. This news is based on a press release of Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz.

Superheavy elements are intriguing nuclear and atomic quantum systems that challenge experimental probing as they do not occur in nature and, when synthesized, vanish within seconds. Pushing the forefront atomic physics research to these elements requires breakthrough developments towards fast atomic spectroscopy techniques with extreme sensitivity. A joint effort within the European Union's Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation program and led by Dr. Mustapha Laatiaoui from Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) and at the Helmholtz Institute Mainz (HIM), a branch of GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung, culminated in an optical spectroscopy proposal: The so-called Laser Resonance Chromatography (LRC) should enable such investigations even at minute production quantities. The proposal has recently been published in two articles in Physical Review Letters and Physical Review A.

Superheavy elements (SHEs) are found at the bottom part of the periodic table of elements. They represent a fertile ground for the development of understanding on how such exotic atoms can exist and work when an overwhelming number of electrons in atomic shells and protons and neutrons in the nucleus come together. Insights into their electronic structure can be obtained from optical spectroscopy experiments unveiling element-specific emission spectra. These spectra are powerful benchmarks for modern atomic-model calculations and could be useful, for example, when it comes to searching for traces of even heavier elements, which might be created in neutron-star merger events.

LRC approach combines different methods

Although SHEs have been discovered decades ago, their investigation by optical spectroscopy tools lack far behind the synthesis. This is because they are produced at extremely low rates at which traditional methods simply do not work. So far, optical spectroscopy ends at nobelium, element 102 in the periodic table. "Current techniques are at the limit of what is feasible," explained Laatiaoui. From the next heavier element on, the physicochemical properties change abruptly and impede providing samples in suitable atomic states."

Together with research colleagues, the physicist has therefore developed the new LRC approach in optical spectroscopy. This combines element selectivity and spectral precision of laser spectroscopy with ion-mobility mass spectrometry and merges the benefits of a high sensitivity with the "simplicity" of optical probing as in laser-induced fluorescence spectroscopy. Its key idea is to detect the products of resonant optical excitations not on the basis of fluorescent light as usual, but based on their characteristic drift time to a particle detector.

In their theoretical work, the researchers focused on singly charged lawrencium, element 103, and on its lighter chemical homolog. But the concept offers unparalleled access to laser spectroscopy of many other monoatomic ions across the periodic table, in particular of the transition metals including the high-temperature refractory metals and elements beyond lawrencium. Other ionic species like triply-charged thorium shall be within reach of the LRC approach as well. Moreover, the method enables to optimize signal-to-noise ratios and thus to ease ion mobility spectrometry, state-selected ion chemistry, and other applications.

Dr. Mustapha Laatiaoui came to Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz and the Helmholtz Institute Mainz (HIM) in February 2018. In late 2018, he received an ERC Consolidator Grant from the European Research Council (ERC), one of the European Union's most valuable funding grants, for his research into the heaviest elements using laser spectroscopy and ion mobility spectroscopy. The current publications also included work that Laatiaoui had previously carried out at GSI in Darmstadt and at KU Leuven in Belgium.

This work was conducted in cooperation with Alexei A. Buchachenko from the Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology and the Institute of Problems of Chemical Physics, both in Moscow, Russia, and Larry A. Viehland from Chatham University, Pittsburgh, USA. (CP)

Further information
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news-3654 Mon, 13 Jul 2020 09:47:00 +0200 Interactive image comparison: FAIR construction site https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////interaktiver_bildvergleich_fair_baustelle0.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=b90b25a3f1484be9d055570b49d88151 An interactive picture slider provides new insights and shows the progress on the FAIR construction site. It allows to compare the pictures from the beginning of construction and today. The virtual superimposition of the images makes the process of building the large particle accelerator facility clearly visible. An interactive picture slider provides new insights and shows the progress on the FAIR construction site. It allows to compare the pictures from the beginning of construction and today. The virtual superimposition of the images makes the process of building the large particle accelerator facility clearly visible.

Several important stages in the construction process can be seen in the picture slider: The tunnel for the SIS100 accelerator ring is under construction, and the transfer building is growing out of the ground. The first experimental cave, the building for the Compressed Baryonic Matter Experiment (CBM) is also taking shape. Viewers can compare the FAIR construction site in 2018 and 2020 themselves.
The drone images were taken during the regular overflights during which the drone videos are recorded to document the construction site. All drone videos can be found here.

FAIR, the Facility for Antiproton and Ion Research, is one of the largest research projects worldwide. FAIR will be used to create and study matter in the laboratory that otherwise only occurs in the universe. Scientists from all over the world expect new insights into the structure of matter and the development of the universe, from the Big Bang to the present day. (LW)

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news-3656 Fri, 10 Jul 2020 12:54:00 +0200 Member of the Bundestag Marcus Bühl visits FAIR and GSI https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////bundestagsabgeordneter_marcus_buehl_besucht_fair_und_gsi0.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=f5dac229907b94391bce56c13efe412f The progress of the FAIR project and the current scientific activities on the campus were the central topics during the visit of Marcus Bühl, a member of the Bundestag. The politician comes from Ilmenau and belongs to the AfD party. He is member of the budget committee of the Bundestag and deputy member of the committee on the digital agenda. He was received by Professor Paolo Giubellino, Scientific Managing Director of GSI and FAIR, Dr. Ulrich Breuer, Administrative Managing Director, and Jörg Blaurock, The progress of the FAIR project and the current scientific activities on the campus were the central topics during the visit of Marcus Bühl, a member of the Bundestag. The politician comes from Ilmenau and belongs to the AfD party. He is member of the budget committee of the Bundestag and deputy member of the committee on the digital agenda. He was received by Professor Paolo Giubellino, Scientific Managing Director of GSI and FAIR, Dr. Ulrich Breuer, Administrative Managing Director, and Jörg Blaurock, Technical Managing Director, as well as Ingo Peter, the Head of Public Relations.

In addition to information on scientific activities and the current status of the FAIR project, a tour of the FAIR construction site was part of the program. During a walking tour Marcus Bühl was provided with insights into the existing accelerator and research facilities on the GSI and FAIR campus. He visited the test facility for superconducting accelerator magnets, where high-tech components for FAIR are examined, the Experimental Storage Ring ESR, the therapy unit for tumor treatment using carbon ions as well as the large detector HADES and the high-performance data center Green IT Cube.

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news-3652 Mon, 06 Jul 2020 12:03:00 +0200 Diversity and inclusion — Centers of Helmholtz Association adopt joint guideline https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////diversitaet0.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=d282edca72c830b62bbd6bceda1c86c9 The centers of the Helmholtz Association have agreed to develop and live a common understanding of diversity, inclusion and a diversity-aware organizational culture. Recently all 19 members of the Helmholtz Association, among them also the GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung, have officially adopted a corresponding guideline in their Assembly of Members. The centers of the Helmholtz Association have agreed to develop and live a common understanding of diversity, inclusion and a diversity-aware organizational culture. Recently all 19 members of the Helmholtz Association, among them also the GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung, have officially adopted a corresponding guideline in their Assembly of Members.

In large research infrastructures such as GSI, which has maintained strong international collaborations since its foundation, or the FAIR project, which is supported by several countries, cooperation with different people and cultures has long been part of everyday life. In this way, knowledge and know-how from all over the world can be brought together for research and high-tech developments in order to achieve the best results. The basis for this is now written down in the Helmholtz guideline in order to create the framework conditions for reflecting diversity and inclusion in the processes, structures and conditions of the center.

The starting point is a simple insight: people are diverse. The current 40,000 employees of the Helmholtz Association and, of course, the approximately 1450 employees of GSI and FAIR differ from each other in many ways: in their personal life plan or personal life situation, their gender, their world view, their biography and origins, their abilities and inclinations, their external appearance and many other aspects. The Helmholtz members recognize this sum of human differences, which is optionally referred to as "diversity" or "variety", as an irrefutable fact.

Inclusion is understood to mean the active shaping of the organizational culture in order to take all persons into account and to give them equal opportunities for influence, participation and individual development. Successful inclusion is demonstrated by the fact that the people who work in and with the centers experience an atmosphere of respect and fairness, appreciation and belonging, security and openness, and are convinced that they can fully develop their talents and grow personally. (CP)

Further information:
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news-3646 Mon, 29 Jun 2020 08:17:00 +0200 Holthusen Award for Thomas Friedrich https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////holthusen_preis_fuer_thomas_friedrich0.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=7d6a21ebb8e0f3d95eaa32d1fd1ef3b9 The physicist Dr. Thomas Friedrich from GSI’s biophysics department is laureate of the Hermann Holthusen Award 2020. The science prize is awarded by the German Society for Radiooncology (DEGRO) for outstanding habilitation theses in the field of radiotherapy, radiobiology, medical radiation physics and technology. With this award the society honours the excellent scientific quality of Thomas Friedrich's work. The physicist Dr. Thomas Friedrich from GSI’s biophysics department is laureate of the Hermann Holthusen Award 2020. The science prize is awarded by the German Society for Radiooncology (DEGRO) for outstanding habilitation theses in the field of radiotherapy, radiobiology, medical radiation physics and technology. With this award the society honours the excellent scientific quality of Thomas Friedrich's work.

Thomas Friedrich investigates how to describe the effect of radiation on cells and tissue as a function of their physical properties such as type of radiation, dose and energy. His habilitation thesis particularly focuses on the description and prediction of the increased effect of ion beams. This is an important aspect especially in tumor therapy with charged particles. His contributions in this area are concerned with the development of a corresponding mathematical formalism, and generally with methods and strategies for evaluating and testing such models. 

Based on the "Local Effect Model" developed at GSI and used in particle therapy since years, it was possible to demonstrate the consistency of the developed modelling approaches by applying them to other types of radiation. For this purpose, it was demonstrated that various radiation effects can be described and predicted according to different irradiation scenarios using a uniform concept. This covers a wide range of sorts of ions and particle energies – from almost stopping particles to very fast particles with high energies. Those energies will be provided with unprecedented possibilities by the future accelerator center FAIR, currently being built at GSI.

The methods and results of Thomas Friedrich's award-winning research work are also a contribution to translational research at the border between experimental and clinical science. He thus connects basic research and clinical application of research results.

Thomas Friedrich studied at the Technical University of Darmstadt and received his doctorate from the Institute of Nuclear Physics. In 2008, he joined GSI as a postdoc in the Biophysics Department. Since then he has been working in the field of biophysical modelling for the prediction of radiation effects. Since 2015 he has been working here as a Senior Scientist. He has already received numerous scholarships and awards for his research, including the Young Scientist Award of the German Society for Biological Radiation Research. In addition to his research activities at the GSI Helmholtzzentrum, Thomas Friedrich teaches as a lecturer at the TU Darmstadt’s Department of Physics, where he offers basic lectures in Physics as well as advanced courses in the field of radiation biophysics. He also supervises bachelor, master and doctoral theses.

Together with Thomas Friedrich, the radiation oncologist Dr. Constantinos Zamboglou from the University Hospital in Freiburg is awarded the Holthusen Prize 2020. He is involved in preclinical and clinical studies on the implementation of special imaging techniques in the treatment planning of patients with prostate cancer. (BP)

Further information

More about the Hermann Holthusen Award (in German)

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news-3648 Wed, 24 Jun 2020 07:45:00 +0200 Green IT Cube receives eco label — Blue Angel for high-performance data center of FAIR and GSI https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////blauer_engel0.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=37500cb6ccd6ea1d2fa52ef1e5873a01 The high-performance data center of GSI and FAIR, the Green IT Cube, was awarded the “Blue Angel” as a label of special environmental friendliness. Currently, this makes it the only data center to receive the eco label of the German government. Thanks to a special cooling system, it is particularly energy efficient and conserves resources. The Green IT Cube is one of the most powerful scientific data centers in the world. The high-performance data center of GSI and FAIR, the Green IT Cube, was awarded the “Blue Angel” as a label of special environmental friendliness. Currently, this makes it the only data center to receive the eco label of the German government. Thanks to a special cooling system, it is particularly energy efficient and conserves resources. The Green IT Cube is one of the most powerful scientific data centers in the world. It will provide enormous computing capacities for experiments at the accelerator facilities of GSI and, in the future, FAIR.

The Green IT Cube was built at the GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung in Darmstadt and was financed with funds from the German Federal Government and the State of Hesse via Helmholtz investments in further expansion. The concept allows the realization and the particularly efficient operation of computer centers for large-scale research facilities, such as the international accelerator facility FAIR (Facility for Antiproton and Ion Research) being built at GSI.

"The Green IT Cube is an exceptionally energy-efficient data center because the energy required for cooling the computers is very low compared to conventional data centers," explained Dr. Helmut Kreiser, who is head of the data centers on the GSI/FAIR campus. "The Green IT Cube cools its computers with an innovative air and water method. As a result, the energy required for cooling is less than seven percent of the electrical power used for computing, instead of 30 up to 100 percent as is the case in conventional data centers with air cooling".

The effective cooling technology allows a space-saving placement of the computers in the Green IT Cube. In a cube-shaped building measuring 27 x 30 x 22 cubic meters, 768 computer racks in total can be arranged closely together on six floors. At present, two of the six floors are equipped with a maximum cooling power of four megawatts. In the final stage the Green IT Cube will be able to reach a cooling power of twelve megawatts. Due to saving energy and space, it is very cost-efficient. In addition, the waste heat of the Green IT Cube’s servers is already being used to heat a modern office and canteen building on the GSI/FAIR campus.

The technology was developed by Professor Volker Lindenstruth from Goethe University Frankfurt and at that time head of GSI-IT, and Professor Horst Stöcker, also from Goethe University and at that time Scientific Managing Director of GSI, in cooperation with the Frankfurt Institute for Advanced Studies (FIAS). The powerful concept has already won several awards for innovation and environmental friendliness.

"We are very happy and of course proud to receive such a well-known and renowned label as the Blue Angel for our data center," said Professor Paolo Giubellino, Scientific Managing Director of FAIR and GSI. "The technology for the cooling system is not only an example of the competence and the inventive spirit of our scientists, but also of the potential of a research center like ours to contribute to improving even already established technology in terms of sustainability and efficiency. Pursuing and expanding this potential is a major concern of our research at GSI and FAIR".

Scientists use the Green IT Cube to perform simulations and develop detectors for FAIR. They also analyze measurement data recorded in experiments at the accelerator facilities at GSI and, in the future, FAIR, to gain fundamental insights into the structure of matter and the evolution of the universe. To this end, the Green IT Cube will be equipped in the long term with computer systems that meet the scientists' requirements in terms of computing power, storage capacity and access speed.

For over 40 years, the Blue Angel has been the environmental label of the German Federal Government and an orientation for sustainable purchasing. Independent and credible, it sets demanding standards for environmentally friendly products and services. The Blue Angel guarantees that products and services awarded with it meet high requirements of environmental, health and usage properties. The entire life cycle must always be taken into account in the assessment. For each product group, criteria are developed which products and services labelled with the Blue Angel must fulfil. To reflect technical developments, the German Environment Agency reviews the criteria every three to four years. In this way companies are required to make their products increasingly environmentally friendly. The Green IT Cube is the first data center to receive the eco label of the German government on the basis of the criteria changed in 2019. (CP)

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news-3644 Mon, 08 Jun 2020 08:41:00 +0200 FAIR storage ring CRYRING ready for use https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////cryring_einsatzbereit0.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=a8bda0cb9e7a2f08a79806283899c434 The first FAIR storage ring, the so-called CRYRING, is ready to conduct experiments for the scientific research community. CRYRING is an extremely successful ion storage ring that has enabled key research contributions in atomic and molecular physics in Stockholm for many years. It was brought to GSI and FAIR in Darmstadt as a Swedish in-kind contribution. The first FAIR storage ring, the so-called CRYRING, is ready to conduct experiments for the scientific research community. CRYRING is an extremely successful ion storage ring that has enabled key research contributions in atomic and molecular physics in Stockholm for many years. It was brought to GSI and FAIR in Darmstadt as a Swedish in-kind contribution. Here it was modernized, adapted to FAIR standards and connected to the experimental storage ring ESR at GSI under the project name "CRYRING@ESR". Along with the already existing trapping facility HITRAP, the ESR and the future high-energy storage ring HESR, CRYRING will be part of the unique portfolio of trapping and storage facilities for heavy ions of FAIR.

CRYRING is a facility for storing highly charged heavy ions at low beam energy. With its high vacuum, the storage ring is particularly suitable for storing and cooling the ions at low energies. With low-energy ions, experiments of the highest precision, but also in a previously unattained regime of slow, adiabatic collisions are possible, allowing us to gain new insights into atomic, astrophysical and nuclear physics processes.

The recommissioning of CRYRING was started in 2015. In 2017, ion beams could be stored for the first time, initially from a local source. In recent years, work has been carried out on the optimization of the ring operation, beam cooling and diagnosis, the new FAIR control system and the experimental infrastructure. Commissioning is now nearing completion and has progressed so far that the facility is ready to serve scientific experiments.

Various experiments by scientific users with international participation were already planned for this spring at the CRYRING. However, due to the corona pandemic they had to be cancelled for the time being and postponed to future operating periods. Nevertheless, work continued on the full commissioning of the facility. This involved not only transporting highly charged, heavy lead ions (beryllium-like Pb78+ and later also Pb82+ with completely removed electron shell) from the GSI linear accelerator UNILAC via the ring accelerator SIS-18 and the experimental storage ring ESR to CRYRING, but also storing, cooling and using them for tests of the experimental infrastructure. The lifetimes and electron cooling of the stored beams were in line with previous estimates.

In the first tests, X-ray detectors at the so-called electron cooler registered the characteristic X-ray spectrum of the highly charged heavy ions, which is of particular interest for the fundamental understanding of the electromagnetic force in extremely strong fields (quantum electrodynamics). Ions stored in the CRYRING fly through a cold, dense cloud of electrons of the same speed in the electron cooler, which is primarily used for beam cooling. A secondary side effect is that also a small fraction of the ions capture an electron from the cloud and release the energy gained in this process as X-rays. Researchers can use this radiation to study quantum electrodynamics.

Due to the twelve-sided geometry of the CRYRING, the X-ray detectors can be placed in an ideal position exactly on the axis in front of and behind the ion beam and yet very close to the interaction area with the cooling electrons. This largely eliminates uncertainties in the observation angle caused by the Doppler shift. The low beam energy of the stored ions already helps to reduce this shift per se, so that X-ray spectra can be recorded with unprecedented precision and clarity.

For the future, it is planned to reschedule the experiments that could currently not be conducted due to COVID-19 as soon as possible. Furthermore, a completion of the commissioning is planned. For this purpose, the extraction process will be implemented, which will allow the cooled, slowed-down ions to be removed from the ring and enable material and biophysical experiments with solid targets. (CP)

Further information:
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news-3642 Tue, 02 Jun 2020 09:30:00 +0200 New measurement exacerbates old problem https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////neue_messung_verschaerft_altes_problem0.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=9e654e7e56812b443c0ecae8cc456ea4 Two prominent X-ray emission lines of highly charged iron have puzzled astrophysicists for decades: their measured and calculated brightness ratios always disagree. This hinders good determinations of plasma temperatures and densities. New, careful high-precision measurements, together with top-level calculations now exclude all hitherto proposed explanations for this discrepancy, and thus deepen the problem. Researchers from the GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung Darmstadt and the Helmholtz Ins This news is based on a press release of the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics Heidelberg.

Two prominent X-ray emission lines of highly charged iron have puzzled astrophysicists for decades: their measured and calculated brightness ratios always disagree. This hinders good determinations of plasma temperatures and densities. New, careful high-precision measurements, together with top-level calculations now exclude all hitherto proposed explanations for this discrepancy, and thus deepen the problem. Researchers from the GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung Darmstadt and the Helmholtz Institute Jena (HIJ), a branch of GSI, are also involved in the investigations. The results are now published in the prestigious “Physical Review Letters” journal.

Hot astrophysical plasmas fill the intergalactic space, and brightly shine in stellar coronae, active galactic nuclei, and supernova remnants. They contain charged atoms (ions) that emit X-rays observable by satellite-borne instruments. Astrophysicists need their spectral lines to derive parameters such as plasma temperatures or elemental abundancies. Two of the brightest X-ray lines arise from iron atoms that have lost 16 of their 26 electrons, Fe16+ ions – also known in astrophysics as Fe XVII. Iron is rather abundant in the universe; it lets stars similar to our Sun burn their hydrogen fuel very slowly for billions of years by nearly stopping the energy flowing as radiation from the fiery fusion core to the, in comparison only mildly hot, stellar surface.

For more than forty years, X-ray astronomers have been bothered by a serious problem with the two key Fe16+ lines: the ratio of their measured intensities significantly disagrees with theoretical predictions. This also holds for laboratory measurements, but uncertainties in experiment and theory have been too large for settling the issue.

An international team of 32 researchers led by groups from the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics (MPIK) and the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center has just published the outcome of its renewed massive effort to resolve this discrepancy. They have performed both the highest-resolution measurements thus far reported, and several top-level quantum-theoretical calculations.

Steffen Kühn, PhD student at MPIK and responsible for the setup, describes the effort: “To resonantly excite highly charged iron ions, we continuously generate them with our compact mobile electron beam ion trap (PolarX-EBIT) and irradiate them with X-rays from the PETRA III synchrotron at DESY. We find resonance with the lines by scanning the synchrotron energy over the range where they should appear and observing the fluorescence light. To handle the experimental data flow, we had colleagues from 19 institutions working at DESY, and painstakingly analysing and cross-checking results for more than one year.”

To make sure that everything is consistent, the researchers combined three different measurement procedures to determine the intensity ratio of the two Fe16+ lines, dubbed 3C and 3D. First, overall scans revealed line positions, widths and intensities. Second, the experimentalists set the energy of the X-ray photons to match the peak fluorescence yield while cyclically turning the photon beam off and on to get rid of the strong background. Third, they scanned the lines again, but using the on-off trick at the same time in order to reduce instrumental effects. “This way, we could derive the presently most accurate value of the brightness ratio, and this with ten times higher spectral resolution than earlier work”, states Chintan Shah, NASA postdoctoral fellow. “And the properties of the PETRA III beam avoided possible non-linear effects depending on the flux of synchrotron photons that may have affected earlier measurements”, adds Sven Bernitt, researcher at the Helmholtz Institute Jena and one of the project leaders, who is working in the group of Thomas Stöhlker, HIJ Director and Deputy Research Director of GSI and FAIR. Remarkably, the resulting intensity ratio confirms earlier astrophysical and laboratory measurements with much reduced uncertainty.

Theory teams around Natalia Oreshkina at the MPIK, from Australia, USA and Russia applied three independent very-large-scale relativistic quantum-theoretical methods, letting clusters of hundreds of processors run hot for weeks. This computational marathon delivered concordant results at high numerical precision. However, while the calculated energy difference between the two lines agrees well with the measured value, the intensity ratio clearly departs from the experimental result. “There are no other known quantum-mechanical effects or numerical uncertainties to consider within our approaches”, emphasizes Marianna Safronova, professor at the University of Delaware.

Thus, the cause for the discrepancy between the experimental and theoretical intensity ratios of the 3C and 3D lines of Fe16+ remains puzzling, since also all effects that could perturb the measurements were as far as possible suppressed, and the remaining uncertainty understood. As a consequence, astrophysical parameters derived on the basis of X-ray line intensities are, to some degree, uncertain. While this is unsatisfactory, “the new accurate experimental result may be immediately used to empirically correct the astrophysical models”, recommends Maurice Leutenegger, also a NASA researcher. “Upcoming space missions with advanced X-ray instrumentation, such as ESA's Athena X-ray Observatory, will soon start sending an incredible stream of high-resolution data to ground, and we have to be prepared to understand it and squeeze the maximum value from those billion-dollar investments.” (MPI/BP)

Further information:

Scientific publication in the journal Physical Review Letters

Press release of the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics, Heidelberg

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news-3640 Tue, 19 May 2020 13:54:32 +0200 CBM Collaboration awards two PhD students https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////cbm_kollaboration_zeichnet_zwei_doktoranden_mit_phd_preis_aus0.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=9641d192f59f3dc854fc7e75d79682a4 For their doctoral theses at GSI and FAIR, Dr. Hannah Malygina and Dr. Ievgenii Kres received the dissertation prize of the CBM collaboration for outstanding final theses in 2018 and 2019. The prizes were awarded at the 35th CBM Collaboration Meeting from March 23 to 27, which was held as a video conference due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The prize for the best thesis of 2018 was awarded to Hannah Malygina from the University of Frankfurt. In her final thesis entitled "Hit reconstruction for the Silicon Tracking System of the CBM experiment" she developed algorithms for the Silicon Tracking System (STS), where particle tracks can be measured with high efficiency and good momentum resolution. A model of the detector response was designed and implemented into the CBM software framework.

Ievgenii Kres from the University of Wuppertal was awarded the thesis prize 2019 for his work entitled "Optimization of the CBM-RICH detector geometry and its use for the reconstruction of neutral mesons using conversion method". He developed an optimized geometry for the RICH detector and was able to show that the new geometry leads to improved performance in the identification of dileptons.

Since 2015, the PhD prize has been awarded by the CBM collaboration for the best dissertation of a year produced in the CBM experiment. An international committee consisting of scientists from the collaboration selects the prize winners. The award is intended to particularly acknowledge the contribution of PhD students to the CBM project and is endowed with a prize money of 500€.

The CBM experiment is one of the key experiments at the future Facility for Antiproton and Ion Research (FAIR). It focuses on the investigation of high-density nuclear matter, as it exists in neutron stars and in the core of supernova explosions. More than 400 researchers from 66 institutes and 13 countries work together in the collaboration. (JL)

 

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news-3638 Mon, 18 May 2020 11:00:00 +0200 Million Euro agreement for research signed between GSI and JINR https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////millionenabkommen_fuer_die_forschung0.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=edc5ae79b693c26997c28a018f9e9e02 Intensifying research cooperation, strengthening cutting-edge research and promoting young researchers – these are some of the key goals of the "German-Russian Roadmap for Cooperation in Education, Science, Research and Innovation", which Germany and Russia agreed in December 2018. An important step in this context was the signing of an agreement between the GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung and the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research (JINR). Intensifying research cooperation, strengthening cutting-edge research and promoting young researchers – these are some of the key goals of the "German-Russian Roadmap for Cooperation in Education, Science, Research and Innovation", which Germany and Russia agreed in December 2018. An important step in this context was the signing of an agreement between the GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung and the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research (JINR).

One of the goals of the German-Russian Roadmap is to expand cooperation at major research infrastructures in Russia. One of the projects identified for this is the instrumentation and scientific usage of the future accelerator complex NICA (Nuclotron-based Ion Collider fAcility), currently being built in Dubna at JINR. The German contributions to this cooperation are financed by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and handled by GSI. For this purpose, a cooperation agreement between JINR and GSI has been worked out, which has a total volume of about 20 million Euros. It was signed in early February in Moscow during the "Helmholtz Winter Talks 2020", a traditional event for the exchange of views between decision-makers from politics, science and society in Russia and Germany.

The agreement on technical cooperation between GSI and JINR consists of several subprojects: coordination and technical follow-up, stochastic cooling for the NICA collider, silicon tracking system for the NICA experiment BM@N as well as read-out electronics and data acquisition for this experiment, research and development for the superconducting high intensity ion injector Linacs@JINR and finally beam diagnostics and LLRF electronics for linear accelerators. As the next step, the details of these six subprojects are currently being worked out.

Professor Paolo Giubellino, who signed the agreement together with Professor Vladimir Kekelidze, JINR Vice-Director for the NICA science project, said: "I am very pleased about the new cooperation, which can build on an already existing, very solid foundation between our two institutes". The collaboration between GSI and JINR has a long tradition and includes both research at the existing accelerator and experimental facilities of both partners as well as research and development activities for future research infrastructures such as the two accelerator centers FAIR and NICA, which are currently being built at GSI in Darmstadt and at JINR in Dubna. "The agreement offers excellent opportunities to further strengthen our cooperation in the future and to open up promising new perspectives in research and technological innovation”. (BP)

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news-3636 Mon, 11 May 2020 10:50:00 +0200 Horst Klein Award for Bernhard Franzke https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////horst_klein_preis_fuer_bernhard_franzke0.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=9a2f5a3c67ecd5094ce565e3f7918846 Dr. Bernhard Franzke receives the Horst Klein Award for his outstanding scientific achievements in the field of accelerator physics. Bernhard Franzke has been a leading accelerator physicist at GSI for many years and was significantly involved in the construction and development of UNILAC, the ESR and many experiments. In the years 2000 until 2005 he was significantly involved in developing the concept of storage rings at FAIR Dr. Bernhard Franzke receives the Horst Klein Award for his outstanding scientific achievements in the field of accelerator physics. Bernhard Franzke has been a leading accelerator physicist at GSI for many years and was significantly involved in the construction and development of UNILAC, the ESR and many experiments. In the years 2000 until 2005 he was significantly involved in developing the concept of storage rings at FAIR.

As one of the first employees, Dr. Bernhard Franzke started his career at GSI already in 1969. Prior to that, he had studied physics at the University of Heidelberg where he also received his doctorate. During the development and construction of the linear accelerator UNILAC, he made decisive contributions to its optimization. He also developed an ultra-high vacuum technology, which was indispensable for the upcoming accelerator projects at GSI.
During the first upgrade of GSI, Bernhard Franzke was involved in the conceptual design of the ring accelerator SIS18, the experimental storage ring ESR and the fragment separator FRS. As project manager he was mainly responsible for the development and construction of the ESR, an innovative facility which contributes in an essential way to the uniqueness of GSI now and FAIR in the future. His ultra-high vacuum technology made it possible to decelerate heavy ions in the ESR to low energies at high intensities – a unique property of the ESR that was important for many experiments and is indispensable for future operation in combination with CRYRING. Bernhard Franzke's many years of commitment as group leader of the ESR and head of the accelerator division as well as his developments in accelerator physics and technology contributed decisively to the success of the ESR. Bernhard Franzke was also involved in the first design of the FAIR facility. He led the conceptual design of the storage rings for FAIR. He retired in 2005, but is still active as a consultant.

The Horst Klein Prize, named after the physicist Prof. Dr. Horst Klein (1931-2012), is awarded annually by the Frankfurt Physical Society, the Department of Physics at Goethe University Frankfurt and the Working Group Accelerator Physics (AKBP) of the German Physical Society. The Horst Klein Research Prize is aimed at internationally renowned scientists who have distinguished themselves through outstanding achievements of great significance and high originality. The prize is endowed with 5,000 euros. It is offered by the Goethe University of Frankfurt, the Fückstiftung, Professors Schempp and Schmidt-Böcking, as well as Pfeiffer Vacuum. The official award ceremony, which was to take place during this year's spring meeting of the German Physical Society, has been postponed due to the corona pandemic.

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news-3634 Tue, 05 May 2020 08:32:00 +0200 Full speed ahead for production of acceleration systems for FAIR ring accelerator SIS100 https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////sis100_cavities0.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=e4c753f1c2ccbdfec34abe7917308c5b In February, a delegation of GSI/FAIR near Darmstadt visited the RI Research Instruments GmbH premises in Bergisch Gladbach to inspect the assembly of the SIS100 acceleration systems, so-called accelerator cavities, the company has been contracted to produce for the international accelerator facility FAIR. From a total of 14 ferrite loaded cavities, six systems have now been assembled, three of which have also been acceptance tested. In February, a delegation of GSI/FAIR near Darmstadt visited the RI Research Instruments GmbH premises in Bergisch Gladbach to inspect the assembly of the SIS100 acceleration systems, so-called accelerator cavities, the company has been contracted to produce for the international accelerator facility FAIR. From a total of 14 ferrite loaded cavities, six systems have now been assembled, three of which have also been acceptance tested. The 14 cavities will be installed in the FAIR ring accelerator with a circumference of 1,100 meters and located 17 meters below the Earth’s surface. 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.

The FAIR ring accelerator is supplied by the existing GSI accelerator facilities, which serve as injectors. Since the facility accelerates ions – charged atomic nuclei – of all elements from hydrogen to uranium, the cavities must be particularly variable in producing the acceleration frequencies. They generate a radiofrequency field that can accelerate the ions up to 99% of the speed of light. By manipulating the frequency, the ions in the ring can, for example, be packed into different numbers of bunches – suitable for the experiment to be performed with them after acceleration.

The order for the production of the 14 cavities is executed by RI together with Ampegon Power Electronics AG as subcontractor and has now resulted in a successful technology transfer of the ferrite-loaded cavity. RI will build two such acceleration systems for a heavy ion cancer therapy machine for a first industrial customer in the USA.

RI is convinced by the design and concept of the state-of-the-art accelerator system and is thankful for the trust GSI has shown RI, enabling the company to offer this concept to other industrial customers. (CP)

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news-3632 Tue, 28 Apr 2020 10:00:00 +0200 FAIR project: Contract awarding for shell constructions on the southern construction site https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////auftragsvergabe_baufeld_sued0.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=17be064698402d2d9a53ad96cab07ca7 Another important stage in the FAIR mega project is starting. While the shell construction in the construction area north is progressing continuously, a first major package has now been awarded for the southern construction site. This marks the next decisive steps in the realization of the future accelerator center FAIR, currently being built at GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung in Darmstadt. Another important stage in the FAIR mega project is starting. While the shell construction in the construction area north is progressing continuously, a first major package has now been awarded for the southern construction site. This marks the next decisive steps in the realization of the future accelerator center FAIR, currently being built at GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung in Darmstadt.

This major contract in a three-digit million euro range was awarded to the consortium of the companies Züblin and Strabag in Germany. The construction work include the shell constructions for six buildings and a unique experimental facility – the Superconducting Fragment Separator (Super FRS).

Following the construction work already underway in the northern area for the future experiment CBM, one of the four central pillars of the FAIR research program, the construction of a further decisive research area with outstanding discovery potential for science is being started now. The Super FRS will focus on research topics concerning the nuclear structure and interactions of extremely rare, exotic particles. These new isotopes will be produced with highest intensities, separated at the Super FRS and will be made available for world unique experiments to study cosmic matter in the laboratory.

In order to realize this outstanding research infrastructure, the award package also includes the shell construction for further experimental and supply buildings as well as for transfer lines for the beams. The Technical Managing Director of GSI and FAIR, Jörg Blaurock, emphasized: “With the current contract, we are implementing a further building block of our award strategy, which is customized for the mega-project FAIR, in accordance with our planning. Now the second large construction area in the south of the FAIR site and further parts of the high-tech production are moving into focus on our way to the realization of FAIR. We will also continue with our already established integrated overall planning in close cooperation with our partners in planning and execution."

Simultaneously and closely coordinated with the progress on the construction site, the development and production of the corresponding high-tech components continues, items which are required in particular for the Super FRS. For example, these include special high-performance power converters and superconducting magnet units that later will be used in the Super FRS for beam correction to achieve a high-precision particle beam.

The FAIR project is one of the world’s biggest construction projects for international cutting-edge research. In total, the highly complex FAIR accelerator facility will comprise more than 20 structures on a site of approximately 150,000 square meters. Around two million cubic meters of soil will be moved and 600,000 cubic meters of concrete and 65,000 tons of reinforcing steel will be used for the construction project. Scientists from all over the world will use FAIR to gain new insights into the structure of matter and the evolution of the universe with outstanding experiments. (BP)

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news-3630 Thu, 16 Apr 2020 09:30:00 +0200 GSI/FAIR research supports the fight against corona https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////gsi_fair_forschung_unterstuetzt_den_kampf_gegen_corona0.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=abe9f7ae3e9c5b3ce0bb0a39bb26162b GSI/FAIR uses its research potential and unique infrastructure to contribute to the management of the current corona pandemic. In several areas at GSI/FAIR, scientists are working to provide new insights and technologies that may help to fight the corona virus SARS-CoV-2. To this aim, the accelerators and laboratories on the Darmstadt campus are also being used. The laboratory is operational, while strictly abiding to safety regulations. GSI/FAIR uses its research potential and unique infrastructure to contribute to the management of the current corona pandemic. In several areas at GSI/FAIR, scientists are working to provide new insights and technologies that may help to fight the corona virus SARS-CoV-2. To this aim, the accelerators and laboratories on the Darmstadt campus are also being used. The laboratory is operational, while strictly abiding to safety regulations.

Four projects are currently being developed to exploit the possibilities of GSI and FAIR research in the corona crisis and to expand the fundamental knowledge about the virus. The researchers are working on contributions to the development of vaccines as well as on therapeutic low-dose irradiation options for pneumonia caused by SARS-CoV-2. Other projects aim at the development of faster and optimized virus detection and at the possibility of producing improved viral filtration masks.

As always, GSI/FAIR actively cooperates with other research centers: one of the measures involves collaboration with the Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung (HZI) in Braunschweig, another is in cooperation with the University Hospitals in Frankfurt and Erlangen. The other two projects are developed in cooperation with universities in the USA and Argentina as well as the University Hospital Gießen-Marburg and the company TransMIT GmbH in Gießen.

Overview of the four specific projects:

Ion radiation for vaccine development

In order to develop vaccines using inactivated viruses, researchers need methods that inactivate the virus while causing as little damage to its structure as possible — in particular the viral envelope that is the key to the immune response. In past years, the inactivation of viruses for vaccine development has been carried out with conventional gamma radiation. However, the use of high doses of gamma rays inevitably leads to damage of the structural-and membrane-associated proteins of the virus that should be recognized by the immune system following vaccination to promote efficient protection. The new project therefore plans to irradiate influenza and SARS-CoV-2 viruses with high-energy heavy ions. Energetic ions are able to inactivate the virus by inducing breaks in the viral RNA with only a few passages in the envelope, thus minimizing membrane damage. The resulting viruses will then be examined at the HZI in Braunschweig for their ability to promote the formation of virus-binding and neutralizing antibodies after vaccination.

Therapeutic effect of low-dose radiation in SARS-CoV-2 induced pneumonia

In a preclinical study, GSI researchers plan to examine whether pneumonia caused by SARS-CoV-2 can be treated with low-dose radiation. Partners are the University Hospitals in Frankfurt and Erlangen. For this purpose, the anti-inflammatory effects in the lung will be compared under two alternative conditions: One is the use of a typical low-dose X-ray radiation, as it has already been administered in the past for the treatment of pneumonia, the other is the use of an increased radon activity compared to the environmental activity. The scientists hope to gain insights into the stage of the disease at which this might be a suitable approach. It is also important to find a balance between the desired anti-inflammatory effect in the lungs and undesired immunosuppressive, systemic effects of the radiation. In this way, mild exposure to radon could be used as a moderate immunomodulator.

Improved and fast virus detection with single nanopore membranes

GSI is working together with international partners on the development of highly sensitive sensors based on nanopores. These sensors have the potential to detect viruses such as SARS-CoV-2 selectively and quickly. For this purpose, a membrane with a single nanopore provides excellent detection conditions. At the GSI accelerator facility, polymer foils are irradiated with individual ions. Chemical etching of a single ion track creates a single nanopore whose geometry and diameter can be adjusted very precisely. In cooperation with external groups, the surface of the nanopores is specifically functionalized in order to monitor the transport of specific particles, molecules or even viruses through the nanopore. Sensors based on nanopores have the potential for high sensitivity and fast detection response. Together with the collaboration partners, opportunities are currently being investigated to support research projects for the detection of viruses such as SARS-CoV-2 or specific filtration processes using the track-etched GSI membranes.

Ion-track membranes with tailored nanopores for viral filtration masks

In this project it is planned to use track-etched nanopores to develop safe respiratory protection filters and thus improve breathing masks. At GSI, corresponding polymer foils with monodisperse and oriented nanopores are produced by ion irradiation and subsequent chemical track-etching. The diameter of the pores can be tailored exactly to size. With an adjustable diameter up to 20 nanometers, such nanopores are significantly smaller than the size of the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. The radiation process at the GSI accelerator facility also allows the number of nanopores to be precisely adjusted (up to about 10 billion per cm2). Together with the collaboration partners, GSI scientists are currently discussing possibilities to investigate the suitability and optimal parameters of track-etched membranes as filters for respiratory masks. Respiratory masks optimized in this way could provide better protection against a virus infection in pandemic situations. (BP/IP)

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news-3628 Tue, 07 Apr 2020 09:00:00 +0200 Cooperation agreement despite corona crisis — European XFEL and FAIR sign contract in video conference https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////mou_fair_european_xfel0.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=101d2559d5bb5ab0a2dd6fff348cb100 A cooperation agreement, a so-called "Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)", was recently signed by the international free-electron X-ray laser European XFEL and the international accelerator center FAIR. Due to the corona crisis, the signing took place in a joint video conference of the involved parties. A cooperation agreement, a so-called "Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)", was recently signed by the international free-electron X-ray laser European XFEL and the international accelerator center FAIR. Due to the corona crisis, the signing took place in a joint video conference of the involved parties. This was preceded by a virtual seminar talk by Professor Paolo Giubellino, Scientific Director of GSI and FAIR, and Jörg Blaurock, Technical Director of GSI and FAIR, on the status and prospects of the FAIR project. Talk and ceremony were attended by more than 60 video conference participants. European XFEL and FAIR have a lot in common, being both accelerator-based research laboratories serving a broad international community. Both are owned by international shareholders, with a primary role, after Germany, of the Russian Federation. They are both landmarks in the roadmap of the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI).

Within the framework of the cooperation, FAIR and European XFEL intend to share and promote their best practices, knowledge and results, for example by organizing joint scientific and technical events such as workshops or seminars. An exchange is planned both in administrative and organizational areas such as the cost structure or dealing with scientific users, and in the scientific environment through joint research and development projects or the secondment of personnel.

In the MoU, both partners acknowledge the importance of cooperation between Big Science projects in administration and technology as a key factor increasing competitiveness in the development of both social and economic systems and for the improvement of living standards in them. By strengthening cooperation, the MoU aims to exploit synergies in industrial cooperation and to support the achievement of scientific and technological results that promote technological innovation and socio-economic developments.

"With the Memorandum of Understanding, we are opening up new opportunities for fruitful cooperation between European XFEL and FAIR on many different levels. We look forward to joint activities and a lively exchange of ideas among colleagues," Professor Paolo Giubellino explained. Jörg Blaurock added: "In addition to the administrative and scientific collaboration, at FAIR, the promotion of the technological side through technology transfer and industrial cooperation is a major concern. Here we want to identify synergies with European XFEL and exploit our joint potential."

European XFEL Managing Director Professor Robert Feidenhans’l said: “European XFEL and FAIR are both international state-of-the-art research facilities serving a broad scientific community. We have a lot of common experiences and research interests and we are very much looking forward to collaborating more closely with our colleagues at FAIR to explore how we can combine our knowledge to advance and enrich international science.”

The agreement will be valid for a period of five years, with the option of an extension for further five years. GSI and FAIR already have a long-standing connection with European XFEL as well as with its founding laboratory and German shareholder, the Deutsches Elektronensynchrotron DESY, which, like GSI, belongs to the Helmholtz-Gemeinschaft Deutscher Forschungszentren. (CP)

Further information:
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news-3626 Tue, 31 Mar 2020 12:00:00 +0200 Prestigious European research grant awarded to GSI physicists https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////erc_grants_an_gsi_physiker_vergeben0.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=8ba7df8c29d9de6a1793be257ead4596 The two GSI physicists Marco Durante and Gabriel Martínez-Pinedo have been honored with the prestigious advanced research grant of the European Union. The European Research Council (ERC) awarded them each an "ERC Advanced Grant". The renowned prize underlines the outstanding quality of scientific research at GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung and the future accelerator center FAIR, which is being built there. The two GSI physicists Marco Durante and Gabriel Martínez-Pinedo have been honored with the prestigious advanced research grant of the European Union. The European Research Council (ERC) awarded them each an "ERC Advanced Grant". The renowned prize underlines the outstanding quality of scientific research at GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung and the future accelerator center FAIR, which is being built there. Another "ERC Advanced Grant" goes to Professor Beatriz Jurado from the Centre Etudes Nucléaires de Bordeaux Gradignan (CENBG), who will use the GSI/FAIR facilities for the execution of the experimental part of her project, as outlined in her application.

The grants are funding and acknowledgment in equal measure: They are awarded exclusively on the basis of the scientific excellence of the projects submitted and are aimed at established researchers from all disciplines whose highly innovative projects go considerably beyond the current state of the art and open up new areas of research. They are endowed with a maximum of 2.5 million euros each over a period of five years.

Marco Durante is Head of the GSI Biophysics Research Department and professor at the TU Darmstadt Department of Physics, Institute of Condensed Matter of Physics. He is an internationally recognized expert in the fields of radiation biology and medical physics, especially for therapy with heavy ions and radioprotection in space. He made important scientific progress in the field of biodosimetry of charged particles, optimization of particle therapy, and shielding of heavy ions in space.

In his new project entitled "Biomedical Applications of Radioactive ion Beams (BARB)", Marco Durante intends to further develop tumor treatment with charged particle therapy. “Particle therapy is rapidly growing and is potentially the most effective and precise radiotherapy technique. However, range uncertainty and poor image guidance limit its applications. Improving accuracy is the key to broadening the applicability of particle therapy", explained Marco Durante. This could also allow better treatment of smaller metastases or tumors close to critical structures, and to small targets in non-cancer diseases, such as ventricular ablations in cardiac arrhythmia.

The new idea is to use the same beam for treatment and for imaging during treatment. Radioactive ion beams are the ideal tool, but their intensity is not yet sufficient for therapeutic applications. Only cutting-edge facilities such as FAIR and the "FAIR Phase 0" experimental program underway at GSI/FAIR can generate such intense beams. Marco Durante explained: “With FAIR-phase-0 high-intensity beams of short-lived isotopes of carbon and oxygen nuclei will be used to enable simultaneous treatment and visualization. This can significantly reduce the range uncertainty and further advance the applicability of particle therapy.” The beam will be visualized in the target position using an innovative Gamma-PET detector that will be built by Prof. Katia Parodi at LMU Munich, partner and beneficiary of the BARB project. “BARB is an experiment showing the enormous potential of FAIR. It is indeed a collaboration between the APPA and NUSTAR pillars of the FAIR project”, said Marco Durante.

Marco Durante studied physics and got his PhD at the University Federico II in Italy. His post doc positions took him to the NASA Johnson Space Center in Texas and to the National Institute of Radiological Sciences in Japan. During his studies, he specialized in charged particle therapy, cosmic radiation, radiation cytogenetics and radiation biophysics. He has received numerous awards for his research, including the Galileo Galilei prize from the European Federation of Organizations for Medical Physics, the IBA Europhysics Prize of the European Physical Society (EPS) and the Bacq & Alexander award of the European Radiation Research Society (ERRS).

More about Professor Marco Durante's research

Gabriel Martínez-Pinedo is Head of the GSI Theory Research Department, professor at the Theory Center of the Institute for Nuclear Physics (Department of physics, TU Darmstadt) and principal investigator of the SFB 1245 “Nuclei: From Fundamental Interactions to Structure and Stars”. He is recognized internationally as an expert in the field of the nucleosynthesis of chemical elements in stars. He was a co-leader of the international collaboration that predicted in 2010 that the synthesis of heavy elements in a neutron star merger leads to a characteristic electromagnetic signal named kilonova. In 2017, space and ground observatories were actually able to detect the predicted electromagnetic signal after the merger of two neutron stars.

In his new project, entitled "Probing r-process nucleosynthesis through its electromagnetic signatures (KILONOVA)" Gabriel Martínez-Pinedo will further develop these approaches. He explained: „The project aims to answer one of the fundamental questions in physics: How and where are the heavy elements from iron to uranium made by the r-process?”

The confirmation of the theoretical predictions on the origin of heavy elements through the observation of gravitational waves of a neutron star merger in combination with characteristic electromagnetic signals in 2017 had provided the sensational first direct indication that r-process elements are produced during neutron star mergers. “Additional events are expected to be detected in the following years. To fully exploit such opportunities it is fundamental to combine an improved description of the exotic neutron-rich nuclei involved in the r-process with sophisticated astrophysical simulations to provide accurate prediction of r-process nucleosynthesis yields and their electromagnetic signals”, explained Gabriel Martínez-Pinedo. These predictions could then be confronted with observations. “Together with the unique experimental capabilities of the GSI/FAIR facility, it constitutes a unique opportunity to advance our understanding of r-process nucleosynthesis.”

Gabriel Martínez-Pinedo studied physics and received his PhD from the Autonomous University of Madrid. He specialized in nuclear structure as well as nuclear astrophysics. As a postdoc, he gained experience at the California Institute of Technology in the USA, followed by research stays of several years at the Aarhus University in Denmark and the University of Basel in Switzerland. His research on the nucleosynthesis of chemical elements in stars has received multiple recognition, including the "Gustav Hertz Preis" of the German Physical Society (DPG) “for the discovery of a new nucleosynthesis process: The νp-process”.

More about Professor Gabriel Martínez-Pinedo's research

The two research colleagues Marco Durante and Gabriel Martínez-Pinedo also emphasized: “We are grateful to the European Research Council for giving us a great opportunity with its funding and we look forward to working together in our respective teams. Our aim is to go significantly beyond the current state of research with our projects and to open up new, forward-looking areas of research. The future accelerator center FAIR and the already existing experimental program are central building blocks for this and will enable us to do so many pioneering things".

The Scientific Managing Director of GSI and FAIR, Professor Paolo Giubellino emphasized: "It is a fantastic achievement. I am extremely pleased about the recognition of these outstanding scientists who, with their innovative projects and their commitment, are tackling important challenges in nuclear physics and medical physics. The grants demonstrate the outstanding quality of scientific research at GSI and FAIR. They go to two of our flagship fields: nuclear astrophysics and biomedical applications of nuclear physics. In addition, the grants underline the outstanding research perspectives opened by our FAIR phase-0 program. With FAIR, we will be able to further expand the prospects of such groundbreaking research and enable important pioneering achievements.”

GSI and FAIR are also thrilled about the award of another ERC Advanced Grant to Professor Beatriz Jurado from the Centre Etudes Nucléaires de Bordeaux Gradignan (CENBG), part of the French National Centre for Scientific Research CNRS. The experimental part of the project will be performed at GSI/FAIR.

Beatriz Jurado has been closely associated with GSI and FAIR for a long time through her nuclear physics research. Her main research areas are low-energy nuclear physics, nuclear reactions and fission. Already her doctoral thesis, which she defended at the University of Santiago de Compostela, was realized at the GSI's fragment separator FRS. She is also involved in the NUSTAR collaboration, one of the four major research pillars of FAIR, as a member of the Resource Board and was, among other things, a guest at GSI as “Visiting Professor” of the ExtreMe Matter Institute EMMI.

In her EU-funded project entitled “Nuclear rEaCTions At storage Rings (NECTAR)” she wants to further advance the measuring capabilities in nuclear physics research. Her goal is to develop a new methodology to indirectly infer neutron-induced cross sections of unstable nuclei. These cross sections are essential for nuclear astrophysics, since most of the heavy elements in the Universe are produced by neutron-induced reactions in stars, and also for applications in nuclear technology. Her work is an experimental specification of the project of Gabriel Martínez-Pinedo.

“However, their measurement is very complicated as both projectile and target are radioactive. We will overcome these limitations by producing the nuclei formed in the neutron-induced reactions of interest with surrogate reactions involving radioactive heavy-ion beams and stable, light target nuclei. We will measure the decay probabilities for fission, neutron and gamma-ray emission of the nuclei produced by the surrogate reaction”, explained Beatriz Jurado. These probabilities provide precious information to constrain models and will enable much more accurate predictions of the desired neutron cross sections.

The experimental part of Beatriz Jurado´s project will be realized at the accelerator facility on the GSI/FAIR campus as part of FAIR Phase 0, using the storage rings ESR and CRYRING. Beatriz Jurado described: “The storage rings of GSI/FAIR are unique devices where revolving ion beams of outstanding quality repeatedly interact with ultra-thin, windowless gas-jet targets. We will take advantage of these exceptional features to measure decay probabilities of many unstable nuclei with unrivalled precision”.

Professor Paolo Giubellino is very delighted with the execution of the NECTAR project at the GSI/FAIR facility: “This underlines once more the attractiveness of our laboratory for the international research community and the quality of our research infrastructures already during FAIR Phase 0. We are very pleased that a renowned scientist like Beatriz Jurado will join us for her experimental research. This is also a great recognition for us".

The President of the European Research Council (ERC), Professor Mauro Ferrari, commented: “I am glad to announce a new round of ERC grants that will back cutting-edge, exploratory research, set to help Europe and the world to be better equipped for what the future may hold. That’s the role of blue sky research. These senior research stars will cut new ground in a broad range of fields, including the area of health. I wish them all the best in this endeavour and, at this time of crisis, let me pay tribute to the heroic and invaluable work of the scientific community as a whole.” (BP/IP)

More information

Press release of the European Research Council

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news-3624 Fri, 27 Mar 2020 09:52:00 +0100 Artistic impressions, drone flights over the construction site: GSI and FAIR invite to a virtual visit https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////kuenstlerische_impressionen_drohnenfluege_uebers_baufeld_gsi_und_fair_laden_zum_virtuellen_besuch_ei.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=c6069be13420a666e62d1a036a051770 One of our priorities at GSI and FAIR has always been to provide the public with exciting insights into our research facilities, programs and results, and demonstrating the progress made on the construction of FAIR. However, the new situation created by the spread of the corona virus requires new approaches also here. Public guided tours on the campus and to the visitor platform at the construction site cannot be offered at present. Therefore, GSI and FAIR have arranged a digital offer, which gives all ... One of our priorities at GSI and FAIR has always been to provide the public with exciting insights into our research facilities, programs and results, and demonstrating the progress made on the construction of FAIR. However, the new situation created by the spread of the corona virus requires new approaches also here. Public guided tours on the campus and to the visitor platform at the construction site cannot be offered at present. Therefore, GSI and FAIR have arranged a digital offer, which gives all interested people the opportunity to continue visiting us virtually and interactively.

For example, one can click through a selection of very special artistic impressions that were created during a visit of the group "Urban Sketchers Rhein-Main" at GSI and FAIR. More than 30 members of the group, which is part of an international network of artists, spent a day sketching and painting on campus in January. The result are numerous extraordinary views of our particle accelerators and experimental stations.

The mega construction project FAIR, one of the largest construction projects for research worldwide, can also be visited virtually. Visitors can fly over the FAIR construction site by drone flight, get to know its extraordinary dimensions and, for the first time, even dive into the large ring tunnel that will form the heart of the future accelerator center. In addition, a long-term drone lapse video was created using a new filming technique that shows the development of an entire year: With the help of GPS, several videos were superimposed, so that one can see the construction grow as if from one piece right before the eyes of the viewer, making the progress particularly tangible.

Furthermore, there is the opportunity delve into our history, for example to travel back in time by photo slider on the GSI and FAIR homepage: an interactive past-today-show in which the images virtually overlap and thereby illustrate how things used to look like on campus in the past and how they look like today. The results provide interesting insights, for example into the linear accelerator, the control room or the experimental halls.

An even more detailed tour through half a century is offered by the digital GSI timeline where highlights of the GSI history are presented. Users can click their way through 50 years of GSI, and take a look into the future of FAIR. Also the great scientific achievements such as the discovery of six new chemical elements or the development of a new type of tumor therapy using ion beams can be found there.

The main task of GSI and FAIR is to carry out cutting-edge research and to use the accelerator facilities to gain new insights into the structure of matter and the evolution of the universe. A science film shows how scientists from all over the world can explore the universe in our laboratory.

If you want to take a virtual walk through the research facilities of GSI and FAIR and to stand directly next to the particle accelerators and detectors, it is best to get out your mobile phone to watch our 360° video in an optimized way. The exciting video was produced for the planetarium show "Dimensions - Once upon reality" at the Bochum Planetarium.

On all these digital and virtual routes, our guests are therefore still welcome to visit our research facilities and take a look at the FAIR construction site. Furthermore, GSI and FAIR of course offer the possibility to keep up to date and to stay in contact with us online on our homepage and on our social media channels. (BP)

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news-3622 Mon, 16 Mar 2020 11:00:00 +0100 Dr. Ulrich Breuer is the new Administrative Managing Director of GSI and FAIR https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////neuer_administrativer_geschaeftsfuehrer0.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=fa7e52bdb75e91e48b35b10db752a2d5 The science manager and physicist Dr. Ulrich Breuer has taken over the position of the Administrative Managing Director of the GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung GmbH and the Facility for Antiproton and Ion Research in Europe GmbH (FAIR GmbH) on 15 March 2020. He previously worked as Administrative Director at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR). The science manager and physicist Dr. Ulrich Breuer has taken over the position of the Administrative Managing Director of the GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung GmbH and the Facility for Antiproton and Ion Research in Europe GmbH (FAIR GmbH) on 15 March 2020. He previously worked as Administrative Director at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR).

Together with the Scientific Managing Director Professor Paolo Giubellino and the Technical Managing Director Jörg Blaurock, Dr. Ulrich Breuer will constitute the joint management team of GSI and FAIR. He succeeds Ursula Weyrich, who has changed to the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) in Heidelberg as Administrative Director.

“GSI has been a synonym for cutting-edge research with worldwide reputation for decades, and with the future accelerator center FAIR, the international dimensions of research will be expanded in a future-oriented manner. I am looking forward to this responsible task and the opportunity to foster this development", says Dr. Ulrich Breuer. “I am very grateful for the trust placed in me.” He names as the most important goals a solid financial and personnel planning as well as the effective support of science with customized infrastructural and administrative conditions.

His two management colleagues, Professor Paolo Giubellino and Jörg Blaurock, are also looking forward to future cooperation in the management team and emphasize: “Dr. Breuer knows the profession very well and for a long time. He brings with him a broad knowledge of science management as well as of the administrative leadership of large research institutions." The aim is to conduct top-level research at the existing facility and to realize the future accelerator facility FAIR in international cooperation. “The decision in favor of Dr. Breuer is an excellent choice. With his many years of experience we will continue to successfully shape the future of GSI and FAIR together.”

Dr. Ulrich Breuer studied physics and received his doctorate at the Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule (RWTH) Aachen. His professional career began in 1991 at the Forschungszentrum Jülich. There he first worked as assistant to the Chairman of the Board of Directors and then in leading positions for many years.

In 2005, he changed to the Hahn-Meitner-Institut Berlin as Administrative Director, where he accompanied the merger with the Berliner Elektronenspeicherring-Gesellschaft für Synchrotronstrahlung (BESSY) and the foundation of the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin. He operated as its Administrative Director from 2009 to 2011.

From 2012 to 2017, he worked as Vice President Economics and Finance of the Karlsruher Institut für Technologie (KIT). Subsequently he held the position of the Administrative Director at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf.

Until the end of June 2020, Dr. Breuer will continue in his current position at the HZDR in addition to his functions at GSI and FAIR. (BP)

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news-3620 Tue, 10 Mar 2020 08:45:00 +0100 Dr. Clémentine Santamaria receives FAIR-GENCO Young Scientist Award https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////genco_20200.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=e6d0177a9a4c4ecd71822cf79ffcdc6f This year's FAIR-GENCO Young Scientist Award goes to Dr. Clémentine Santamaria from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in Berkeley, USA. The award is presented by the GSI Exotic Nuclei Community (GENCO) and is endowed with 1,000 Euros. It is awarded annually to young researchers, who are at the begin of their scientific career. This year's FAIR-GENCO Young Scientist Award goes to Dr. Clémentine Santamaria from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in Berkeley, USA. The award is presented by the GSI Exotic Nuclei Community (GENCO) and is endowed with 1,000 Euros. It is awarded annually to young researchers, who are at the begin of their scientific career. The award was bestowed during a festive colloquium at FAIR and GSI by GENCO President Professor Christoph Scheidenberger (GSI/FAIR) and GENCO Vice President Professor Wolfram Korten (CEA-IRFU, Saclay, France) at the GENCO Annual Meeting in March. The awardee was chosen in a selection procedure by the international GENCO Jury, consisting of seven renowned nuclear physicists. In addition, three scientists as well as Jörg Blaurock, Technical Managing Director of GSI and FAIR, were appointed as new members via the GENCO Membership Award.

Dr. Clémentine Santamaria received the Young Scientist Award and the GENCO Membership for her milestone achievements to answer long-standing questions of the evolution of shell structure far from stability and her striking expertise in both nuclear spectroscopy and nuclear reactions. Prior to her current postdoctoral position at Berkeley, she worked at the Japanese research center RIKEN and the National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory, USA, among others.

The GENCO Membership was awarded to:

  • Jörg Blaurock (Technical Managing Director of GSI and FAIR) for his outstanding accomplishments for the realization of the FAIR project, in particular the construction of the superconducting fragment separator (Super-FRS) and the NUSTAR facilities at FAIR.
  • Dr. Tuomas Grahn (scientists at Helsinki Institute of Physics and University of Jyväskylä) for his important findings of shape evolution and shape coexistence in the lead-polonium region and for his contributions to groundbreaking experiments on the excited structures of heavy nuclei all the way up to the nobelium region.
  • Dr. Helmut Weick (scientist at GSI) for his significant contributions to the design of the Super-FRS and to the development of simulation codes, which are based on his experimental results of heavy-ion stopping in matter, and for decisive contributions to a variety of experiments with exotic nuclei. (CP)
Further Information:

 

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news-3618 Fri, 06 Mar 2020 08:59:00 +0100 Looking into the future of quantum computing across industries https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////aqc0.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=a26fc99ed0823f139a47dcc4119413cd Darmstadt isn’t just home to Merck’s global headquarters, it is a global science, technology and innovation hub. In fact, in 2019, it was again ranked as Germany’s No.1 “City of the Future” in terms of scientific innovation. In retrospect then, it’s no surprise that the recent Applied Quantum Conference was hosted by a collaborative syndicate of large science-focused organizations based in Darmstadt: ESA/ESOC, GSI/FAIR and Merck. This news is based on a publication of Merck KGaA.

Darmstadt isn’t just home to Merck’s global headquarters, it is a global science, technology and innovation hub. In fact, in 2019, it was again ranked as Germany’s No.1 “City of the Future” in terms of scientific innovation. In retrospect then, it’s no surprise that the recent Applied Quantum Conference was hosted by a collaborative syndicate of large science-focused organizations based in Darmstadt: the Operations Centre of the European Space Agency (ESA/ ESOC); the GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung and the Facility for Antiproton and Ion Research (GSI/FAIR); and Merck, a vibrant science and technology company with more than 350 years of history. The conference focus was to discuss the coming paradigm shift in quantum technology. More specifically, the event aimed to identify quantum solutions to current and future needs, connect communities and facilitate interactions to foster future productive collaborations and solutions.

What is “Quantum”?

Quantum mechanics in physics is fundamentally about how molecules, atoms, or sub-atomic particles behave. Over the years, such particles have been observed to act in ways which are highly unexpected and difficult to explain using the established laws of classical physics. As a result, there are currently close to 20 different philosophical interpretations of what quantum behavior is, all valid in their respective applications. Companies like Merck are interested in quantum behavior as it applies in an industrial context. This includes how it can be used to approach challenges in Performance Materials, Life Science and Healthcare.

Specifically, it is hoped that Quantum Computing can address the limitations of traditional “digital”, computational methods and machine learning currently used to identify potential new materials and drugs, and their interaction with so-called drug targets. These methods are highly computationally intensive, if not impossible, and often rely on huge datasets to train the models. One promise of quantum computing is that it will significantly accelerate this process using so-called “qubits” instead of the traditional 0s and 1s of binary digital computing. A qubit can best be described as a vector pointing to a point on the surface of a sphere. Rotations of this vector and interactions with other vectors according to the laws of quantum mechanics can be used as encode calculations on quantum objects. However, it is currently neither clear how to use the algorithms for most real problems, nor possible to test the calculations because hardware with sufficient qubits does not yet exist. Nevertheless, the first interesting approaches for “quantum enhanced” computing are on the horizon.

The Applied Quantum Conference

It’s within this context that Darmstadt-based science leaders ESA/ESOC, GSI/FAIR and Merck organized the Applied Quantum Conference.  Held on February 4, 2020, it brought together very different sectors that are at the same time very similar in terms of the problems they face and are trying to solve.

“The first Applied Quantum Conference was extremely successful in bringing together experts for the application of quantum computing to many real-world challenges from different sectors. Exchanging the gained experiences showed several commonalities and unveiled the potential for common approaches to further increase the utilization of quantum computing. At GSI and the future international FAIR accelerator facility, which is currently under construction, we look forward to intensifying the existing collaboration with ESA and Merck in this and other fields,” said Dr. Tobias Engert, co-organizer and head of the Technology Transfer of GSI and FAIR.

The conference attracted a panel of highly distinguished speakers from Merck, ESA/ESOC and GSI/FAIR. In addition, top universities presented the very latest progress from their labs, and a select group of startups and established international firms demonstrated products and results at the very cutting edge of this technology landscape.

The Applied Quantum Conference was a spectacular collaborative showcase for a branch of scientific endeavor that could shape the progress of the 21st century. The three organizers, ESA/ESOC, GSI/FAIR  and Merck are very much looking forward to all the follow up activities that have been identified. (Merck/CP)

Further information:
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news-3616 Tue, 03 Mar 2020 09:58:46 +0100 Nuclear matter experts meet in Dresden https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////kernmaterie_experten_treffen_sich_in_dresden0.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=edbc3bb64fc82d3db78e941117c154d6 From March 2 to 6, 2020, the 38th HADES Collaboration Meeting will take place at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) with more than 80 participants from more than 20 institutes in nine European countries. At the meeting, the scientists will discuss the status of the HADES detector system for the planned use at the international accelerator FAIR and a roadmap for future measurements. This news is based on a news by Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR).

From March 2 to 6, 2020, the 38th HADES Collaboration Meeting will take place at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) with more than 80 participants from more than 20 institutes in nine European countries. At the meeting, the scientists will discuss the status of the HADES detector system for the planned use at the international accelerator FAIR and a roadmap for future measurements.

The international accelerator center FAIR (Facility for Antiproton and Ion Research) is currently being built at GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung in Darmstadt and is one of the largest research projects worldwide. Here, scientists from all over the world want to create matter in the laboratory that otherwise only occurs in the depth of space. They expect new insights into the structure of matter and the evolution of the universe from the Big Bang to the present.

One piece of the puzzle on the way and at the same time a major challenge for modern particle physics is to explain the origin of the masses of important components of matter. So-called hadrons (protons and neutrons) combine 99 percent of the mass of luminous matter in the universe. The same applies to our natural environment, in which protons and neutrons are largely bound in nuclei. To understand the phenomenon of the "mass of hadrons", scientists use different methods. One way is to study the decay products of particularly suitable hadrons in the environment of strongly interacting matter. These elementary particles, grouped together as vector mesons, are created in the collisions of heavy ions. However, scientists can also produce them in the laboratory by bombarding nuclei with elementary particles. Thus, nuclear physicists create strongly interacting matter with up to three times the nuclear density, at temperatures equivalent to 50,000 times the temperature inside the sun.

HADES: Know-how for precise hadron spectroscopy

The vector mesons produced in this way decay, among other things, into so-called lepton pairs, which are e. g. composed of electrons and positrons. But this is a relatively rare process. This is why the researchers need special detectors. This is where HADES (High Acceptance Di-Electron Spectrometer) comes in. The detector is installed at GSI and calibrated to those electron-positron pairs that leave the surrounding strongly interacting matter almost undisturbed, thus providing direct access to the original mass of their initial hadrons.

HADES was developed in an international collaboration at the heavy ion synchrotron SIS18 at GSI, which has now been running for 25 years. The lively cooperation of around 100 scientists has resulted in an intensive transfer of knowledge in the field of particle physics — from Monte Carlo simulations and detector construction to fast front-end electronics and data analysis — which also benefits HZDR and has already manifested in almost 250 scientific publications.

The HZDR is extensively involved in HADES: Alone 12 of the 24 drift chamber detectors were manufactured in the HZDR detector laboratory, now the multifunctional laboratory. They are the centerpiece, which allows the precise measurement of the momenta of charged reaction products from the heavy ion impact. The results enable investigations of the equation of state of hot dense matter, comparable to the state in neutron stars. In this way, researchers obtain an unaltered view of the interior of highly compressed nuclear matter. At their meeting, the experts want to discuss previous results and future measurements at the heavy ion synchrotron SIS18 at GSI in the framework of the "FAIR Phase 0" research program and at the FAIR ring accelerator SIS100. (HZDR/CP)

Further information:

News of HZDR (German)

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news-3614 Mon, 17 Feb 2020 13:00:00 +0100 FAIR experimental program: Research team analyses repair processes in radiation-damaged cells https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////reparaturvorgaenge_in_strahlengeschaedigten_zellen0.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=6c7d900cf64189c72a0ed05103aae62c These are future-oriented research results, combining most advanced physics and biology and at the same time demonstrating the great potential of the future accelerator center FAIR: Scientists at the GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung have been able to observe the repair processes in human cells after radiation damage more directly and with higher resolution than ever before. A precise understanding of DNA repair mechanisms is of great importance, for example, for risk assessments during long-te These are future-oriented research results, combining most advanced physics and biology and at the same time demonstrating the great potential of the future accelerator center FAIR: Scientists at the GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung have been able to observe the repair processes in human cells after radiation damage more directly and with higher resolution than ever before. A precise understanding of DNA repair mechanisms is of great importance, for example, for risk assessments during long-term space missions.

For the radiation experiments at the accelerator facility on the GSI and FAIR campus in Darmstadt, high-energy ion beams, which are also characteristic of cosmic radiation in space, were used and combined with modern microscopy techniques. The investigations were carried out as part of the first stage of the FAIR experimental program, "FAIR Phase 0". The team of the GSI Biophysics Department has now published its results in the journal "Scientific Reports", which is edited by the Nature Publishing Group and which covers all areas of the natural sciences.

At the specially developed measuring station at the accelerator, the scientists irradiated established human cell cultures with heavy ions that cause double-strand breaks and thus damage the genetic information (DNA). During and immediately after irradiation, the research team was able to closely observe the dynamic processes of the induction of the damage and the subsequent repair processes in the genetically damaged cells using so-called "live cell imaging" on a specially constructed microscope directly at the accelerator beamline. For this purpose, the proteins responsible for repair in the cell were provided with fluorescent dyes so that they were visible under the microscope. The remote controlled arrangement made it possible to observe the protein dynamics in the cell core seamlessly and without interruption from the damage track to the biological response of the cell and to record it visually on film.

Particularly valuable for new fundamental insights into the repair processes in human cells is the possibility of using high energetic heavy ion beams to simultaneously generate simple and clustered DNA damage in the same cell and to investigate this damage in real time, which was previously possible only separately. In such a distribution of damage, many DNA double-strand breaks are concentrated along a densely ionizing damage path and only single, simple damages are off track. The researchers were thus able to observe parallel how the same cell reacts to complex damages and to single damages.

The results of the measurements show differences in this damage response: The DNA repair proteins seem to be recruited faster to the clustered damage than to the individual DNA damage outside the ion track. On the other hand, the delayed repair there seems to be faster and less difficult. Thus, the results clearly demonstrate the impact of the quality of DNA lesion on the dynamics of early radiation response and repair and indicate that simple and clustered DNA damage should be treated separately when assessing radiation effects. (BP)

More information

Publication in Scientific Reports

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news-3612 Wed, 12 Feb 2020 10:30:00 +0100 Successful patenting and commercialization of green supercomputers "made in Hessen" https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////erfolgreiche_patentierung_und_vermarktung_fuer_gruenen_supercomputer0.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=977cefe9dec8a4786f618961491de51e By 2030, data centres could be responsible for 13 percent of worldwide power consumption. In Frankfurt, the global network node with the highest data volume, data centres today already consume 20 percent of all local electricity – and this figure is rising. A large part of it is used for cooling power. Already today, the waste heat from single large-scale data centres could be used to heat up to 10,000 households. An answer to this global challenge comes from Goethe University and GSI. By 2030, data centers could be responsible for 13 percent of worldwide power consumption. In Frankfurt, the global network node with the highest data volume, data centers today already consume 20 percent of all local electricity – and this figure is rising. A large part of it is used for cooling power. Already today, the waste heat from single large-scale data centers could be used to heat up to 10,000 households. An answer to this global challenge comes from Hessen. To be specific, it comes from Goethe University and the GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung, which were recently granted a European patent for their concept for an energy-efficient cooling structure for large data centers.

This patent now paves the way for the commercialization of the pioneering technology developed by Professor Volker Lindenstruth, Professor Horst Stöcker and Alexander Hauser of e3c. Together with parallel patents outside Europe, the invention can now be put to economic use throughout the world. The team has already received enquiries from various countries for the construction of such large data centres.

The data center is thus becoming an important export commodity “made in Hessen”. This success is also thanks to Innovectis, Goethe University’s own transfer agency, and its managing director Dr Martin Raditsch, the driving force behind the invention’s commercialization, as well as the GSI departments Technology Transfer headed by Tobias Engert and Patents headed by Michael Geier. The successful commercialization of the patents is a perfect example of collaboration between a university and a major research facility in Hessen.

NDC Data Centers GmbH, a Munich-based company, has obtained the rights to market the green technology in data center construction projects around the globe and is thus also making a major contribution to the careful handling of our energy resources against the backdrop of global digitalization.

The basis for these activities is the visionary concept of a significantly optimized cooling system for large data centers with the highest possible level of energy efficiency, which was developed by Volker Lindenstruth, Professor for High-Performance Computing Architecture at Goethe University and former head of the Scientific IT Department at GSI.  On the basis of his concept, large data centers and commercial IT systems can today be operated with up to 50 percent less primary energy consumption in comparison to conventional data centers.

The technology has been in use for years and is being continuously improved: The first data center of this type was Goethe University’s own, which was set up in the Infraserv industrial park. Another very large data center, the Green IT Cube, was built by the GSI Helmholtzzentrum in Darmstadt and financed from funds provided by the German federal government and the Federal State of Hessen via Helmholtz expansion investments. The concept enables the realization and particularly efficient operation of data centers for large-scale research facilities such as FAIR (Facility for Antiproton and Ion Research), which is currently being set up at the GSI. Later, the Green IT Cube will be the central data center for FAIR, one of the largest projects worldwide in support of research. Moreover, the waste heat from the servers in the Green IT Cube is already being used today to heat a modern office and canteen building on the GSI campus.

Apart from the high energy savings associated with the use of this new technology, the construction of such data centers is also extraordinarily cost-efficient, thus minimizing procurement and operating costs: An expedient coupling of ecology and economy.

Lindenstruth’s supercomputers have received several awards for their energy-efficient concept in recent years. At the end of 2014, one of his computers ranked first place in the global listing of the most energy-efficient supercomputers, thanks to its greatly optimized computer architecture.

Goethe University’s success in the area of green IT is also spurring on its current application, together with Mainz, Kaiserslautern and Saarbrücken, to host one of the new National High-Performance Computing Centers. Thanks to the optimized computer architecture based on the Hessian green IT approach, considerably more computing power could be made available to users at the same cost. Goethe University would therefore be an ideal location for one of the new centers.

Views on the green supercomputer technology

Angela Dorn, Hessen’s Minister of Science, says: “My sincere congratulations to Professor Lindenstruth and his team. I’m especially pleased that this success has been accomplished in a field close to my heart: The energy turnaround to which green IT can make a very important contribution. I’m also very happy that we as the Federal State of Hessen have contributed to this success. The first supercomputer in which Professor Lindenstruth used his energy-saving technology was the LOEWE-CSC at Goethe University’s data centre in the Infraserv industrial park. Hessen’s Ministry of Science supported this investment with a total of almost € 2 million in the shape of both direct funding as well as from the LOEWE programme. We’re therefore today harvesting together the fruits of this funding and the LOEWE programme launched in 2008.”

Professor Birgitta Wolff, President of Goethe University, says:Just as in Goethe’s days it made no sense to harness more and more horses in front of a stagecoach in order to increase the speed, so today we are facing a fundamental paradigm shift in IT. Back then, the railroad was the answer to the problem of speed. Today, the smart IT sector has a huge sustainability and energy problem. To satisfy its enormous hunger for data, our IT-based society requires new energy concepts for supercomputers that drastically reduce power consumption. Volker Lindenstruth from Goethe University has developed such a solution. Its successful patenting with the support of our subsidiary Innovectis is a major step in the right direction: The dissemination and commercialization of this truly smart technology.”

Professor Volker Lindenstruth, Professor for High-Performance Computing Architecture at Goethe University, says: “Our successful patent registration is a milestone for the further global commercialization of our “Green IT” approach. We’ve already received enquiries for it from various regions worldwide. This gives our work a further boost, the more so since with NDC we now have a strong business partner at our side to help with the practical steps.”

Professor Karlheinz Langanke, Research Director of the GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung and FAIR – Facility for Antiproton and Ion Research in Europe, says: “The Green IT Cube high-performance computing center at the GSI Helmholtzzentrum is an outstanding example of how practical and usable know-how and developments evolve out of basic research. The Green IT Cube was developed for enormous volumes of measurement data from scientific research: It provides the highest computing capacities required and is at the same time extraordinarily energy-efficient and space-saving.”

Markus Bodenmeier, NDC co-founder and partner: “With the help of the innovations created by Professor Volker Lindenstruth from Goethe University and by the GSI, NDC Data Centers GmbH builds the most energy-efficient and resource-friendly data centers. In so doing, we can guarantee over the long term the benefits offered by the exponential growth of digitalization. We’re in keeping here with the current trend – all major cloud operators are at present keeping a very close eye on the impact of their activities on the environment.”

Other statements by experts involved

Dr Martin Raditsch, Managing Director of Innovectis GmbH, a subsidiary of Goethe University explains: “The application in practice of this technology is a very nice example of how results from basic research at the University and their transfer lead to technological solutions for societal challenges. Through our technology, the advancing digitalization of industry and society can be accomplished in a far more energy-saving way.”

Dr Tobias Engert, Director of the Technology Transfer Department at GSI, is very pleased about the invention’s success: “The cooling concept of the Green IT Cube at GSI is based on an innovative idea for the reduction of energy costs, and together with Innovectis we’ve now been able to successfully market it to NDC. Equipped with an innovative cooling system, the Green IT Cube meets the high requirements of optimum energy efficiency coupled with the highest possible computing power, and it will later become the central data centre for the new accelerator FAIR – Facility for Antiproton an Ion Research. The commercialization of the patents is certainly one of the most important examples of technology transfer from GSI into industry.” His colleague Michael Geier, Director of the Patents Department, adds: “The sale of the patents to NDC corroborates how important it is to protect new technical solutions developed at research facilities such as GSI through patents. Such patents are a deciding factor for technology transfer into industry, through which income is generated that then flows back into research.” (GU/JL)

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news-3610 Wed, 05 Feb 2020 11:15:00 +0100 Chemistry Olympians visit FAIR and GSI https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////chemieolympioniken_besuchen_fair_und_gsi0.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=25d3eaea3b69bcb2514ee0d1d9fa9550 21 International Chemistry Olympiad participants took the opportunity to gain exciting insights into the research conducted at GSI’s Facility for Antiproton and Ion Research (FAIR) in Darmstadt, Germany, at the end of January. The young talents from Hesse and Thuringia were accompanied by the supervisors of the International Chemistry Olympiad (IChO) and former Chemistry Olympians. 21 International Chemistry Olympiad participants took the opportunity to gain exciting insights into the research conducted at GSI’s Facility for Antiproton and Ion Research (FAIR) in Darmstadt, Germany, at the end of January. The young talents from Hesse and Thuringia were accompanied by the supervisors of the International Chemistry Olympiad (IChO) and former Chemistry Olympians.

Following a talk that gave an overview of the facility, the young visitors were taken on a tour of the particle accelerators and experimental stations at the FAIR and GSI campus. They got a close-up look at the progress on the FAIR construction site and the development of the magnets for the FAIR accelerator facility at the magnet test facility. The young talents were particularly fascinated by the research activities relating to the discovery and investigation of chemical elements. The visit was rounded off by a panel discussion with GSI scientist Thomas Neff from the theory department who had likewise participated in the Chemistry Olympiad as a student. “Being curious and asking questions are two important prerequisites that help scientists obtain new finding in the course of basic research,” says Thomas Neff, giving the students deep insight into the everyday life of researchers at a research center.

The young talents from the senior high school classes passed a selection process to qualify for a multi-day seminar in Darmstadt. In addition to chemical analyses and solving exercises, the excursion to FAIR and GSI is an integral part of the seminar. “FAIR and GSI impressed our young scientists, stimulating their investigative spirit and sparking their desire to learn. The excursion inspires further reflection and many intensive discussions”, says Uta Purgahn, State Commissioner of IChO Thuringia, underlining the importance of the excursion. (JL)

 

 

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news-3604 Thu, 30 Jan 2020 12:00:00 +0100 First magnet module of a series for FAIR ring accelerator SIS100 delivered: Cryogenic testing underway https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////erstes_magnetmodul_einer_serie_fuer_fair_ringbeschleuniger_sis100_angeliefert_kalttests_laufen0.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=673b695634a914e3eade1006f6d326ce The technology behind the FAIR project is unique and customized in many areas. In the large ring accelerator SIS100, the heart of the future accelerator center FAIR, various sophisticated magnets and entire magnet systems will ensure that the ion beam is precisely guided and focused. The quadrupole modules also belong to them. The first of Series (FoS) has now been completed and delivered to GSI. The technology behind the FAIR project is unique and customized in many areas. In the large ring accelerator SIS100, the heart of the future accelerator center FAIR, various sophisticated magnets and entire magnet systems will ensure that the ion beam is precisely guided and focused. The quadrupole modules also belong to them. The first of Series (FoS) has now been completed and delivered to GSI. Before shipment to Darmstadt, the module passed successfully an extensive test program (FAT, Factory Acceptance Test) under room temperature conditions at the manufacturer Bilfinger Noell in Würzburg.

The quadrupole doublet module consists of two superconducting quadrupole units manufactured by the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research (JINR) in Dubna, Russia, and several cryogenic components provided by GSI (such as beam position monitors, ion catcher and thin wall quadrupole chambers). Beside of the integration of the quadrupole module, Bilfinger Noell is also in charge of the manufacturing of the cryostat vessel, the common girder, the thermal shield and other parts.

Before integrating the components, the cold mass – i.e. the part of the magnets to be cooled – needs to be assembled and installed on two common girders. The high-precision positioning of the cold mass required for this is accomplished with special suspension rods, similar to that of the dipole magnets. Overall, the high degree of integration is one of the major challenges of the SIS100 quadrupole modules. The integration of two quadrupole units in one cryostat is a design that deviates from other accelerator facilities.

The advantage of this novel design is that it enables a compact design of the FAIR ring accelerator SIS100, also allows the application of innovative technologies such as cryogenic ion catchers and provides ion-optical advantages. Since this technology has not been realized elsewhere before, the first cold test of the delivered module at its final operating temperature of -270 degrees was a particularly exciting moment for the project team and of great importance for the SIS100 project.

The first cold test was conducted at GSI Series Test Facility for superconducting accelerator magnets (STF). The result: The common girder showed a linear shrinkage but no significant lateral movement of the position of the quadrupole units. The experimental verification of this expected behaviour of the girder at thermal cycling was an important step for the whole SIS100 project. In the coming weeks and months, the module will be evaluated carefully. This will include high-voltage insulation tests and geometrical measurements, investigations on the thermo-mechanical stress and power tests with the main- and correction magnets.

The test program will be accompanied by experts from the Italian National Nuclear Physics Institute (INFN, Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare). Further tests, the SATs (Site Acceptance Tests) of the entire series of quadrupole modules, will be conducted at the facility in Salerno, Italy, later. In the second half of 2019, various contractual agreements were concluded with the INFN and the University of Salerno. (BP)

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news-3608 Tue, 28 Jan 2020 10:22:05 +0100 FAIR is eleventh co-organiser of the Big Science Business Forum 2020 https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////bsbf20200.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=3d28972b0bf71442997c3418bf1dcc72 The International Organising Committee of the Big Science Business Forum 2020 (BSBF2020) has accepted FAIR as the eleventh co-organising Big Science organisation. FAIR will send technical, scientific and administrative delegates to BSBF2020 in Granada from 6th to 9th October. BSBF2020 participants will get the chance to get in depth knowledge of FAIR's procurement plans and liaise with its technical representatives. The International Organising Committee of the Big Science Business Forum 2020 (BSBF2020) has accepted FAIR as the eleventh co-organising Big Science organisation. FAIR will send technical, scientific and administrative delegates to BSBF2020 in Granada from 6th to 9th October. BSBF2020 participants will get the chance to get in depth knowledge of FAIR's procurement plans and liaise with its technical representatives.

Big Science Business Forum 2020 will be the second edition of the single one-stop shop for European companies and other stakeholders to learn about Europe’s Big Science organisations’ future investments and procurements worth 38,400 million of euros. Following the success of the first edition, which took place in 2018 in Copenhagen, the forum will again offer businesses the chance to learn about business opportunities in the coming years, within a wide range of business areas and technologies.

They are given the opportunity to meet representatives from Europe’s Big Science organisations (like FAIR) and their key suppliers and technology experts, network and establish long lasting partnerships, showcase their expertise and potential for the Big Science market by participating in the open exhibition area and get insight in how businesses can interplay with the Big Science market. (CP)

Further information:

Website of the Big Science Business Forum 2020

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news-3606 Mon, 27 Jan 2020 13:00:00 +0100 „Urban Sketchers" set the scene for GSI and FAIR https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////urban_sketchers_setzen_gsi_und_fair_in_szene0.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=f428fa0b1226b787a831fb03ab95b827 With pencils, color palettes and other painting utensils the "Urban Sketchers Rhein-Main" were guests at GSI and FAIR. The motto of the international artist network, which is represented by regional groups all over the world, says: "We show the world, one drawing at a time” For this purpose the group members visit interesting places which they paint or draw. This time it was the world of fast ions and the universe in the lab that the "Urban Sketchers" focused on and captured on paper. With pencils, color palettes and other painting utensils the "Urban Sketchers Rhein-Main" were guests at GSI and FAIR. The motto of the international artist network, which is represented by regional groups all over the world, says: "We show the world, one drawing at a time” For this purpose the group members visit interesting places which they paint or draw. This time it was the world of fast ions and the universe in the lab that the "Urban Sketchers" focused on and captured on paper.

During their visit to the research campus, Dr. Ingo Peter, head of public relations at GSI and FAIR, first gave the more than 30 artists an overview of current research projects and the international accelerator center FAIR currently under construction at GSI. Afterwards, there was time for exciting discoveries and hunting for motifs around the existing accelerator facilities, experimental setups, high-tech components and the platform, which provides a wide view of the mega construction site for FAIR and the large ring accelerator, the heart of the future facility.

The "Urban Sketchers" were offered numerous outstanding motifs, from the big picture to the aesthetic high-tech detail. At the end of their visit, the group had a wide range of artworks in front of them – extraordinary, precisely observed and realized with very individual handwritings. As stated in the Manifesto of the "Sketchers", the illustrators, whether professional artists or enthusiastic amateurs, publish their drawings and information about their activities online via blogs and social media channels. (BP)

More information

Urban Sketchers Rhein-Main

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news-3602 Fri, 24 Jan 2020 09:41:00 +0100 A visit from the Italian parliament https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////besuch_garavini0.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=ab46a7587eebfdb7978584896ff49a04 Recently, Laura Garavini, who is a Senator in the Italian parliament, visited FAIR and GSI. She was accompanied by Santi Umberti, SPD member of the Town Council of Darmstadt and chairman of the Committee for Business Development and Science of the city of Darmstadt. Recently, Laura Garavini, who is a Senator in the Italian parliament, visited FAIR and GSI. She was accompanied by Santi Umberti, SPD member of the Town Council of Darmstadt and chairman of the Committee for Business Development and Science of the city of Darmstadt. The two visitors were welcomed by Professor Paolo Giubellino, Scientific Managing Director of FAIR and GSI, as well as Jörg Blaurock, Technical Managing Director of FAIR and GSI, Professor Marco Durante, head of the GSI Biophysics research department, and Dr. Ingo Peter, head of the Public Relations department of GSI and FAIR.

Starting with introductory presentations about the existing GSI accelerators, experiments and successes, as well as the FAIR project, the guests then took a look at the development of the construction during a subsequent bus tour of the FAIR construction site. A guided tour through the GSI facilities followed, where they were informed about the medical applications of ion beams and the large detector HADES.

GSI and FAIR have a close and long standing collaboration with Italy and its manifold research institutions. The Italian science community is involved in several of the FAIR experiments. High-ranking Italian scientists participate in many of the scientific committees associated with FAIR and GSI. Additionally, Italy supplies technology for FAIR, e.g. magnet prototypes and cold testing of superconducting quadrupole modules for the SIS100 ring accelerator. (CP)

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news-3600 Wed, 22 Jan 2020 09:30:00 +0100 Memorandum of Understanding: Scientific cooperation with University of Salerno to be intensified https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////zusammenarbeit_universitaet_salerno0.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=02010ade81ad1dca09066951e4a8e87a Perspectives and opportunities for future cooperation with the University of Salerno were the focus of a visit by Professor Paolo Giubellino, Scientific Director of FAIR and GSI. The aim is to intensify the scientific exchange between researchers. In order to promote scientific and technological cooperation between GSI/FAIR, the University of Salerno (UNISA) and the department of physics, a “Memorandum of Understanding“ (MoU) has now been concluded. Perspectives and opportunities for future cooperation with the University of Salerno were the focus of a visit by Professor Paolo Giubellino, Scientific Director of FAIR and GSI. The aim is to intensify the scientific exchange between researchers. In order to promote scientific and technological cooperation between GSI/FAIR, the University of Salerno (UNISA) and the department of physics, a “Memorandum of Understanding“ (MoU) has now been concluded.

The MoU concerning the collaboration on nuclear and accelerator sciences and technologies and other scientific domains of mutual interest has been signed between the GSI/FAIR, represented by its Scientific Managing Director Professor Paolo Giubellino, the University of Salerno, represented by its Rector Professor Vincenzo Loia, and the Department of Physics. represented by its Director Professor Salvatore De Pasquale. The ceremony has been held at the University Campus in Fisciano with the presence of Professor. Luca Lista, Director of the section of Napoli of the Italian National Nuclear Physics Institute (Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare, INFN).

This collaboration will start soon with activities at the University of Salerno in the framework of cryogenic testing of superconducting magnet modules for SIS100, the large FAIR ring accelerator currently under construction. In this framework mutual exchange of researchers and students is foreseen to improve the mutual knowledge in the field of cryogenic facilities devoted to superconducting magnets for particle accelerator.

“This will be only the first step for a wider cooperation on the development of several technologies in the field of nuclear physics´”, the parties jointly announced. (BP)

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news-3598 Mon, 20 Jan 2020 10:19:00 +0100 New atomic nucleus found — far from stability https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////neuer_atomkern_gefunden_weit_von_stabilitaet_entfernt0.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=f3b3eae206ab2a853d65411792b4224f Where does the world of atomic nuclei end? Scientists went further into the region of unstable elements than ever before. An experimental collaboration at the fragment separator of the GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung has for the first time detected potassium-31, an isotope with eight neutrons less than the stable potassium atom. An atomic nucleus that remote from stability has never been observed before. The results were published in the journal Physical Review Letters. Where does the world of atomic nuclei end? Scientists went further into the region of unstable elements than ever before. An experimental collaboration at the fragment separator of the GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung has for the first time detected potassium-31, an isotope with eight neutrons less than the stable potassium atom. An atomic nucleus that remote from stability has never been observed before. The results were published in the journal Physical Review Letters.

It is an exotic atomic nucleus that lies further outside the proton dripline than has ever been observed before: Potassium-31 is extremely short-lived with a half-life below nanoseconds, but the sheer existence of the atomic nucleus is a new record. In physics, the proton dripline marks a boundary beyond which we find the unbound atomic nuclei. Due to the unbalanced ratio of neutrons and protons, they can hardly exist and decay very quickly. Potassium-31 is four neutrons far outside this dripline. An atomic nucleus that remote from the proton dripline has never been observed before.

The exotic isotope of potassium was produced by the particle accelerator facility on the GSI/FAIR campus. The ring accelerator SIS18 and the fragment separator (FRS) in combination provided a secondary particle beam of argon-31 which again was shot at a beryllium target. In this way, the research team succeeded in producing potassium-31. Daria Kostyleva, who is currently working on her PhD thesis at GSI, FAIR and the University of Gießen, analyzed the data from the fragment separator experiment and carried out simulations. "We haven't reached the border between unbound systems and chaotic nuclear matter yet," she says. "There could be atomic nuclei that are up to seven neutrons away from the proton dripline. We want to test whether the main nuclear structure principles still apply there."

These chaotic systems could be found in the future at the new FAIR particle accelerator facility. The detectors with which the discovery was made are part of the experiment program of the Super fragment-separator (Super-FRS) which will be operated at FAIR and is part of the large-scale experimental collaboration NUSTAR. Thanks to FAIR's much more intense particle beam and the higher energies that can be achieved, scientists expect to discover many new isotopes. The experiments studying remote proton-unbound systems are being carried out within the EXPERT collaboration (EXotic Particle Emission and Radioactivity by Tracking) of Super-FRS. Scientists from GSI and FAIR, the University of Gießen, the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research in Dubna (Russia), the Silesian University in Opava (Czech Republic) and the University of Warsaw (Poland) are involved in the EXPERT experiments. (LW)

Mehr Informationen

Original Publication: https://journals.aps.org/prl/abstract/10.1103/PhysRevLett.123.092502

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news-3591 Thu, 16 Jan 2020 10:13:00 +0100 HADES collaboration part of GSI/FAIR for 25 years https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////25a_hades0.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=c16419092f0607c5920d08464ef521d5 In 1994, the international HADES collaboration, which today consists of more than 150 scientists from nine countries and operates the large detector of the same name at GSI, became part of GSI. The collaboration celebrated its 25th anniversary recently with a special colloquium on the FAIR/GSI campus and an art exhibition in the cafeteria. In the future, HADES will become an important part of the CBM pillar at FAIR. In 1994, the international HADES collaboration, which today consists of more than 150 scientists from nine countries and operates the large detector of the same name at GSI, became part of GSI. The collaboration celebrated its 25th anniversary recently with a special colloquium on the FAIR/GSI campus and an art exhibition in the cafeteria. In the future, HADES will become an important part of the CBM pillar at FAIR.

For six years, the HADES collaboration planned the large-scale detector HADES, which was put into operation in 2001 with beams from the GSI ring accelerator SIS18. HADES stands for High Acceptance Di-Electron Spectrometer and consists of different detector systems with about 100,000 individual measuring cells as well as a superconducting magnet for deflecting charged particles. The special design of HADES makes it possible to measure particles with very high precision, and also to detect very rare particles.

During the latest data taking campaign, HADES produced up to one gigabyte of data per second. In order to find out more about the structure of neutrons and protons and thus answer the question of the origin of mass, researchers study electron-positron pairs, whose tracks have to be identified in the huge amount of data. In this way, the HADES detector system, which is as high as a house, provides researchers with exciting insights into what happens when two heavy nuclei collide at relativistic energies. In the laboratory, HADES allows them to track down the microscopic properties of extreme states of matter, e.g. as they occur inside neutron stars. Further highlights of HADES research with heavy-ion collisions are the generation of strangeness and the microscopic properties of dense nuclear matter.

Only recently, the measurement setup was significantly upgraded. The 4.5 meters high and 4.5 meters wide Electromagnetic Calorimeter (ECAL) was installed behind the previous detector in recent months. It contains 16 tons of lead glass, which will enable scientists to also directly detect photons in the future instead of using their conversion process. By measuring the photons, neutral mesons can now also be detected, and electromagnetic decays of hyperons can be investigated.

In the future, HADES will become an important part of the experimental program for the investigation of compressed nuclear matter CBM at the international accelerator facility FAIR (Facility for Antiproton and Ion Research), which is currently being built at GSI. Researchers will be able to investigate processes in neutron stars with unprecedented precision and over a very wide density range. (CP)

Further information:
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news-3596 Tue, 14 Jan 2020 10:48:02 +0100 Vice President of TU Darmstadt visited FAIR and GSI https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////vizepraesident_der_tu_darmstadt_war_zu_gast_bei_fair_und_gsi0.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=05739680f12526f7ada40113007b7cac Professor Ralph Bruder, until the end of 2019 Vice President of the Technische Universität (TU) Darmstadt, recently visited FAIR and GSI. He was greeted by Paolo Giubellino, Scientific Managing Director of FAIR and GSI, Jörg Blaurock, Technical Managing Director of FAIR and GSI, Dorothee Sommer, Head of Human Resources, and Ingo Peter, Head of Public Relations. Professor Ralph Bruder, until the end of 2019 Vice President of the Technische Universität (TU) Darmstadt, recently visited FAIR and GSI. He was greeted by Paolo Giubellino, Scientific Managing Director of FAIR and GSI, Jörg Blaurock, Technical Managing Director of FAIR and GSI, Dorothee Sommer, Head of Human Resources, and Ingo Peter, Head of Public Relations.

The long-standing cooperation between the institutions were the key topics of the introductory presentation and of a group discussion. TU Darmstadt, and FAIR and GSI have had a close connection for many years and have cooperated successfully in many fields. The combination of teaching, research, and an excellent research infrastructure forms the basis for the many successful projects.

During a tour of the research facility, scientists working closely with TU Darmstadt explained their research projects. Tetyana Galatyuk, Professor at the Institute of Nuclear Physics at TU Darmstadt and Senior Scientist of HADES and CBM at GSI, discussed the scientific objectives of the large-scale detector HADES. Vincent Bagnoud, Adjunct Professor at the Nuclear Physics department of TU Darmstadt and Head of the Plasma Physics department at GSI, presented the high-energy laser PHELIX and the running experiments. Christian Graeff, Leader of the Medical Physics group and Vice Scientific Head of the Biophysics division, provided an insight into the medical research on cancer therapy facilities. Professor Ralph Bruder had the opportunity to inform himself about the progress of the FAIR construction site from the visitors’ platform and to visit the cryogenic test bench for superconducting magnets. The visit ended with an expert discussion with Dorothee Sommer. (JL)

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news-3594 Fri, 10 Jan 2020 09:02:00 +0100 Explosion or collapse? — Experiment on beta-decay sheds light on fate of intermediate-mass stars https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////explosion_oder_kollaps0.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=1da98fa3df0db5e88e5dfc762146975e A group of scientists, among them several from GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung and from Technical University of Darmstadt, succeeded to experimentally determine characteristics of nuclear processes in matter ten million times denser and 25 times hotter than the centre of our Sun. A result of the measurement is that intermediate-mass stars are very likely to explode, and not, as assumed until now, collapse. A group of scientists, among them several from GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung and from Technical University of Darmstadt, succeeded to experimentally determine characteristics of nuclear processes in matter ten million times denser and 25 times hotter than the centre of our Sun. A result of the measurement is that intermediate-mass stars are very likely to explode, and not, as assumed until now, collapse. The findings are now published in the scientific magazine Physical Review Letters. They stress the fascinating opportunities offered by future accelerator facilities like FAIR in understanding the processes defining the evolution of the Universe.

Stars have different evolutionary paths depending on their mass. Low-mass stars such as the Sun will eventually become white dwarfs. Massive stars, on the other hand, finish with a spectacular explosion known as a supernova, leaving either a neutron star or a black hole behind. The fate of both low- and high-mass stars is well understood but the situation for intermediate-mass stars, which weigh between seven and eleven times as much as the Sun, has remained unclear. This is surprising since intermediate-mass stars are prevalent in our Galaxy.

“The final fate of intermediate-mass stars depends on a tiny detail, namely, how readily the isotope neon-20 captures electrons in the stellar core. Depending on this electron capture rate, the star will be either disrupted in a thermonuclear explosion or it will collapse to form a neutron star,” explains Professor Gabriel Martínez-Pinedo of GSI’s research department Theory and the Institut für Kernphysik, TU Darmstadt. Professor Karlheinz Langanke, Research Director of GSI and FAIR, adds: “This work started when we realized that a strongly suppressed, and hence previously ignored and experimentally unknown, transition between the ground states of neon-20 and fluorine-20 was a key piece of information needed to determine the electron capture rate in intermediate mass stars.” By a combination of precise measurements of the beta-decay of fluorine-20 and theoretical calculations, an international collaboration of physicists with participation from GSI and TU Darmstadt, has now succeeded in determining this important rate. The experiment took place under conditions far more peaceful than those found in stars, namely at the Accelerator Laboratory of the University of Jyväskylä. The measurements showed a surprisingly strong transition between the ground states of neon-20 and fluorine-20 that leads to electron capture in neon-20 occurring at lower density than previously believed. For the star, this implies that, in contrast to previous assumptions, it is more likely to be disrupted by a thermonuclear explosion than to collapse into a neutron star. “It is amazing to find out that a single transition can have such a strong impact on the evolution of a big object like a star,” says Dag Fahlin Strömberg, who, as a PhD student at TU Darmstadt, was responsible for large parts of project’s simulations.

Since thermonuclear explosions eject much more material than those triggered by gravitational collapse, the results have implications for galactic chemical evolution. The ejected material is rich in titanium-50, chromium-54, and iron-60. Therefore, the unusual titanium and chromium isotopic ratios found in some meteorites, and the discovery of iron-60 in deep-sea sediments could be produced by intermediate-mass stars and indicate that these have exploded in our galactic neighbourhood in the distant (billions of years) and not so distant (millions of years) past.

In the light of these new findings the most probable fate of intermediate-mass stars seems to be a thermonuclear explosion, producing a subluminous type Ia supernova and a special type of white dwarf star known as an oxygen-neon-iron white dwarf. The (non-)detection of such white dwarfs in the future would provide important insights into the explosion mechanism. Another open question is the role played by convection — the bulk movement of material in the interior of the star — in the explosion.

At existing and future accelerator centres like the international FAIR project (Facility for Antiproton and Ion Research) currently under construction at GSI, new not yet investigated isotopes and their properties can be investigated. Thus, scientists continue to bring the universe into the laboratory to answer the unsolved questions about our cosmos. (CP)

Further information:
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news-3589 Wed, 08 Jan 2020 09:14:37 +0100 Guests from INFN visit FAIR and GSI https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////infn0.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=512c2ba90ca275de132db1f056b1becd Recently, a high-ranking delegation from the Italian research institute INFN (Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare) visited the facilities of FAIR and GSI. INFN Vice President Professor Eugenio Nappi as well as Professor Diego Bettoni, member of the INFN Executive Board, and Professor Vincenzo Patera of INFN Roma1, spokesperson of the International Biophysics Collaboration, were able to inform themselves in detail about the progress of the FAIR project and the research at FAIR and GSI. Recently, a high-ranking delegation from the Italian research institute INFN (Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare) visited the facilities of FAIR and GSI. INFN Vice President Professor Eugenio Nappi as well as Professor Diego Bettoni, member of the INFN Executive Board, and Professor Vincenzo Patera of INFN Roma1, spokesperson of the International Biophysics Collaboration, were able to inform themselves in detail about the progress of the FAIR project and the research at FAIR and GSI during their full-day visit. The group was welcomed by Professor Paolo Giubellino, Scientific Managing Director of FAIR and GSI, as well as Jörg Blaurock, Technical Managing Director of FAIR and GSI, and Professor Marco Durante, head of the GSI Biophysics research department.

Following introductory presentations about the facility, the guests took a bus tour to the FAIR construction site to take a look at the rapidly developing construction progress. In a guided tour of the existing GSI facilities they learned more e.g. about the superconducting FAIR magnets and their testing, the detector laboratory, the ion sources, the discovery and investigation of superheavy elements, as well as the medical applications of ion beams for cancer therapy. They were also able to meet and discuss with Italian members of staff currently working for GSI and FAIR on campus.

INFN and GSI/FAIR are linked by long standing and very cordial cooperation. A large Italian scientific community participates in several of the FAIR experiments, and INFN will put a series of complex magnet systems, so-called quadrupole modules, for the large FAIR ring accelerator SIS100 through extensive cold testing and thus make an important contribution to the FAIR project. (CP)

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news-3587 Fri, 03 Jan 2020 11:41:08 +0100 Management change at GSI and FAIR https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////wechsel_in_der_geschaeftsfuehrung_von_gsi_und_fair0.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=7439c617300c226cc0624696d8958fa5 With the start of new year there is a change in the management of the GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung GmbH and the Facility for Antiproton and Ion Research in Europe GmbH (FAIR GmbH). Ursula Weyrich, the previous Administrative Managing Director, moves to the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) in Heidelberg where she takes over as Administrative Director. With the start of new year there is a change in the management of the GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung GmbH and the Facility for Antiproton and Ion Research in Europe GmbH (FAIR GmbH).  Ursula Weyrich, the previous Administrative Managing Director, moves to the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) in Heidelberg where she takes over as Administrative Director. Markus Jaeger, Head of Controlling at GSI and FAIR, has been entrusted with the current continuation of administrative business. The decision process for the reoccupation of the administrative management of GSI and FAIR has been initiated.

A trained lawyer, Ursula Weyrich, has been the first joint Administrative Managing Director of GSI and FAIR since 2014 and was previously a founding board member of the German Centre for Neurodegenerative Diseases in Bonn. Professor Paolo Giubellino, Scientific Managing Director of GSI and FAIR, and Jörg Blaurock, Technical Managing Director of GSI and FAIR, as well as the GSI Supervisory Board and the FAIR Council thanked Ursula Weyrich for her great commitment and expert work: "GSI and FAIR have developed very successfully during Ursula Weyrich's term of office. Her guiding principle as Administrative Managing Director was to provide frame conditions which allows the GSI/FAIR campus as well as the research operations with the successful launch of the FAIR research program FAIR Phase 0 and the FAIR construction project to unfold.”

During her period in office, for example the new office and canteen building was constructed, the construction for the new car park has begun and the planning for the FAIR Control Center has been started. In addition to the conventional administrative tasks and the strategic campus development, Ursula Weyrich has set the course for a unified overall organization structure for GSI und FAIR. In addition, there were organizational changes in the administration and the infrastructure divisions as well as in the target-oriented development of the overall planning of the project’s financial requirements.

As an expert for administration and finance at GSI and FAIR, Ursula Weyrich with these solid structures has provided an important foundation for the very positive evaluation of the FAIR project, which was presented by a high-ranking international expert committee last year. (BP/IP)

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news-3578 Thu, 19 Dec 2019 10:08:00 +0100 New international nuclear astrophysics research network https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////irena0.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=01e629b05c2ce15b7deaa3e8723db092 The ExtreMe Matter Institute (EMMI) with its research groups at Technical University of Darmstadt and the GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung will participate in a new network of networks for nuclear astrophysics research. The US National Science Foundation (NSF) awarded a $2 million grant to the Joint Institute for Nuclear Astrophysics — Center for the Evolution of the Elements (JINA-CEE), led by Michigan State University (MSU). This news is based on a press release of Michigan State University

The ExtreMe Matter Institute (EMMI) with its research groups at Technical University of Darmstadt and the GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung will participate in a new network of networks for nuclear astrophysics research. The US National Science Foundation (NSF) awarded a $2 million grant to the Joint Institute for Nuclear Astrophysics — Center for the Evolution of the Elements (JINA-CEE), led by Michigan State University (MSU), to create the new International Research Network for Nuclear Astrophysics (IReNA).

In total, IReNA unites five research collaborations: Besides EMMI, the European Network “Chemical Elements as Tracers of the Evolution of the Cosmos” (ChETEC), the Collaborative Research Center “The Milky Way System”, the Japan Forum of Nuclear Astrophysics UKAKUREN, and the international Nucleosynthesis Grid collaboration (NuGRID) will be members.

IReNA is composed of seven Universities as core institutions in the United States, and also includes 62 associated institutions in 17 countries. The combined infrastructure and research capabilities available to IReNA scientists will accelerate the understanding of the origin of chemical elements and the nature of dense nuclear matter.

In the current age of multimessenger astronomy, extreme astrophysical environments like supernovae and neutron star mergers are studied through gravitational waves, visible light, infrared, X-rays, gamma-rays, radio waves and neutrinos. IReNA comes as a timely boost for the nuclear astrophysics community. The amount and range of nuclear and astrophysics data and expertise needed to answer open questions about the universe cannot be obtained by a single country. IReNA creates the necessary communication channels and collaborative structures. Together, IReNA scientists will have access to a variety of accelerators, astronomical observatories, experimental equipment, data, and computer codes.

IReNA will also create exchange programs, innovative workshops, and retreats that will foster network communication and training of the next generation of scientists.

“This is an innovative approach to science. It is also a unique opportunity for young researchers to train across disciplines, and gives them experience working with large teams.” said Hendrik Schatz, JINA-CEE and IReNA director.

The ExtreMe Matter Institute EMMI at the GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung in Darmstadt, Germany, was founded in 2008 as a network of German and international partner institutions, among them JINA-CEE. The new IReNA network includes several research groups at TU Darmstadt and GSI as a part of EMMI. EMMI is dedicated to fostering interdisciplinary research on matter under extreme conditions of temperature and density. More than 400 scientists at the 13 partner institutions of EMMI study various forms of strongly coupled matter in extreme conditions, including the hottest, coldest and densest matter in the universe. Surprisingly, these very different forms of matter are connected by common concepts in their theoretical description. EMMI also acts as a think tank for the strategy of future experiments, for example at the FAIR (Facility for Antiproton and Ion Research) accelerator facility currently under construction at GSI.

The NSF grant is part of the Accelerating Research through International Network-to-Network Collaborations (AccelNet) program. AccelNet is designed to accelerate the process of scientific discovery and prepare the next generation of U.S. researchers for multiteam international collaborations. The AccelNet program supports strategic linkages among U.S. research networks and complementary networks abroad that will leverage research and educational resources to tackle grand scientific challenges that require significant coordinated international efforts. (CP)

Further information:
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news-3584 Tue, 17 Dec 2019 10:14:02 +0100 50 years GSI, five decades of cutting-edge research: anniversary of foundation date https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////50_jahre_gsi_fuenf_jahrzehnte_spitzenforschung_gruendungstag_jaehrt_sich0.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=eeffcf5ff43d9a5a351db4028ca1a2e6 The GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung is celebrating 50 years of existence this year – five decades of research history with outstanding scientific successes and discoveries. During this time, GSI has developed from a national research institute with worldwide collaborations into an international campus with global relevance. Now, it is the 50th anniversary of the founding day of GSI, 17 December 1969. The GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung is celebrating 50 years of existence this year – five decades of research history with outstanding scientific successes and discoveries. During this time, GSI has developed from a national research institute with worldwide collaborations into an international campus with global relevance. Now, it is the 50th anniversary of the founding day of GSI, 17 December 1969.

It was a historic day, that Wednesday 50 years ago, when Federal Science Minister Hans Leussink and Hessian Minister President Albert Osswald signed the decisive contract for the founding of GSI in Bonn. The federal government and the state of Hesse agreed to jointly build and operate a heavy ion accelerator in Darmstadt: the beginning of the Gesellschaft für Schwerionenforschung.

GSI has been carrying out cutting-edge research for 50 years now, and the FAIR project is currently shaping the future. With the future accelerator center FAIR, the international dimensions of research will be significantly expanded once more. People from all over the world will be able to conduct world class research on the Darmstadt campus for decades and to explore the universe in the laboratory. Many activities in the anniversary year therefore span from history to the future. For the anniversary day, there is the opportunity to travel back in time by photo slider on the GSI and FAIR homepage: an interactive past-today-show in which the images virtually overlap and thereby illustrate how things used to look like on campus in the past and how they look like today. The results provide exciting insights, for example into the linear accelerator, the control room or the experimental halls.

An even more detailed tour through half a century is offered by the digital GSI timeline where highlights of the GSI history are presented. Users can click their way through 50 years of GSI, and take a look into the future of FAIR. The great scientific achievements such as the discovery of six new chemical elements or the development of a new type of tumor therapy using ion beams can be found as well as the most important milestones for FAIR, from the international agreement for the worldwide unique project to the completion of the first shell constructions for the large FAIR ring accelerator.

The successes of GSI in these 50 years are based on the knowledge, passion and creativity of its staff members. Many of them have taken an active part in the anniversary year events, e.g. they chose their favorite photo in the campaign "50 years, 50 pictures" or sent their very personal memories of their time at GSI as short stories. The most interesting anecdotes and the favorite photographic moments can currently be seen in a public exhibition on campus.

To round off the diverse anniversary activities, next spring there will be a festive event for the employees and the scientific community, where representatives from politics, universities and partners from international scientific collaborations will also participate. (BP)

More information

An overview of the information offers, activities and special editions around the anniversary can be found here.

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news-3576 Mon, 16 Dec 2019 10:49:00 +0100 Successful international meeting on cryo-technology and superconductivity https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////cryogenics_days0.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=7ff777e1790ba38865c17361a0b9f83b In Lund, Sweden, recently the “2019 European Cryogenics Days” took place. The international workshop focusses on the exchange on the topics of cryo-technology and superconductivity. The meeting was held in collaboration of Cryogenics Society of Europe (CSE), the High-Energy Physics Technology Transfer Network (HEPTech), the GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung and the European Spallation Source (ESS). In Lund, Sweden, recently the “2019 European Cryogenics Days” took place. The international workshop focusses on the exchange on the topics of cryo-technology and superconductivity. The meeting was held in collaboration of  Cryogenics Society of Europe (CSE), the High-Energy Physics Technology Transfer Network (HEPTech), the GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung and the European Spallation Source (ESS). The topic is of great relevance in the construction of the international accelerator facility FAIR, which is currently being built at GSI in Darmstadt, as large parts of the FAIR accelerator will be superconducting.

The workshop started with the annual meeting of the CSE, followed by two days of plenary talks, a poster session and an industrial exhibition concerning various aspects of cryogenics. A total of 121 attendees and 17 industrial exhibitors attended the workshop. While the majority of attendees were European, there was significant attendance from China and North America as well. The program consisted of 18 talks and 19 posters. The contents included descriptions of engineering designs as well as fundamental research in cryogenics and superconductivity. Speakers, among other things, for example reported on the cryo-technology of the ESS, of FAIR and of the Chinese accelerator HIAF, about high-temperature superconductors or about the relevance of cryogenics in experimental cosmology. Also a tour of the European Spallation Source, currently under construction in Lund, was included in the activities. (CP)

Further information:
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news-3582 Fri, 13 Dec 2019 14:49:05 +0100 NASA mission delivers best-ever pulsar measurements https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////nicer0.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=847ab39cb19f2f55fece45b6376b89ea Scientists have reached a new frontier in our understanding of pulsars, the dense, whirling remains of exploded stars, thanks to NASA’s Neutron star Interior Composition Explorer (NICER). This X-ray instrument aboard the International Space Station has produced the first precise and dependable measurements of both a pulsar’s size and its mass, as well as the first surface map of one of these mysterious objects. The ExtreMe Matter Institure EMMI of GSI and Technical University Darmstadt is also involved in This news is based on a press release of the Technical University Darmstadt

Scientists have reached a new frontier in our understanding of pulsars, the dense, whirling remains of exploded stars, thanks to NASA’s Neutron star Interior Composition Explorer (NICER). This X-ray instrument aboard the International Space Station has produced the first precise and dependable measurements of both a pulsar’s size and its mass, as well as the first surface map of one of these mysterious objects. The ExtreMe Matter Institure EMMI of GSI and Technical University Darmstadt is also involved in the research efforts.

The pulsar in question, J0030+0451 (J0030 for short), lies in an isolated region of space 1,100 light-years away in the constellation Pisces. While measuring the pulsar's heft and proportions, NICER revealed that the shapes and locations of million-degree “hot spots” on the pulsar’s surface are much stranger than generally thought. “From its perch on the space station, NICER is revolutionizing our understanding of pulsars,” said Paul Hertz, astrophysics division director at NASA Headquarters in Washington. “Pulsars were discovered more than 50 years ago as beacons of stars that have collapsed into dense cores, behaving unlike anything we see on Earth. With NICER we can probe the nature of these dense remnants in ways that seemed impossible until now.”

Scientists from the TU Darmstadt and EMMI have provided the expertise for understanding the impact of the NICER observations for the equation of state of dense matter. A series of papers analyzing NICER’s observations of J0030 appears in a focus issue of The Astrophysical Journal Letters and is now available online..

How do pulsars work?

When a massive star dies, it runs out of fuel, collapses under its own weight and explodes as a supernova. These stellar deaths can leave behind neutron stars, which pack more mass than our Sun into a sphere roughly as wide as the greater area of Darmstadt. Pulsars, which are one class of neutron star, spin up to hundreds of times each second and sweep beams of energy toward us with every rotation. J0030 revolves 205 times per second.

For decades, scientists have been trying to figure out exactly how pulsars work. In the simplest model, a pulsar has a powerful magnetic field shaped much like a household bar magnet. The field is so strong it rips particles from the pulsar’s surface and accelerates them. Some particles follow the magnetic field and strike the opposite side, heating the surface and creating hot spots at the magnetic poles. The whole pulsar glows faintly in X-rays, but the hot spots are brighter. As the object spins, these spots sweep in and out of view like the beams of a lighthouse, producing extremely regular variations in the object’s X-ray brightness. NICER measures the arrival of each X-ray from a pulsar to better than a hundred nanoseconds, a precision about 20 times greater than previously available, so scientists can take advantage of this effect for the first time.

Different modelling approaches

Using NICER observations from July 2017 to December 2018, two groups of scientists mapped J0030’s hot spots using independent methods and converged on similar results for its mass and size. A team led by the University of Amsterdam, determined the pulsar is around 1.3 times the Sun’s mass and 15.8 miles (25.4 kilometers) across. A second team found J0030 is about 1.4 times the Sun’s mass and slightly larger, about 16.2 miles (26 kilometers) wide.

“It’s remarkable, and also very reassuring, that the two teams achieved such similar sizes, masses and hot spot patterns for J0030 using different modeling approaches,” said Zaven Arzoumanian, NICER science lead at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. “It tells us NICER is on the right path to help us answer an enduring question in astrophysics: What form does matter take in the ultra-dense cores of neutron stars?”

Together with the NICER collaboration Svenja Greif, Kai Hebeler, and EMMI-Professor Achim Schwenk from TU Darmstadt investigated the implications of these new measurements for the properties of dense matter. “It is exciting to see that the new NICER results are consistent with our understanding of strong interactions in atomic nuclei,” said Svenja Greif, whose recent doctoral dissertation within the DFG (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft) funded Collaborative Research Center 1245 on nuclear structure physics and nuclear astrophysics laid the ground-work for the modelling of dense matter in neutron star interiors. In the future, more precise measurements from the NICER mission in combination with improved microscopic calculations thus promises to significantly improve our understanding of the densest matter in the Universe. (CP)

Further information:
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news-3580 Wed, 11 Dec 2019 11:43:54 +0100 Indian science attaché visits FAIR and GSI https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////indischer_wissenschaftsattache_besucht_fair_und_gsi0.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=04b9de05638b196e9af26ef553ea00d5 The new science attaché of the Indian Embassy in Berlin and new delegate to the FAIR Council, Dr Madhusudan Reddy Nandineni, visited FAIR and GSI to inform himself on the facility’s research activities and the status of the FAIR project. He was welcomed by the Scientific Managing Director of FAIR and GSI, Professor Paolo Giubellino, and the Technical Managing Director of FAIR and GSI, Jörg Blaurock. The new science attaché of the Indian Embassy in Berlin and new delegate to the FAIR Council, Dr Madhusudan Reddy Nandineni, visited FAIR and GSI to inform himself on the facility’s research activities and the status of the FAIR project. He was welcomed by the Scientific Managing Director of FAIR and GSI, Professor Paolo Giubellino, and the Technical Managing Director of FAIR and GSI, Jörg Blaurock.

After a guided tour of the GSI/FAIR campus Madhusudan R. Nandineni got an overview in talks followed by discussions about the Indian participation in FAIR and about the FAIR/GSI talent programme for Indian researchers and students, the GET_INvolved Programme India. Two other talks focussed on the more specific research topics of biomedicine and biophysics as well as material and nanoscience. Subsequently, the science attaché had the opportunity to meet and discuss with young Indian scientists currently working at GSI and FAIR.

Dr Madhusudan Reddy Nandineni holds a Ph.D. in genetics. Subsequent to his Doctoral work, he joined the department of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry at Yale University School of Medicine. Before his deputation to the Embassy of India in Berlin he was head of the Genomics & Profiling Applications department in the Centre for DNA fingerprinting and Diagnostics (CDFD) in Hyderabad, India. (mbe)

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news-3574 Mon, 09 Dec 2019 11:29:33 +0100 GSI and FAIR calendar for 2020 now available https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////gsi_und_fair_kalender_fuer_das_jahr_2020_ab_sofort_erhaeltlich0.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=c3441429a0fed4dfd2b68d4c540cba1c Clearly structured, large format and with exciting pictures of GSI and FAIR — our new calendar 2020 can be ordered now. Clearly structured, large format and with exciting pictures of GSI and FAIR — our new calendar 2020 can be ordered now.

If you want to order the DIN A2 sized calendar from FAIR and GSI, please contact gsi-kalender(at)gsi.de (Data Protection) directly by e-mail and receive the calendar by post. Be sure to mention the following information: your name, your address and the number of calendars (maximum three) you wish to order. GSI and FAIR employees can get a copy at the foyer or at the reception in Borsigstraße.

We ask for your understanding that because of to the limited edition only a maximum of three calendars can be sent per request (while supplies last). (BP)

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news-3572 Fri, 06 Dec 2019 09:30:09 +0100 International Year of the Periodic Table: Closing ceremony with GSI participation https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////jahr_des_periodensystems_abschluss0.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=1c20267e9b5cca190e829ef80feccb83 It was the culmination of an extraordinary anniversary year: the closing ceremony of the International Year of the Periodic Table proclaimed by the United Nations, recently held in Tokyo. 2019 marks the 150th anniversary of the discovery of the periodic table. The GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung was also represented at the festive event in Japan. It was the culmination of an extraordinary anniversary year: the closing ceremony of the International Year of the Periodic Table proclaimed by the United Nations, recently held in Tokyo. 2019 marks the 150th anniversary of the discovery of the periodic table. The GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung was also represented at the festive event in Japan. With its decades of successful research and the discovery of six new chemical elements, GSI contributed significantly to the updating of the periodic table.

GSI as an institute of element discoverers has played a major role in the further development of the periodic table: In experiments at the GSI accelerator facility, research groups led by Professor Peter Armbruster, Professor Gottfried Münzenberg and Professor Sigurd Hofmann succeeded in discovering the six elements 107 to 112. Furthermore, under group leadership of Dr. Matthias Schädel, the first chemical classifications of some of these elements were carried out. GSI also succeeded in producing elements 113 to 117 and thus confirming initial discoveries from Japan and Russia.

One highlight of the closing ceremony in Tokyo focused on the topic "Creation of superheavy elements". Scientists who produced and discovered superheavy elements appeared on stage to celebrate the completion of the seventh row of the periodic table. GSI was represented by Dr. Alexander Yakushev for element 107 (bohrium), Professor Christoph Düllmann for element 108 (hassium), Professor Michael Block for element 109 (meitnerium), Professor Karlheinz Langanke for element 110 (darmstadtium), Dr. Dieter Ackermann for element 111 (roentgenium), and Dr. Jadambaa Khuyagbaatar for element 112 (copernicium). In addition,
speeches were be given by prominent scientists from the laboratories that contributed largely to the discoveries. Research Director Professor Karlheinz Langanke presented GSI and FAIR.

From the very beginning, the internationality of GSI, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, has been very important: All elements were discovered in transnational collaborative efforts within the research teams. With the construction of the international accelerator center FAIR this success story is currently being continued and further intensified. With the FAIR facility, scientists from all over the will be able to study the universe in the lab to address fundamental problems such as the origin of heavy elements in the universe or the structure of neutron stars, but also to advance applications from material sciences to medicine. (BP)

More information

International Year of the Periodic Table

Activities of GSI and FAIR on 150 years periodic table

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news-3570 Wed, 04 Dec 2019 09:00:00 +0100 FAIR receives three million euros from EU project CREMLINplus for cooperation between CBM and NICA https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////fair_erhaelt_drei_millionen_euro_aus_eu_projekt_cremlinplus0.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=395e85a30c318064393a2042ee211da7 The European Commission is providing 25 million euros for scientific cooperation between European research infrastructures - in particular the projects of the European Strategy Forum for Research Infrastructures (ESFRI) and the mega science projects in Russia. The long-term cooperation of the GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung with the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research (JINR) in Dubna in the large-scale projects of FAIR (Facility for Antiproton and Ion Research) and NICA (Nuclotron-based Ion The European Commission is providing 25 million euros for scientific cooperation between European research infrastructures - in particular the projects of the European Strategy Forum for Research Infrastructures (ESFRI) and the mega science projects in Russia. The long-term cooperation of the GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung  with the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research (JINR) in Dubna in the large-scale projects of FAIR (Facility for Antiproton and Ion Research) and NICA (Nuclotron-based Ion Collider facility) also benefits from this EU funding.

As part of the new EU project CREMLINplus (Connecting Russian and European Measures for Large-scale Research Infrastructures - plus), FAIR GmbH is receiving three million euros in funding for cooperation between the FAIR experiment CBM (Compressed Baryonic Matter) and the experiments on the future NICA collider at JINR.

CREMLINplus, which will be launched at the beginning of 2020, will provide additional funding of 2.6 million euros over a period of four years for a further eleven institutes of the CBM collaboration from seven countries.

The joint development of silicon track detectors, the design of ultra-fast, self-triggered data acquisition systems, the development of software packages for online event selection and data analysis, as well as the construction of target chambers, extremely thin beam pipes and calorimeters for event characterization will be supported.

In another work package, the next generation of ultra-thin silicon pixel sensors (MAPS - Monolithic Active Pixel Sensors) is being developed under the direction of the GSI detector laboratory. These silicon pixel detectors make it possible to measure the experiment traces locally with higher accuracy. Very good spatial resolution is required for identification, especially for special particles seldom produced in collisions.

GSI and FAIR can contribute their competence and many years of experience in the fields of detector technologies, front-end electronics, data acquisition as well as simulations and data analysis.

In addition to the cooperation between CBM and NICA, CREMLINplus also supports the cooperation of European research infrastructures in the field of neutron research, research with synchrotron beams and lasers, as well as in particle physics with the respective Russian megascience projects (PIK, USSR, EXCELS and SCT).

The Scientific Managing Director of GSI and FAIR, Professor Paolo Giubellino, was very pleased with the funding: "GSI and FAIR were once again able to underline their excellence through their success in competitive funding processes. CREMLINplus will further advance the latest technologies, which are crucial for the success of research at future accelerator facilities, and demonstrates the added value of cooperation among major research facilities. The strong international perspective of the project is important for top-level research, which is based on lively cooperation across national borders." (BP)

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news-3568 Mon, 02 Dec 2019 09:00:00 +0100 Successful young researchers: Prizes awarded by the Giersch Foundation https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////erfolgreiche_junge_forschende_preise_der_stiftung_giersch_verliehen0.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=1c399551815d7090900aaf53dfce6605 The non-profit Giersch Foundation and the Helmholtz Graduate School "HGS-HIRe for FAIR" recently awarded the Giersch Excellence Awards and Giersch Excellence Grants for excellent doctoral theses and promising doctoral courses. For the fifth time, outstanding young researchers were honoured. The award ceremony took place in the lecture hall of the Frankfurt Institute for Advanced Studies (FIAS) on the Riedberg campus. The non-profit Giersch Foundation and the Helmholtz Graduate School "HGS-HIRe for FAIR" recently awarded the Giersch Excellence Awards and Giersch Excellence Grants for excellent doctoral theses and promising doctoral courses. For the fifth time, outstanding young researchers were honoured. The award ceremony took place in the lecture hall of the Frankfurt Institute for Advanced Studies (FIAS) on the Riedberg campus.

This year, the "Giersch Award for an Outstanding Doctoral Thesis", worth 6000 euros each, was presented to six young researchers for their completed dissertations who have demonstrated their exceptional scientific talent: Julian Kahlbow, Kristian Lars König und Steffen Georg Weber (all TU Darmstadt) as well as Moritz Greif, Hanna Malygina und Pierre Moreau (all Goethe University Frankfurt ).

Another 24 promising young researchers, currently in the doctoral phase at universities in the region, were awarded a "Giersch Excellence Grant" of 2500 euros each: Esther Bartsch, Patrick Huhn, Daniel Koser, Osnan Maragoto Maragoto Rodriguez, Anton Motornenko, Christian Michael Reisinger, Olga Soloveva, Jan Staudenmaier, Lukas Weih, Michael Wondrak, Frédéric Kornas, Phillip Imgram, Jacob Lee, Sajjad Hussain Mirza, Franziska Papenfuß, Marius Peck, Tabea Pfuhl, Niels Schlusser, Pascal Simon, Martin Jakob Steil, Kshitij Agarwal, Raphael Haas, Daria Kostyleva and Sêro Zähter.

The young scientists were chosen by a selection committee consisting of expert representatives of the Goethe University Frankfurt and the Technische Universität Darmstadt and chaired by Professor Henner Büsching.

The Helmholtz Graduate School for Hadron and Ion Research "HGS-HIRe for FAIR" is a joint endeavor of the GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung, the universities at Darmstadt, Frankfurt, Giessen, Heidelberg and Mainz together with FIAS to promote and support structured PhD education for research associated with GSI and FAIR. Currently, within this framework more than 300 doctoral students are working on their dissertations with a connection to GSI and FAIR. (BP)

More information

Homepage of HGS-HIRe for FAIR

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news-3566 Sat, 30 Nov 2019 11:00:00 +0100 Saturday Morning Physics: More than 200 participants at FAIR and GSI https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////saturday_morning_physics_bei_fair_und_gsi00.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=ea1ab425dbed33c122f4228441038f9b More than 200 high-school students from all over the state of Hesse, participating in the "Saturday Morning Physics" series of lectures, took the opportunity to gain exciting insights into current physical research at FAIR and GSI. During tours of the research facilities, the participants explored the accelerators and experiments on the GSI and FAIR campus and learned about the construction of the international accelerator facility FAIR. More than 200 high-school students from all over the state of Hesse, participating in the "Saturday Morning Physics" series of lectures, took the opportunity to gain exciting insights into current physical research at FAIR and GSI. During tours of the research facilities, the participants explored the accelerators and experiments on the GSI and FAIR campus and learned about the construction of the international accelerator facility FAIR. At the beginning, there was traditionally a small breakfast together.

During their visit, the students were also able to learn about materials research and research at the experimental storage ring ESR, to get to know the target laboratory and the cryo test facility for superconducting magnets and to take a closer look at the current progress on the FAIR construction site.

"Saturday Morning Physics" is a project of the physics department of the TU Darmstadt. The series of lectures is held annually and aims to increase the interest of young people in physics. In lectures and experiments on six consecutive Saturdays the high-school students learn about the latest developments in physical research at the university. Those who take part in all six courses receive the "Saturday Morning Physics" diploma. The visit to FAIR and GSI takes place as an excursion within the series. GSI has been one of the sponsors and supporters of this project since the start. (BP)

More information

Website of Saturday Morning Physics

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news-3564 Thu, 28 Nov 2019 10:47:13 +0100 Experimental physicist Heinz-Jürgen Kluge receives prestigious DPG award https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////heinz_juergen_kluge_erhaelt_auszeichnung_der_dpg0.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=f59bc191fc6adc72c6fa30fc7900c53c Professor Heinz-Jürgen Kluge has been awarded the renowned Robert Wichard-Pohl Prize 2020. The German Physical Society (DPG) recently announced this at the DPG Day. The former head of the atomic physics division of the GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung and research director will receive the award in March 2020 during the DPG annual conference in Bonn. Professor Heinz-Jürgen Kluge has been awarded the renowned Robert Wichard-Pohl Prize 2020. The German Physical Society (DPG) recently announced this at the DPG Day. The former head of the atomic physics division of the GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung and research director will receive the award in March 2020 during the DPG annual conference in Bonn.

The Robert Wichard-Pohl Prize is awarded for “outstanding contributions to physics that have a special impact on other disciplines in science and technology as well as for outstanding achievements in the dissemination of scientific knowledge in teaching, instruction and didactics of physics”. In its explanatory statement, the DPG emphasized Jürgen Kluges “groundbreaking experiments and precision measurements in the field of atomic and nuclear physics”. "He not only proved himself to be a brilliant researcher, but also a motivating teacher. His creative societal commitment has also been reflected in the establishment of symposia for students."

Jürgen Kluge studied physics at the University of Bonn and the University of Heidelberg, where he received his doctorate in 1970. As postdoc, he worked at the European Nuclear Research Center CERN, where he used optical spectroscopy to investigate the characteristics of short-lived low-neutron mercury isotopes at the on-line isotope separator ISOLDE. In 1972 he became an assistant in experimental physics at the University of Mainz, where he was habilitated in 1975. He was appointed Professor of Physics at the Universities of Mainz (1978) and Heidelberg (1994).

Since the 1980s, Jürgen Kluge has been closely connected to GSI, from 1989 to 1992 as vice-chairman of the program committee, as an experimenter using the linear accelerator UNICAL, since 1994 as head of the atomic physics division and from 1999 to 2005 as research director of GSI. At CERN from 1983 to 1984 he was spokesman of the ISOLDE collaboration and from 1985 to 1987 head of the ISOLDE physics group as well as from 1984 to 1987 and from 2000 to 2004 member of the program committee PSCC respective INTC.

With his scientific work, Jürgen Kluge has achieved outstanding results in the field of optical spectroscopy and mass spectroscopy. He is regarded a pioneer in the development of high-resolution Penning traps for mass spectrometry of unstable nuclei at accelerators and developed new techniques for storing, cooling and studying radionuclides and highly charged ions. Together with his students from the University of Mainz he built the ISOLTRAP experiment at ISOLDE in 1985, which pioneered similar facilities at Argonne National Laboratory, USA, National Superconducting Laboratory, USA, TRIUMF, Canada, in Jyväslylä, Finland, and also TRIGATRAP at the reactor in Mainz and SHIPTRAP at GSI, which allows spectroscopy on the heaviest elements and which he proposed in 1988. In 1994, he initiated an innovative trap experiment at the University of Mainz to measure the magnetic moment of the electron of a single stored hydrogen-like 12C-Ion. This led to a more precise determination of the electron mass and to the proposal to build HITRAP behind the storage ring ESR at GSI. With this unique experimental facility for highly precise experiments on highly charged ions up to U91+, measurements for testing quantum electrodynamics in extremely strong electromagnetic fields are to be carried out.

For his outstanding research work, the experimental atomic and nuclear physicist already received numerous awards, namely 1990 the Helmholtz Prize for his work on trace analysis with lasers, 2005 he became a fellow of the American Physical Society, 2006 he was awarded the Lise-Meitner Prize of the European Physical Society, 2008 the IUPAP Senior Scientist Medal in Fundamental Metrology and 2013 the G.N. Flerov Prize. (BP)

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news-3562 Mon, 25 Nov 2019 09:37:02 +0100 Christoph Schmelzer Award 2019 for two young researchers https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////christoph_schmelzer_preis_2019_fuer_zwei_junge_forschende0.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=e19219e9dc44543c4bec60ddd9f44ba3 This year, the Christoph Schmelzer Prize was awarded for two doctoral theses: Dr. Sonja Schellhammer from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf and Dr. Sebastian Meyer from the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich were awarded on November 21 at GSI and FAIR. This prize is awarded annually by the Association for the Promotion of Tumor Therapy with Heavy Ions e.V. for outstanding master's and doctoral theses in the field of tumor therapy with ion beams. This year, the Christoph Schmelzer Prize was awarded for two doctoral theses: Dr. Sonja Schellhammer from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf and Dr. Sebastian Meyer from the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich were awarded on November 21 at GSI and FAIR. This prize is awarded annually by the Association for the Promotion of Tumor Therapy with Heavy Ions e.V. for outstanding master's and doctoral theses in the field of tumor therapy with ion beams.

The welcoming addresses for the 21st Christoph Schmelzer Award were given by Professor Paolo Giubellino, Scientific Managing Director of GSI and FAIR, and Professor Gerhard Kraft, founder and former division head of GSI Biophysics, and Dr. Hartmut Eickhoff, Chairman of the Board of the Association, welcomed the participants. Prof. Dr. Dr. Jürgen Debus, Director of the Department of Radiology at the University Hospital of Heidelberg gave the keynote speech. He reported on long-term experiences in radiation therapy with heavy ions and on current study results.

In her dissertation at the TU Dresden, Dr. Sonja Schellhammer studied imaging using magnetic resonance tomography (MRT) during treatment with proton beams. The long-term goal of this combination is a more precise localization of the tumor volume. At the Institute for Radiooncology (OncoRay) of the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf, the world's first magnetic resonance scanner integrated into a proton beam guidance was constructed in 2017. Schellhammer's work entitled "Technical Feasibility of MR-Integrated Proton Therapy: Beam Deflection and Image Quality" analyzes both the effect of the MRT magnetic fields on the proton beam and the effect of the proton beam guidance on the quality of the resulting MRT image.

Dr. Sebastian Meyer studied for his dissertation whether ion beam computed tomography instead of X-ray computed tomography has potential for clinical use and which different detector systems and ion species would be suitable. For this purpose, he simulated CT images that can be obtained using protons, helium and carbon ion beams. In his doctoral thesis entitled "On the Clinical Potential of Ion Computed Tomography with Different Detector Systems and Ion Species", he also evaluated the integration of these images into tumor treatment planning and the resulting improvement in irradiation accuracy.

The prize money is 1500 Euro each. This award, now in its 21st year, represents a long-term continuity in the promotion of young talents in the field of ion beam tumor therapy. The topics of the scientific work are of fundamental importance for the further development of ion beam therapy, since the results of the award-winning work often find their way into clinical application. The award is named after Professor Christoph Schmelzer, co-founder and first Scientific Managing Director of GSI. The GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung where heavy ion therapy was developed to clinical maturity in Germany in the 1990s traditionally provides the appropriate setting for the annual ceremony.

The Association for the Promotion of Tumor Therapy supports research activities in the field of tumor therapy with heavy ions with the aim of improving the treatment of tumors and providing general patient care. At the accelerator facility at GSI, more than 400 patients with tumors in the head and neck area were treated with ion beams as part of a pilot project from 1997 to 2008. The cure rates of this method are in some cases over 90 percent and the side effects are very low. The success of the pilot project led to the establishment of clinical ion beam therapy centers in Heidelberg and Marburg, where patients are now routinely treated with heavy ions. (LW)

Further information:

Association for the Promotion of Tumor Therapy with Heavy Ions e.V.

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news-3560 Fri, 22 Nov 2019 12:05:41 +0100 Hessian politicians visit energy-efficient "Green IT Cube" at GSI and FAIR https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////hessische_politikerinnen_besuchen_green_it_cube0.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=0c7953e7c4d2b41f543e0637bcf525ca The energy-efficient high-performance computer center "Green IT Cube" and the progress of the FAIR project were the central themes of the visit of the Hessian politicians Martina Feldmayer, Kaya Kinkel and Ursula auf der Heide from Bündnis 90/DieGrünen at GSI and FAIR. They were received by Dr. Thorsten Kollegger, the Head of the IT Department of GSI and FAIR, and Dr. Ingo Peter, the Head of Public Relations of GSI and FAIR. The energy-efficient high-performance computer center "Green IT Cube" and the progress of the FAIR project were the central themes of the visit of the Hessian politicians Martina Feldmayer, Kaya Kinkel and Ursula auf der Heide from Bündnis 90/Die Grünen at GSI and FAIR. They were received by Dr. Thorsten Kollegger, the Head of the IT Department of GSI and FAIR, and Dr. Ingo Peter, the Head of Public Relations of GSI and FAIR.

The visit of the politicians was part of an information tour to several computer centers in the state of Hesse. Hessian Parliament Representative Martina Feldmayer is deputy chairwoman of the parliamentary group Bündnis 90/DieGrünen, spokeswoman for environmental and climate policy and a member of the parliamentary committee for the environment, climate protection, agriculture and consumer protection as well as the main committee. Member of the Hessian State Parliament Kaya Kinkel is spokeswoman for energy and economic policy and deputy chairwoman of the parliamentary committee for digital affairs and data protection and member of the parliamentary committee for economic affairs, energy, transport and housing. Ursula auf der Heide is member of the town council of Frankfurt and deputy chairwoman of the parliamentary group Bündnis 90/Die Grünen in the council. She is also a member of the city's committees for environment and sports as well as for economic affairs and women.

The "Green IT Cube" on the GSI/FAIR campus is one of the most capable scientific computing centers in the world. At the same time, it sets standards in IT technology and energy saving: Thanks to a special cooling system, it is particularly energy- and cost-efficient. Instead of air, the computers are cooled with water. Therefore, the energy required for cooling is less than seven percent of the electrical power used for computing. In conventional data centers with air cooling, this relation amounts to 30 up to 100 percent. The innovative cooling system also enables a compact and space-saving design. Scientists use the "Green IT Cube" at GSI and FAIR to carry out simulations and develop detectors for FAIR. They also evaluate measurement data from experiments at the accelerator facilities of GSI and FAIR.

After visiting the "Green IT Cube", the guests had the opportunity to inform themselves about the current status of the FAIR construction project and to view the ongoing work on the 20-hectare construction site, from the completed sections for the central ring accelerator SIS100 to the excavation pit for the first of the future large-scale experiments. (BP)

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news-3555 Wed, 20 Nov 2019 09:00:00 +0100 A new approach to the hunt for dark matter https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////neuer_ansatz_bei_der_suche_nach_dunkler_materie0.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=85b20473abac8b10cbf1119244976705 A study that takes a novel approach to the search for dark matter has been performed by the BASE Collaboration at CERN working together with a team at the PRISMA+ Cluster of Excellence at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU). For the first time the researchers are exploring how dark matter influences antimatter instead of standard matter. Their findings are now published in the latest edition of eminent scientific journal Nature. The news is based on a press release of the Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz

A study that takes a novel approach to the search for dark matter has been performed by the BASE Collaboration at CERN working together with a team at the PRISMA+ Cluster of Excellence at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU). For the first time the researchers are exploring how dark matter influences antimatter instead of standard matter. Their findings are now published in the latest edition of eminent scientific journal Nature.

They are the results of research undertaken by scientists at the GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung in Darmstadt, Japan’s RIKEN research center, the Max Planck Institute of Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg (MPIK) and the National Metrology Institute Braunschweig (PTB), working jointly in the Max Planck-RIKEN-PTB Center for Time, Constants and Fundamental Symmetries, as well as scientists from CERN, the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU), the Helmholtz Institute Mainz (HIM), the University of Tokyo, and the Leibniz University Hannover.

"To date, scientists have always conducted high-precision experiments at low energies using matter-based samples in the hope of finding a link to dark matter," explains Dr. Christian Smorra, the lead author of the study. Currently working at Japan’s RIKEN research institute, he intends to use an ERC Starting Grant to establish a work group at JGU’s Institute of Physics. "Now we’ve decided to search explicitly for interactions between dark matter and antimatter. It is generally assumed that interactions of dark matter will be symmetric for particles and antiparticles. Our study seeks to determine whether this is really the case."

The project’s participants in fact see a double benefit in this approach: Little is known at this point about the microscopic characteristics of dark matter. At present one much-discussed possible component of dark matter is what is known as ALPs (axion-like particles). Moreover, the standard model of particle physics offers no explanation of why there is apparently so much more matter than antimatter in our universe. "Through our experiments, we hope to find clues that could provide a link between these two aspects," notes Dr. Yevgeny Stadnik, who participated in the study as part of a Humboldt Fellowship at HIM. "Possible asymmetrical interactions of this kind have not yet been explored, neither at the theoretical nor at the experimental level. Our current research work is taking a first real step in that direction."

The scientists are focusing their attention on one single antiproton that has been captured in a special device known as a Penning trap. The particle was produced by scientists using the Antiproton Decelerator (AD) at CERN, the world’s only research institution capable of generating low-energy antiprotons. The scientists then stored and experimented with the antiprotons created there using the BASE Collaboration’s trap system.

An antiproton has both a charge and a spin. Within a magnetic field, the spin precesses around the magnetic field lines at a constant, highly specific rate – known as the Larmor or spin precession frequency. "This means we can detect the presence of dark matter as it influences this frequency," says Christian Smorra. "For this purpose, we assume that potential dark matter particles act in the same way as a classical field with a specific wavelength. The waves produced by dark matter pass continuously through our experiment and thus have a periodic effect on the spin precession frequency of the antiproton that would otherwise be expected to remain constant."

Using their experimental set-up, the researchers have already explored a specific frequency range but without success - no evidence pointing to the influence of dark matter has come to light to date. "We've not yet been able to identify any significant and periodic changes to the antiproton’s spin precession frequency using our current measurement concept," explains Stefan Ulmer, spokesperson of the BASE Collaboration at CERN. "But we have managed to achieve levels of sensitivity as much as five orders of magnitude greater than those employed for observations related to astrophysics. As a result, we can now redefine the upper limit for the strength of any potential interactions between dark matter and antimatter based on the levels of sensitivity we’ve managed to accomplish."

The current project in effect merged the efforts of two research groups. The BASE Collaboration at CERN has a long and successful history of research into the fundamental properties of antiprotons, while the group led by Prof. Dmitry Budker, a researcher at the PRISMA+ Cluster of Excellence at JGU and HIM, is very active in the search for dark matter and provided important interpretive input to the study. "We determined that there is a great deal of overlap in our research and this resulted in the idea for this new approach in the search for dark matter," points out Dmitry Budker.

Going forward, the scientists hope to further enhance the precision of measurement of antiproton spin precession frequency – an essential requirement if the antimatter-based search for dark matter is to prove successful. In this connection, a team headed by Prof. Jochen Walz at the Institute of Physics at JGU, working in collaboration with MPIK and RIKEN, is developing new methods for cooling protons and antiprotons, while a group of scientists from PTB Braunschweig, the Leibniz University Hannover, and RIKEN is implementing methods for quantum logic based antiproton-spin-state readout. A variety of other promising and similar antiparticle-related studies also beckon, for example, using positrons and antimuons. (JGU/BP)

Original publication

Scientific publication in Nature (Englisch)

Further information

BASE experiment

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news-3557 Mon, 18 Nov 2019 09:00:00 +0100 PANDA Collaboration honors PhD: Prize for Dr. Silke Grieser https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////panda_kollaboration_zeichnet_doktorandin_aus0.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=3610e2024e459ef80081661e1c34e6e6 Dr. Silke Grieser has been honoured with the Panda PhD Prize 2019 for her doctoral thesis at GSI, FAIR, and the Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität in Münster. She received the award at the most recent PANDA Collaboration Meeting in Darmstadt. Dr. Silke Grieser has been honoured with the Panda PhD Prize 2019 for her doctoral thesis at GSI, FAIR, and the Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität in Münster. She received the award at the most recent PANDA Collaboration Meeting in Darmstadt.

Dr. Silke Griese received the prize for her dissertation titled „Cluster-Jet Targets for the PANDA-, MAGIX-, and CryoFlash-Experiments at Hadron-, Lepton-, and Laser-Facilities“. Her doctoral advisor was Professor Alfons Khoukaz from the Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität in Münster. The award was presented by the spokesman of the Panda Collaboration, Klaus Peters from GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung.

The Panda Collaboration has awarded the PhD Prize once per year since 2013 in order to honor the best dissertation written in connection with the Panda Experiment. Panda will be one of the key experiments of the future accelerator center FAIR. The experiment focuses on antimatter research as well as on various topics related to the weak and the strong force, exotic states of matter, and the structure of hadrons. More than 500 scientists from 20 countries currently work in the Panda Collaboration. In her dissertation, Dr. Silke Grieser studied various aspects of Cluster Jets in order to produce an abundant number of exotic particles within the Panda detector, which is being built at the FAIR accelerator facility.

Candidates for the PhD Prize are nominated by their doctoral advisors. In addition to being directly related to the Panda Experiment, the nominees’ doctoral degrees must have received a rating of “very good” or better. Up to three candidates are shortlisted for the award and can present their dissertations at the Panda Collaboration meeting. The winner is chosen by a committee that is appointed for this task by the Panda Collaboration. The Panda Collaboration awards the PhD Prize to specifically honor students’ contributions to the Panda project. (BP)

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news-3553 Fri, 15 Nov 2019 14:00:00 +0100 Exhibition "50 Jahre GSI – Lieblingsbilder und Erinnerungen " opened https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////ausstellung_50_jahre0.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=7bbd9ef72b74e3f33eb6c893e37e4226 GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. It was founded in December 1969. The anniversary celebrations also included two very special activities: On the one hand, the ten favorite photos from five decades of GSI history were chosen. On the other hand, the current and former employees had the opportunity to submit their personal memories of their time at GSI as a short story. The results can now be seen in a public exhibition. GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. It was founded in December 1969. The anniversary celebrations also included two very special activities: On the one hand, the ten favorite photos from five decades of GSI history were chosen. On the other hand, the current and former employees had the opportunity to submit their personal memories of their time at GSI as a short story. The results can now be seen in the public exhibition "50 Jahre GSI – Lieblingsbilder und Erinnerungen". At the opening, Professor Karlheinz Langanke, Research Director of FAIR and GSI, addressed the audience.

"GSI looks back on an impressive history with numerous scientific discoveries and, at the same time, with the construction of the international FAIR accelerator, into an eventful future that will lead us to many more highlights," said Professor Langanke. "The photos in the exhibition show just how appealing and aesthetic research can be visually. The memories give an insight into the work characterized by esteem and cooperation here on campus and, of course, also in an international environment. Our goal is to uphold these values also in the future."

The exhibition shows the ten favorite pictures chosen by staff and outsiders as large-format photo prints. Nearly 500 people took the opportunity to select their favorites from a total of 50 historical and current photos of the accelerators and experimental facilities. The photos presented are the ten with the most votes. In addition to images of detectors and accelerator components, the most frequently selected photos also include more unusual motifs, such as an autumnal impression of the campus or the visit of a Star Wars costume club.

In addition, a selection of twelve illustrated GSI memories will be presented on posters. The contributions were submitted by former and current employees as well as scientific guests from previous years. In a partly serious and partly humorous way, they portray events, encounters, successes and the overarching cooperation in the various fields of work on the campus and thus represent a lived culture of scientific exchange and joint commitment.

The exhibition will take place in the foyer of the Konferenz- und Bürogebäude West (KBW) on the GSI/FAIR Campus, Planckstraße 1, 64291 Darmstadt, Germany, and will be open from November 15 to December 20, 2019 from Monday to Friday between 10 am and 4 pm. External guests are requested to bring an identification document with them for admission to the campus. (CP)

Further information
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news-3549 Wed, 13 Nov 2019 09:18:00 +0100 FAIR-GSI PhD Award 2019 for Kristian König https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////phd_award0.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=06c6e10fb741989062c110570aa7cc43 Dr. Kristian König has been honored with the FAIR-GSI PhD Award 2019. The annual award is endowed with 1,000 euros by Pfeiffer Vacuum. The award was presented not long ago by Professor Karlheinz Langanke, Research Director of FAIR and GSI, and Daniel Sälzer, Managing Director of Pfeiffer Vacuum GmbH, in the framework of the GSI-FAIR Colloquium. Dr. Kristian König has been honored with the FAIR-GSI PhD Award 2019. The annual award is endowed with 1,000 euros by Pfeiffer Vacuum. The award was presented recently by Professor Karlheinz Langanke, Research Director of FAIR and GSI, and Daniel Sälzer, Managing Director of Pfeiffer Vacuum GmbH, in the framework of the GSI-FAIR Colloquium. 

The research work for his thesis "Laser-Based High-Voltage Metrology with ppm Accuracy" was carried out by Kristian König in the research group of Professor Wilfried Nörtershäuser at the Technical University Darmstadt. The precise measurement of high voltages of several 10,000 volts is necessary in many areas of technology. Precision experiments in physics sometimes require accuracies down to one millionth of the measured voltage (1 ppm = 1 part per million). Kristian König has succeeded in measuring such voltages with the aid of a laser. He achieved this by accelerating ions (positively charged atoms) with the voltage to be measured and then measuring the influence of velocity on the "color" (frequency) of the light emitted by the ions. This method makes use of the Doppler effect which is known from daily life: If an ambulance with a siren approaches the observer at high speed, he hears a much higher tone than if the car were stationary. If the ambulance moves away, the sound becomes lower. If the pitch (frequency) is measured and the pitch of the resting siren is known, the speed of the ambulance can be calculated. Exactly the same happens with the light that atoms or ions emit in flight. This optical Doppler effect can be determined with extreme precision using lasers if the properties of the ion beam and the laser beam are controlled extremely well. Kristian König has constructed a setup enabling him to measure voltages to an accuracy of 5 ppm using this method. This accuracy is 20 times higher than what had been reached ever before with this technique. Such precise measurements are needed, for example, to determine the velocity of ions in the storage rings at GSI and at the future FAIR facility, and thus are crucial for a variety of precision experiments.

Pfeiffer Vacuum and GSI have a long-standing partnership. Vacuum solutions from Pfeiffer Vacuum have been used successfully in experimental setups at GSI for decades.

The annual FAIR-GSI PhD Award honors the best doctoral dissertation completed during the previous year. Eligible for nominations are dissertations that were financially supported by GSI as part of its strategic partnerships with the universities of Darmstadt, Frankfurt, Giessen, Heidelberg, Jena, and Mainz, or through the research and development program. In the framework of the Graduate School HGS-HIRe (Helmholtz Graduate School for Hadron and Ion Research), more than 300 PhD students currently perform research for their doctoral dissertations on topics closely related to GSI and FAIR. (CP)

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FAIR
news-3551 Mon, 11 Nov 2019 09:00:00 +0100 Cooperation meeting between GSI/FAIR and Forschungszentrum Jülich https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////kooperationstreffen_von_gsi_fair_und_forschungszentrum_juelich0.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=075d2de142067693bb597627ab3c7206 The current and future cooperation between GSI/FAIR and the divisions of the Nuclear Physics Institute (IKP) at Forschungszentrum Jülich was recently the subject of a meeting with representatives of both research institutions on the GSI campus in Darmstadt. The aim was to structure interfaces of existing projects, identify future cooperation projects, generate synergies at the same time and record the results in project profiles. The current and future cooperation between GSI/FAIR and the divisions of the Nuclear Physics Institute (IKP) at Forschungszentrum Jülich was recently the subject of a meeting with representatives of both research institutions on the GSI campus in Darmstadt. The aim was to structure interfaces of existing projects, identify future cooperation projects, generate synergies at the same time and record the results in project profiles. These preliminaries serve as basis for a collaboration agreement, which will describe the future cooperation of the institutes. The next meeting already follows.

The successful cooperation between GSI/FAIR and the IKP in science, accelerator technology and the FAIR project has existed for a long time and was a solid foundation for the contents of the workshop. The focus was on the topic "accelerators", from planning and implementation to operation as well as the associated technology and interfaces. The 30 different projects recorded during the event cover a wide range and are now described in concrete terms with milestones, deadlines and resources. Thematically, they range from the existing FAIR subprojects for the high-energy storage ring HESR and the research pillar PANDA to other subprojects such as the Collector Ring (Beam Cooling) or Commons (vacuum, beam diagnosis and power supply units) and the desired future cooperation in the fields of installation, commissioning and operation of the accelerator facilities.

A total of 50 people took part in the two-day workshop, about half of them came from Jülich, from the Institute Division "Large-scale nuclear physics facilities". One of them was Dr. Ralf Gebel, its acting director. The guests were welcomed by Jörg Blaurock, Technical Managing Director of GSI and FAIR. In addition to the joint workshop, a visit to the FAIR construction site was also scheduled, including the completed sections of the central ring accelerator SIS100. In addition, the event offered participants the opportunity to exchange ideas intensively and fostered mutual understanding.

Now another event follows. This time the workshop focuses on cooperation topics in research and experiments.(BP)

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news-3545 Thu, 07 Nov 2019 14:17:00 +0100 Photopoint for the anniversary: 25 years ago the chemical element darmstadtium was discovered https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////photopoint0.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=65abce1dd8c0f08be62af787a8c16dae It was one of the greatest successes in fundamental research at the GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung and at the same time a moment that became a landmark in the history of the city of Darmstadt: that 9 November 1994 at 4.39 p.m., when for the first time the chemical element 110 was produced in the GSI particle accelerator. In the meantime, it is named after its place of discovery "darmstadtium". It was one of the greatest successes in fundamental research at the GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung and at the same time a moment that became a landmark in the history of the city of Darmstadt: that November 9, 1994, at 4:39 p.m., when for the first time the chemical element 110 was produced in the GSI particle accelerator. In the meantime, it is named after its place of discovery "darmstadtium" and Darmstadt, the city of science, is the only German city eternalized in the periodic table of the elements. In addition, the element gave its name to the science and congress center "darmstadtium". GSI and the congress center remember the discovery 25 years ago with a specially designed photopoint in the foyer of the "darmstadtium", which has now been opened on the occasion of the anniversary.

The new photopoint symbolizes cutting-edge research, which is world-leading and at the same time rooted in the region, and, as a further piece of the mosaic, sharpens the profile of Darmstadt as a city of science. The Scientific Managing Director of GSI and FAIR, Professor Paolo Giubellino, and the Lord Mayor of Darmstadt, Jochen Partsch, jointly opened the event. Professor Sigurd Hofmann, head of the discovery team of the element darmstadtium, gave a review of the history around the first production of element 110. The anniversary of the darmstadtium's first production also coincides with the International Year of the Periodic Table proclaimed by the United Nations: 2019 marks the 150th anniversary of the discovery of the Periodic Table.

The photopoint shows the decisive steps of the chemical element darmstadtium: discovery on November 9, 1994, official recognition by IUPAC (International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry) on August 15, 2003, naming ceremony on December 2, 2003. In addition, the decay chain of the element is depicted, the measurement of which allows the identification of the element.

To produce darmstadtium, nickel nuclei in a particle accelerator are shot with a speed of around 30,000 kilometers per second onto an extremely thin lead foil. When the two atomic nuclei merge, the element darmstadtium is formed. GSI also succeeded in discovering five other chemical elements: bohrium, hassium, meitnerium, roentgenium and copernicium. So, thanks to GSI, also the state of Hesse is the only German federal state to be honored in the periodic table.

In addition to all the reviews, the hashtag #UniverseInTheLab at the photopoint indicates the future: With the international accelerator center FAIR, currently under construction at GSI, scientists will be able to study the universe in the laboratory to address fundamental questions such as the origin of the chemical elements and the evolution of the universe.

The photopoint is 2.5 meters high, 1.2 meters wide and stands on a small platform. The arrangement also includes a 40-centimetre luminous cube to symbolize the element darmstadtium, which is very tiny in physical reality and only exists for a fraction of a second. The guests in the congress center can set themselves in scene in this photographic backdrop and eternalize themselves with a lot of imagination – an exciting piece of science to touch. The resulting photos can be published under the hashtag #UniverseInTheLab. (BP)

About GSI/FAIR:

The GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung in Darmstadt operates one of the world's leading particle accelerator facilities for research. Researchers from all over the world use the facility for experiments to gain new insights into the structure of matter and the evolution of the universe. In addition, they develop new applications in medicine and technology. The new Facility for Antiproton and Ion Research FAIR is currently being built in international cooperation. It is one of the largest research projects worldwide. Around 3,000 scientists from all over the world can conduct cutting-edge research at FAIR.

About the science and congress center "darmstadtium":

Whether for international conventions, meetings, product launches, annual general meetings or trade fairs, the Congress Centre Darmstadt provides excellent conditions for all kinds of events. Sustainability and the exceptional and awarded IT infrastructure make it Germany's fastest congress center with a 20Gbit/s redundant internet connection. It is situated in the heart of the city and has a direct connection to Frankfurt International Airport every 30 minutes.

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news-3547 Wed, 06 Nov 2019 18:09:00 +0100 European Physical Society visits FAIR and GSI https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////eps0.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=031fe81452033e8ee27212ef8f780592 Recently, the Nuclear Physics Board of the European Physical Society (EPS) visited the facilities of FAIR and GSI at its biannual meeting. The Board is the highest body for nuclear physics within the EPS. Recently, the Nuclear Physics Board of the European Physical Society (EPS) visited the facilities of FAIR and GSI at its biannual meeting. The Board is the highest body for nuclear physics within the EPS.

In a series of lectures, the participants learned more about the science at GSI during FAIR Phase 0, about the progress in the construction of the FAIR accelerators and detectors, and about the future research possibilities at FAIR. The FAIR-relevant efforts of the partner universities in Darmstadt and Frankfurt were also presented. The board also took a look at the FAIR progress from the FAIR viewpoint onto the construction site.

The European Physical Society is an association of 42 European physical societies. Founded in 1968, the scientific society represents over 100,000 physicists in Europe. Its headquarters are in Mulhouse, France. With over 62,000 members, the German Physical Society is the largest member of the EPS. Its purpose is the organization of conferences and the promotion of scientific exchange. (CP)

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news-3543 Wed, 06 Nov 2019 09:00:00 +0100 The alchemy of merging neutron stars https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////verschmelzende_neutronensterne00.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=8e12387a78aedb76f94ff3418e0fdb48 For the first time, astronomers have identified a chemical element that was freshly formed by the merging of two neutron stars. The underlying mechanism, called the r-process – also known as rapid neutron capture – is considered to be the origin of large quantities of elements heavier than iron. This discovery sheds new light on the mystery of the environments in which this r-process takes place. This news is based on a press release of the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy, Heidelberg

For the first time, astronomers have identified a chemical element that was freshly formed by the merging of two neutron stars. The underlying mechanism, called the r-process – also known as rapid neutron capture – is considered to be the origin of large quantities of elements heavier than iron. This discovery sheds new light on the mystery of the environments in which this r-process takes place. The team of astronomers, also including scientists of FAIR and GSI, has now unequivocally demonstrated that the fusion of two neutron stars creates the conditions for this process and acts as a reactor in which new elements are bred.

The origin of heavy elements such as gold, lead and uranium has not yet been fully clarified. The lightest elements – hydrogen and helium – were already formed in significant quantities with the Big Bang. Nuclear fusion in the cores of stars is also a well-established source of atoms in the mass range from helium to iron.

For the production of heavier atoms, scientists suspect a process that attaches free neutrons to already existing building blocks. The fast variant of this mechanism is the so-called r-process (r stands for rapid) or fast neutron capture. At present, research is being carried out to determine which objects might be sites where this reaction takes place. Possible candidates so far are a rare type of supernova explosions and the merging of dense stellar remnants like binary neutron stars.

Large amounts of strontium form within less than a second

An international group of astronomers with substantial participation of Camilla Juul Hansen from the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy (MPIA) in Heidelberg has now discovered the signature of the element strontium, which was formed by the r-process during an explosive fusion of two neutron stars. With on average 88 nucleons, of which 38 are protons, it is heavier than iron. Professor Almudena Arcones and Privatdozent Andreas Bauswein were also involved in the publication in the scientific journal Nature. In addition to their activities in the research department for theoretical physics at FAIR and GSI, they are also active at the Technical University of Darmstadt and at the University of Heidelberg, both partner universities of FAIR and GSI. They provided valuable estimates for the publication. The process and characteristics of the r-process are among the important research questions to be investigated at the future FAIR accelerator facility currently under construction in Darmstadt.

The explosive merger produced a raging expansion shell moving with 20% to 30% of the speed of light. It consists of newly formed matter, of which strontium alone amounts to about five Earth masses (1 Earth mass = 6·1024 kg). Thus, for the first time, the researchers provide clear evidence that such a collision provides the conditions for the r-process in which heavy elements form. Besides, this is the first empirical confirmation that neutron stars consist of neutrons.

The r-process is truly rapid. Per second, more than 10²² neutrons flow through an area of one square centimetre. The beta decay transforms some of the accumulated neutrons into protons, emitting one electron and one antineutrino each. The special aspect about this mechanism is that the neutrons combine to form large compounds faster than the newly formed conglomerates break up again. In this way, even heavy elements can grow from individual neutrons within less than a second.

Merging neutron stars produce gravitational waves

Using the Very Large Telescope (VLT) of the European Southern Observatory (ESO), scientists obtained spectra following the spectacular discovery of the gravitational wave signal GW170817 in August 2017. In addition to a gamma-ray burst, the kilonova AT2017gfo, an afterglow in visible light due to radioactive processes, which faded within a few days after an initial sharp increase in brightness, occurred at the same location. The first analysis of the spectra in 2017 by another group of researchers did not yield a clear result about the composition of the reaction products.

Dr. Hansen and her colleagues based their re-evaluation on creating synthetic spectra and modelling the observed spectra, which were recorded over four days at intervals of one day each. The spectra indicate an object with an initial temperature of about 3700 K (approx. 3400 °C), which faded and cooled in the following days. The brightness deficits at wavelengths of 350 and 850 nm are conspicuous. These are like fingerprints of the element that absorbs light at these parts of the spectrum.

Taking into account the blue shift of these absorption lines caused by the Doppler effect the expansion following the merger event produces, the research group calculated spectra of a large number of atoms using three increasingly complex methods. Since these methods all yielded consistent results, the final conclusion is robust. It turned out that only strontium generated by the r-process is able to explain the positions and strength of the absorption features in the spectra.

Progress in the understanding of the nucleosynthesis of heavy elements

“The results of this work are an important step in deciphering the nucleosynthesis of heavy elements and their cosmic sources,” Hansen concludes. “This was only possible by combining the new discipline of gravitational wave astronomy with precise spectroscopy of electromagnetic radiation. These new methods give hope for further ground-breaking insights into the nature of the r-process.” (CP)

Further Information:
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news-3539 Mon, 04 Nov 2019 11:30:00 +0100 FAIR large-scale experiment CBM: Collaboration meeting in India https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////cbm_kollaborationstreffen_in_indien0.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=8154c68381972b7595d5bd9436f4f1f5 The status and next steps towards the realization of the CBM experiment – one of the four major research pillars of the future accelerator center FAIR – were the focus of the latest CBM collaboration meeting in India. The meeting with about 100 participants recently took place at the new campus of the Indian FAIR shareholder, the Bose-Institute in Kolkata. The status and next steps towards the realization of the CBM experiment – one of the four major research pillars of the future accelerator center FAIR – were the focus of the latest CBM collaboration meeting in India. The meeting with about 100 participants recently took place at the new campus of the Indian FAIR shareholder, the Bose-Institute in Kolkata.

The 34. CBM collaboration meeting was preceded by further sessions at the end of September: These included the “CBM Software School”, a “Students Day” and a workshop "FAIR and CBM – Prospects and Challenges" at University of Gauhati in Guwahati. Indian scientists are strongly involved in the CBM experiment and play a primary role: India provides a major in-kind contribution to CBM, which is the GEM and RPC tracking chambers for the muon detection system. In total 13 Indian institutions participate in the design of the muon system, perform feasibility studies and build twelve large-area detector stations.

An essential intermediate goal on the way to the realization of the CBM experiment is the successful commissioning of the miniCBM experiment at GSI/SIS18, which was one of the key points of the discussions. The director of the Bose-Institute, Professor Uday Bandyopadhyay, also participated in the CBM Collaboration Board Meeting. He expressed his strong interest in the collaboration with FAIR.

Another important item was the appointment of Piotr Gasik as the new CBM Technical Coordinator. Piotr Gasik was coordinating the upgrade of the Time-Projection Chamber (TPC) at the ALICE experiment of the European Nuclear Research Center CERN with GEM based (Gas Electron Multiplier) read-out chambers. Now he coordinates their integration into the experiment at CERN. Piotr Gasik succeeds Walter Müller, who served as Technical Coordinator from the beginning of CBM, i.e. for more than 15 years. At the last evening of the meeting, the participants from Germany and the Indian hosts had a joint get-together with the Consul General of Germany in Kolkata, Dr. Michael Feiner. (BP)

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news-3541 Wed, 30 Oct 2019 10:45:55 +0100 Video: The History of Element Discovery https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////video_die_entdeckungsgeschichte_der_elemente0.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=52faecbfad0fe450ecc8bbee3a636b93 How was the periodic table created and do we already know all the elements that exist in the universe? An animated film by GSI and FAIR summarizes the history of the discovery of the elements: from the Ancient World to the creation of new elements at particle accelerator facilities such as GSI and FAIR. The year 2019 is proclaimed by the United Nations as the International Year of the Periodic Table, which celebrates its 150th anniversary this year. How was the periodic table created and do we already know all the elements that exist in the universe? An animated film by GSI and FAIR summarizes the history of the discovery of the elements: from the Ancient World to the creation of new elements at particle accelerator facilities such as GSI and FAIR. The year 2019 is proclaimed by the United Nations as the International Year of the Periodic Table, which celebrates its 150th anniversary this year.

Exactly 150 years ago, the Russian chemist Dmitri Mendeleev published an order for the chemical elements which has been retained to this day: the periodic table of elements. On the occasion of the anniversary, GSI and FAIR, the laboratory of the element discoverers, illuminate the history of the discovery of the elements.

According to IUPAC (International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry), the periodic table is one of the most outstanding achievements of science, containing the essence of chemistry, physics and biology. It is a unique tool that has enabled scientists to predict the structure and properties of matter on Earth and throughout the universe.

Experiments at the GSI accelerator facility in Darmstadt enabled scientists to discover six new elements, amongst them the elements darmstadtium and hassium, in honor of the city and the land of the laboratory.

The history of element discovery (YouTube)

Further activities on the Year of the Periodic Table of GSI and FAIR

Periodic Table for Schools for free

Lecture Series Wissenschaft für Alle

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news-3537 Mon, 28 Oct 2019 09:47:48 +0100 Positive trade fair balance: FAIR project presented at Expo Real https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////positive_messe_bilanz_fair_projekt_auf_der_expo_real_praesentiert0.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=6f01d894bda905ae26c6e9b483bed9bd The current construction planning and the next steps towards the realization of the mega construction project FAIR (Facility for Antiproton and Ion Research) were the focus of this year's trade fair presentation at Expo Real in Munich. The result of the participation in the internationally renowned real estate trade fair was again very positive. The current construction planning and the next steps towards the realization of the mega construction project FAIR (Facility for Antiproton and Ion Research) were the focus of this year's trade fair presentation at Expo Real in Munich. The result of the participation in the internationally renowned real estate trade fair was again very positive.

The worldwide unique building project for science could be presented to the industrial sector with a lot of exciting news and was met with great interest by the visitors. Potential contractors and bidding syndicates for the upcoming work on the FAIR construction site actively took advantage of opportunities to hold direct and comprehensive talks about the construction plans for FAIR and find out about possible participation.

At present, the FAIR realization project has a large order volume related to the complex area of technical building services. There are numerous tenders and contracts to be awarded, for example for ventilation systems, sanitation, safety technology and electrical engineering. In addition, in the field of construction contracts, the focus is now shifting to the second major construction area in addition to construction area North with the central FAIR ring accelerator, which is in the process of realization. The current issue is the awarding of contracts for the extended shell construction on construction area south.

In-depth talks at the trade fair stand, a whole series of very focused one-on-one discussions and the acquisition of numerous new contacts with experts contributed to the fact that participation in the 2019 trade fair can be regarded as a success. The presence of many relevant players from the construction sector on the days of the fair also provided an excellent opportunity to further enhance the FAIR project profile in the construction industry. The expert discussions confirmed once again that a custom-made megaproject such as FAIR can be very attractive is for a construction company’s portfolio due to its unique selling points.

The proven partnership with the science city of Darmstadt was continued this year. The FAIR project had its own presentation at the Darmstadt stand, which was featured as part of the Frankfurt Rhine-Main metropolitan area. With around 45,000 visitors and exhibitors from more than 40 countries, the Expo Real trade fair is one of Europe’s most important get-togethers for the real estate, construction, and location marketing sectors. (BP)

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news-3535 Thu, 24 Oct 2019 11:54:32 +0200 Korean guests at FAIR and GSI https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////koreanische_gaeste0.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=6bddd6cd198cc52e2e8a3d0e8f271276 Recently, Professor Myeun Kwon, Director of the accelerator center RAON (Rare isotope Accelerator complex for ON-line experiments) in Daejeon, South-Korea, visited the facilities of GSI and FAIR with a delegation. With RAON, a large-scale research facility for nuclear physics with heavy ion beams is being built in Korea. Accordingly, the guests were particularly interested in an exchange of experiences on questions of organization and technical implementation of FAIR. Recently, Professor Myeun Kwon, Director of the accelerator center RAON (Rare isotope Accelerator complex for ON-line experiments) in Daejeon, South-Korea, visited the facilities of GSI and FAIR with a delegation. With RAON, a large-scale research facility for nuclear physics with heavy ion beams is being built in Korea. Accordingly, the guests were particularly interested in an exchange of experiences on questions of organization and technical implementation of FAIR.

Jörg Blaurock, Technical Managing Director of FAIR and GSI, and Professor Karlheinz Langanke, Research Director of FAIR and GSI, welcomed the group and informed them about the scientific goals and the status of realization of the FAIR project in a talk followed by a discussion. Afterwards they accompanied the guests to the FAIR construction site, where the Korean group took a look at the FAIR construction progress. An introduction to the technical challenges and scientific capabilities of the FAIR ring accelerator SIS100 and a tour of the testing facility for superconducting FAIR magnets lead by Dr. Peter Spiller, head of the subproject SIS100, were also part of the day's program. (CP)

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news-3533 Tue, 22 Oct 2019 10:06:15 +0200 Members of the European Parliament visiting GSI and FAIR https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////abgeordnete_des_europaparlaments_besuchen_gsi_und_fair0.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=3a51c2255d7df4c026d1d1789e315027 Members of the "Renew Europe" parliamentary group, the third largest political group within the European Parliament, as well as their staff and consultants were guests at GSI and FAIR. They were informed about current research, infrastructures and the future accelerator center FAIR, which is currently under construction at GSI. The international guests were welcomed by Professor Paolo Giubellino, Scientific Managing Director of GSI and FAIR, and Jörg Blaurock, Technical Managing Director of GSI and FAIR. Members of the "Renew Europe" parliamentary group, the third largest political group within the European Parliament, as well as their staff and consultants were guests at GSI and FAIR. They were informed about current research, infrastructures and the future accelerator center FAIR, which is currently under construction at GSI. The international guests were welcomed by Professor Paolo Giubellino, Scientific Managing Director of GSI and FAIR, and Jörg Blaurock, Technical Managing Director of GSI and FAIR.

The visit was part of a closed meeting of "Renew Europe" in Frankfurt, during which information tours to international top locations were also undertaken. On the GSI and FAIR campus, the more than 100 European political visitors gained insights into the scientific successes and current status of the FAIR project, one of the largest construction projects for cutting-edge research worldwide and at the same time a strong pillar of the German and European research landscape in global competition. The FAIR and GSI management provided background information and offered a compact overview of science, structural and technical progress, and the development at the site in the heart of the Rhine-Main region.

The FAIR project is rated by experts as a top international science project for decades, offering world class opportunities and outstanding potential for groundbreaking discoveries. The social contribution of the megaproject FAIR is also significant. FAIR makes value contributions to society on many levels, whether as a driver of innovation, provider of highly qualified jobs and in education of young scientists and engineers or in the development of new medical applications.

The program for the guests also included a visit to the GSI campus and the FAIR construction site. They visited the test facility for superconducting accelerator magnets (Series Test Facility, STF), where high-tech components for FAIR are examined. During a tour of the FAIR site, they were also able to take a close view on the ongoing work on the 20-hectare site, from the completed shell construction of the tunnel segments for the large ring accelerator SIS100 up to the excavation pit for the first of the future large-scale experiments.

The “Renew Europe” group is one of the political groups of the European Parliament. It unites several liberal and centrist parties, including from the German-speaking countries amongst others the FDP with five deputies and the Freie Wähler with two deputies. (BP)

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news-3531 Mon, 14 Oct 2019 13:46:11 +0200 Positive response: GSI and FAIR present themselves at VDI career fair https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////gsi_und_fair_praesentieren_sich_auf_vdi_karrieremesse0.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=27fba4739168b94b153758f8bdea66dc Cutting-edge technologies, international science and a mega construction project - with a large number of highly qualified jobs in this field, GSI and FAIR are an important job generator. Recently GSI/FAIR presented numerous new job offers at the "Darmstadtium" congress center in Darmstadt at the "VDI Nachrichten Recruiting Tag", a career fair of the Association of German Engineers. Cutting-edge technologies, international science and a mega construction project - with a large number of highly qualified jobs in this field, GSI and FAIR are an important job generator. Recently GSI/FAIR presented numerous new job offers at the "Darmstadtium" congress center in Darmstadt at the "VDI Nachrichten Recruiting Tag", a career fair of the Association of German Engineers.

The main focus was on specialized engineers and technicians with different emphasis, for example electrical or mechanical engineering, but also on technicians and IT specialists. Young professionals were just as much in demand as those with many years of professional experience.

There was a great demand at the FAIR and GSI booth, numerous participants took the opportunity to enter into direct dialogue with the contact persons of FAIR and GSI and inquire in detail about job profiles and career opportunities. There was also extensive information on the FAIR project, one of the largest construction projects for research worldwide, which was also presented at the central forum of the career fair as part of a company pitch.

The first applications were already received on the day of the trade fair itself, and the response via the regular application process and unsolicited applications in the following period has been great. The repeated presence at the VDI career fair is thus an important building block in the recruitment of specialized experts in the engineering disciplines. (BP)

Further information

More information on working at FAIR and GSI and current vacancies can be found here.

 

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news-3529 Fri, 11 Oct 2019 16:01:17 +0200 ESA-FAIR Summer School: Experiment Proposal Awards for participants https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////preise_fuer_experimentantraege_der_esa_fair_summer_school_teilnehmenden0.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=0449b9cf53622e63bbed68b65174ec3e After two weeks of lectures and experiments at the European Space Agency in Darmstadt and at FAIR and GSI, the 1st ESA-FAIR Summer School was closed on October 1, 2019, with an award ceremony. 18 students from 8 different countries submitted experiment proposals in different fields of space radiation research. The proposals were evaluated by an ESA-FAIR panel. After two weeks of lectures and experiments at the European Space Agency in Darmstadt and at FAIR and GSI, the 1st ESA-FAIR Summer School was closed on October 1, 2019, with an award ceremony. 18 students from 8 different countries submitted experiment proposals in different fields of space radiation research. The proposals were evaluated by an ESA-FAIR panel.

After careful selection, the best proposal award was granted to Dr. Emiliano Bolesani from the Hannover Medical School (Germany) who will generate heart organoids and expose them to heavy ions to assess the risk of cardiovascular disease in spaceflight. Second best proposal was about microbiology, in particular the irradiation of arctic ice to isolate radioresistant microorganisms that could be present on the icy moons of Jupiter and Saturn. The experiment was proposed by Dr. Ligia Fonseca Coelho from IST in Lisbon (Portugal). The project ranked third was about hibernation and radiation resistance, and was proposed by Dr. Timna Hitrec from the University of Bologna (Italy). The ESA-FAIR panel found all the proposals outstanding. It is planned to submit them officially to the Program Advisory Committee to apply for implementation within the IBER program. IBER is funded by ESA to study biological effects of space radiation at GSI.

The ESA-FAIR Summer School included lecturers from GSI, ESA and other European institutes such as DLR (German Aerospace Center), SCK-CEN (Belgium) and the Technical University of Darmstadt. The second edition of the school is slated for September 2020 in Darmstadt. (LW)

More information

www.gsi.de/esa-fair-summer-school.htm

www.gsi.de/IBER

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news-3519 Mon, 07 Oct 2019 10:03:00 +0200 The favourite picture of FAIR and GSI https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////lieblingsbild0.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=8777a0daaa7a5426de5095ce11908bef Our FAIR-GSI favourite pictures are chosen! Around 500 people took part and voted for their favorites out of 50 photos. The then photos with the most votes are compiled on our favourite picture website. We will also present these pictures in an exhibition on the GSI and FAIR campus in the KBW foyer at the end of the year. Our FAIR-GSI favourite pictures are chosen! Around 500 people took part and voted for their favorites out of 50 photos. The then photos with the most votes are compiled on our favourite picture website. We will also present these pictures in an exhibition on the GSI and FAIR campus in the KBW foyer at the end of the year.

Our first place with a total of 87 votes is a picture by photographer Thomas Ernsting showing the large-scale detector FOPI. For high-energy research with the particle accelerator SIS18, which can bring heavy ions up to 90 percent of the speed of light, new detectors were put into operation in the 1990s, including FOPI (4Pi) — a detector that covers almost the entire solid angle. The aim of FOPI was to investigate the hot, dense nuclear matter that is produced for a very short time during a high-energy heavy ion collision. It expands explosively and emits newly produced particles. FOPI was designed by an international collaboration of 13 institutes and operated at GSI until a few years ago.

The photo on place 2 with 77 votes was taken by Christian Grau. It was produced on the occasion of our Open House in 2017 and shows a girl looking through an accelerator structure of our linear accelerator UNILAC. With 11,000 visitors, the Open House was the largest event in the history of GSI and FAIR. Place 3 with 63 votes, also by Thomas Ernsting, opens a view into our large-scale detector HADES. HADES (High Acceptance Di-Electron Spectrometer) is used to investigate hot, dense nuclear matter, among other things to answer the question of mass. It is not yet clear why a proton has significantly more mass than its individual components. HADES will continue to be used at FAIR as a component of the CBM detector for the investigation of compressed nuclear matter.

The ten winners of the GSI coffee cups "The Universe in the Lab" from our prize draw have been notified of their prize via e-mail. (CP)

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news-3527 Wed, 02 Oct 2019 13:45:50 +0200 Groundbreaking ceremony for extension of the Helmholtz Institute in Jena https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////spatenstich_fuer_erweiterungsbau_des_helmholtz_instituts_in_jena0.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=b162fe092066bdbc346a0f7dd4d572c3 The structural extension of the Helmholtz Institute Jena (HI-Jena) has begun, the ground-breaking ceremony has taken place. The new building, which will be erected in the immediate vicinity of the existing institute building, will create additional office, seminar and laboratory space. The groundbreaking ceremony is also an important starting signal for further fostering the successful growth of the Helmholtz Institute Jena, a branch of the GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung GmbH located on the The structural extension of the Helmholtz Institute Jena (HI-Jena) has begun, the ground-breaking ceremony has taken place. The new building, which will be erected in the immediate vicinity of the existing institute building, will create additional office, seminar and laboratory space. The groundbreaking ceremony is also an important starting signal for further fostering the successful growth of the Helmholtz Institute Jena, a branch of the GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung GmbH located on the campus of the Friedrich Schiller University (FSU) Jena.

After the welcome address by the Director of the Helmholtz Institute Jena, Professor Thomas Stöhlker, the Minister for Economy, Science and Digital Society of the State of Thuringia, Wolfgang Tiefensee, and the Minister for Infrastructure and Agriculture, Birgit Keller, passed on their greetings. On behalf of the GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung spoke Research Director Professor Karlheinz Langanke, and Professor Georg Pohnert, Vice President of Research, spoke on behalf of the Friedrich Schiller University Jena.

The Thuringian Ministry of Infrastructure had announced an architectural competition for the new research building. The winner was a regional office: The jury unanimously selected the design of the "Osterwold°Schmidt EXP!ANDER Architekten" office in Weimar, which had submitted the plans jointly with Impuls Landschaftsarchitektur Jena. The four-storey, cube-shaped building with a floor area of around 240 square meters connects to the target laboratory in the basement. As link to the existing institute building, an interlocking gate is planned.

The construction period for the new building, which will be erected on a slope on a federal state property within the university site, will be approximately two years. The state of Thuringia is financing the construction project and has scheduled eight million euros for it in its state budget.

With the additional institute building, the infrastructural conditions for cutting-edge research, which has been carried out at the HI-Jena since the institute was founded ten years ago, will be further improved. The institute's research activities focus on the physics occurring at the border between conventional particle-acceleration technology and the fast-evolving field of laser-induced particle acceleration. The HI-Jena offers outstanding research in the field of coupling of intense photon fields and the supporting development of appropriate instrumentation. In addition, the Helmholtz Institute Jena will further expand and strengthen the close connection between the university and the large-scale research facility GSI with the international accelerator center FAIR, which is currently being built here.

Around 100 employees and associated scientists in ten working groups are currently working at the HI-Jena. There is also an own research school (“Research School of Advanced Photon Science”) with around 60 doctoral students. In addition, the successful acquisition of third-party funding and regional networking – for example through cooperation and collaboration with the Fraunhofer Institute for Optics and Precision Engineering and the Leibniz Institute of Photonic Technology – have increased steadily. (BP)

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news-3525 Mon, 30 Sep 2019 10:00:00 +0200 Stage step reached: Half of the dipole magnets for the large FAIR ring accelerator tested https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////haelfte_der_dipolmagnete_fuer_den_grossen_fair_ringbeschleuniger_getestet0.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=194563972c4d46537965cd3471f76e83 It is an important step: Half of over 100 superconducting dipole magnets required for the large FAIR accelerator ring SIS100 have been successfully tested. The measurement results of the tests carried out in the Series Test Facility (STF) at GSI: The tested magnets have excellent properties throughout which indicates a high production quality. This decisive moment – the testing of the 55th magnet- was honoured with a ceremony on GSI and FAIR campus. It is an important step: Half of over 100 superconducting dipole magnets required for the large FAIR accelerator ring SIS100 have been successfully tested. The measurement results of the tests carried out in the Series Test Facility (STF) at GSI: The tested magnets have excellent properties throughout which indicates a high production quality. This decisive moment – the testing of the 55th magnet- was honoured with a ceremony on GSI and FAIR campus.

The testing of the superconducting dipole magnets at the test facility at GSI is ongoing since September 2017, when the first magnet was delivered. Subsequently, series production had been launched at Bilfinger Noell in Würzburg. In total 110 dipole magnets will be produced, 108 will be installed in the ring accelerator tunnel and two more are spare ones. The dipoles, that will mainly be needed for deflecting the particle beam, make up more than a quarter of all 415 fast ramped superconducting magnets utilized in the SIS100.

Each of the dipole magnets, which weight about three tons and are three meter long, is subjected to a comprehensive test program: The quality control of the production as well as the factory acceptance test at normal ambient conditions are performed in Würzburg, while an extended test program, at both ambient and cryogenic conditions (Site Acceptance Test, SAT), is being conducted at the GSI test facility.

The almost 700 square meter test facility, which was especially built at GSI, is equipped with a cryogenic plant with a local liquid helium distribution system to cool the magnets on the operational temperature of 4.5K (i.e. 4.5 degrees Celsius above absolute zero, which is about -273 degrees Celsius). In addition, two 20-kiloampere power supply units enable to perform functionality tests on the magnets. The duration of the regular SAT program for a single magnet is approximately four weeks. The successful testing campaign is the result of the joint work of more than 30 colleagues from various GSI departments.

The goal of the acceptance and functionality tests is to verify the production quality regarding the specified parameters, qualifying the magnets for the operation in the SIS100 accelerator and acquire the data required for machine control. (BP)

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news-3521 Thu, 26 Sep 2019 10:42:00 +0200 Timeline: Review of 50 years GSI https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////zeitstrahl0.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=5659cf285bdd55f5013c070565776593 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 where the new international FAIR accelerator facility is under construction. On the occasion of the anniversary year 2019, we have summarized the history of the research institute in a timeline. 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 where the new international FAIR accelerator facility is under construction. On the occasion of the anniversary year 2019, we have summarized the history of the research institute in a timeline.

50 years of GSI are also 50 years full of impressive research results, advanced experiments, new technologies and important decisions. We have compiled the highlights from the history of GSI. The timeline "50 Years GSI" gives an overview of the milestones that have shaped the history of the research institute. Join us on a journey through time, click your way through 50 years of top research at GSI and take a look at the promising future of FAIR. (LW)

Further information:
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news-3523 Tue, 24 Sep 2019 13:45:07 +0200 First place in the campaign City Cycling 2019: More than 35,000 kilometers ridden https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////erster_platz_beim_stadtradeln_20190.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=cb442eb0d87f56bf787fceed8663947a Team GSI has achieved a great success in this year’s city cycling campaign and has reached first place in the team ranking. A total mileage of 35,049 kilometers was covered. A total of 142 employees from GSI, FAIR and externals took part in city cycling as team GSI. The kilometers travelled avoided the emission of 4.9 tonnes of carbon dioxide. Second and third places were taken by "Merck fährt Rad" (32,057 kilometers) and the Darmstadt University of Applied Sciences (13,190 kilometers). Team GSI has achieved a great success in this year’s city cycling campaign and has reached first place in the team ranking. A total mileage of 35,049 kilometers was covered. A total of 142 employees from GSI, FAIR and externals took part in city cycling as team GSI. The kilometers travelled avoided the emission of 4.9 tonnes of carbon dioxide. Second and third places were taken by "Merck fährt Rad" (32,057 kilometers) and the Darmstadt University of Applied Sciences (13,190 kilometers).

This year's result of team GSI once again is a clear improvement on the very successful last years: In 2018 there were 102 cyclists in the GSI team who had covered 25,766 kilometers and reached second place. In 2017, a team of 67 cyclists with more than 15,000 kilometers already achieved first place.

The winning prizes for the best teams and individual cyclists were awarded during the Bicycle Action Day on the market square in Darmstadt by Barbara Akdeniz, head of the environmental department. The prizes for the winning teams were vouchers for a joint visit to the climbing forest in order to strengthen the team spirit.

Over 1400 people in 85 teams took part in the 21-day campaign in May and June. During this period, they covered a total of 285,809 kilometers, thus avoiding 41 tonnes of CO2 compared with driving a car. "I am delighted that so many cyclists have again taken part in city cycling and have thus set an example for the high significance of cycling in Darmstadt," explained environmental department head Akdeniz during the award ceremony. In the coming year, the city of Darmstadt wants to participate in city cycling again. (BP)

More information

Website of the campaign City Cycling

Website of the City of Darmstadt (in German)

 

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news-3517 Fri, 20 Sep 2019 09:41:38 +0200 Opening for joint ESA-FAIR Summer School: Focus on cosmic radiation research https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////premiere_fuer_gemeinsame_summer_school_von_esa_und_fair0.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=c04df02a3ac6365d9ef3bd1f996d954c They are the first participants in a new high-quality offer for international young scientists: Currently 15 young researchers from eight countries come together for the first time during the "ESA-FAIR Radiation Summer School" to work intensively on the topic of cosmic radiation. They are the first participants in a new high-quality offer for international young scientists: Currently 15 young researchers from eight countries come together for the first time during the "ESA-FAIR Radiation Summer School" to work intensively on the topic of cosmic radiation. The Summer School for radiation research was jointly established by the European Space Agency ESA and the international accelerator center FAIR (Facility for Antiproton and Ion Research GmbH), which is currently being built at GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung.

Researching cosmic radiation and their effects on humans, electronics and materials is a decisive contribution to the future of human spaceflight, so that astronauts and satellites in space are provided with the best protection during the exploration of our solar system. Furthermore, it also contributes to detailed knowledge about the risks of radiation exposure on Earth.

The Summer School will be held at ESA´s European Space Operations Centre ESOC as well as at the GSI/FAIR campus in Darmstadt in order to train students in basic heavy ion biophysics for space applications, e.g. space radiation detection, monitoring and protection.

The Summer School's top-class scientific program, opened by Thomas Reiter, ESA Interagency Coordinator, and Professor Paolo Giubellino, Scientific Managing Director of GSI and FAIR, includes lectures from experts in the field, site visits to facilities in Darmstadt and practical training and research opportunities at GSI/FAIR. The participants commute between the two locations ESOC and GSI/FAIR Campus. Among other things, there will be the opportunity to discuss the radiation risk during life and work in space with Marco Durante, Director of the GSI Biophysics Department. At the GSI and FAIR accelerator facilities, the students have the opportunity to participate in experiments and learn more about the research fields of radiation biology, electronic components, materials research, shielding materials and instrument calibration. At the end of the ESA-FAIR Radiation Summer School, participants will take written exams and carry out teamwork, which will be evaluated and rated by the lecturers.

The establishment of the Summer School is a direct result of the close cooperation between ESA and FAIR on cosmic radiation research. The existing GSI accelerator facility already is the only one in Europe that can generate all of the ion beams that occur in our solar system, which range from the lightest one, hydrogen, to the heaviest, uranium. The research opportunities will be expanded even further by the future FAIR accelerator center: FAIR will enable researchers to conduct experiments with an even wider spectrum of particle energies and intensities, and to simulate the composition of cosmic radiation with a precision that no other accelerator facility will be able to match. The proximity to the European Space Operations Centre ESOC in Darmstadt in addition creates ideal conditions for local cooperation in one of the key research fields of the future. (BP)

More information

Website about ESA-FAIR Radiation Summer School

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news-3515 Wed, 18 Sep 2019 16:22:10 +0200 Improvement in accelerator technology: Award for Dr. Rahul Singh https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////auszeichnung_fuer_dr_rahul_singh0.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=eb28f4ec27358c08f1e2c1bf3480c159 GSI Management awarded Dr. Rahul Singh of the GSI Beam Instrumentation department a certificate for significant technical improvement to optimize beam properties for physics experiments. Together with an expert team (comprising of Dr. Peter Forck from beam instrumentation, Dr. Stefan Sorge from the Accelerator Physics department and Dr. Andrzei Stafiniak of the Electric Power Systems department) Dr. Singh carried out very successful development works to improve the slow extraction from SIS18. As a result, The GSI Management awarded Dr. Rahul Singh of the GSI Beam Instrumentation department a certificate for significant technical improvement to optimize beam properties for physics experiments. Together with an expert team (comprising of Dr. Peter Forck from beam instrumentation, Dr. Stefan Sorge from the Accelerator Physics department and Dr. Andrzei  Stafiniak of the Electric Power Systems department) Dr. Singh carried out very successful development works to improve the slow extraction from SIS18. As a result, the beam quality provided by GSI accelerators to the science community was significantly improved.

Main goal of the Beam Instrumentation department is to inspect the ion beam with highest precision. The key feature is high-end measurement technology for ion beams, which is applied to detect all relevant beam parameters, such as beam position or intensity and their temporal evolution. Only through high-precision measurements provided to the operating team, both, accelerator and ion beam, can be further optimized.  

An important pre-requisite to carry out nuclear physics experiments at GSI and FAIR efficiently, is the provision of ion beams with constant intensity during slow extraction of the accelerated ions from SIS18. The slow extraction process reacts very sensitive on perturbations, like e.g. small fluctuations of the magnet currents. Since many years these perturbations are the subject of detailed experimental studies, as well as investigations based on particle dynamics simulations, with the goal to efficiently suppress the perturbations. In the past two years, Dr. Rahul Singh carried out a number of measurements to pinpoint the source of the fluctuations in the so-called spill-structure in the millisecond regime and to model the influence of the magnet power supplies on beam quality. 

In a joint effort, Dr. Rahul Singh and the team of experts successfully developed a novel technique to improve the spill-structure and immediately implemented the system during the beamtime. The new technique allowed for smoothing out the spill-structure. In particular, the HADES experiment benefited instantaneously from the technical improvement by a 45% increased event statistics in the previous experiment campaign.

The technology developed by the team is very promising for the future and will not only increase the efficiency for many physics experiments at SIS18, but also at the large SIS100 accelerator ring of the future FAIR accelerator center. (BP)

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news-3513 Fri, 13 Sep 2019 10:54:11 +0200 ESA workshop at GSI and FAIR to launch the new experimental program IBER-19 https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////esa_workshop_bei_gsi_zum_neuen_experimentierprogramm_iber_190.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=147c1b7a88e1344e3e174c0529959615 On September 9, 2019, GSI and FAIR hosted a workshop to discuss the results of the previous experiments in the FAIR Phase-0 beam time that took place from February until April of 2019 and to plan the future experiments in 2020. Over 30 investigators from Germany, Italy, Belgium, Czech Republic and Romania attended the workshop and presented the results of the experiments, covering cancer risk, central nervous system damage, alterations in heart rhythm, shielding and effects of radiation on ultra-resistant On September 9, 2019, GSI and FAIR hosted a workshop to discuss the results of the previous experiments in the FAIR Phase-0 beam time that took place from February until April of 2019 and to plan the future experiments in 2020. Over 30 investigators from Germany, Italy, Belgium, Czech Republic and Romania attended the workshop and presented the results of the experiments, covering cancer risk, central nervous system damage, alterations in heart rhythm, shielding and effects of radiation on ultra-resistant organisms. The next experiments will use protons, carbon and iron ions at very high energy in the FAIR Phase-0 beam time window in 2020.

The European Space Agency (ESA) signed a Memorandum of Understanding  with FAIR in February 2018 to use the accelerator facilities for space radiation protection. The current plans for moon exploration, already planned in 2024, make this experiments urgent to understand the space radiation risk and find appropriate countermeasures. Within the Memorandum of Understanding, ESA is funding the Investigations on Biological Effects of Radiation (IBER) program that supports European investigators to perform radiobiology experiments at GSI and FAIR on space radiation protection.

More information

IBER program

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news-3511 Wed, 11 Sep 2019 21:53:10 +0200 Probing a nuclear clock transition https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////auf_dem_weg_zur_kernuhr0.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=a5176a6320d0295d8a6f60955db1a64d Physicists have measured the energy associated with the decay of a metastable state of the thorium-229 nucleus. This is a significant step on the way to a nuclear clock which will be far more precise than the best of today’s atomic timekeepers. The press release is based on the release of Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München

Physicists have measured the energy associated with the decay of a metastable state of the thorium-229 nucleus. This is a significant step on the way to a nuclear clock which will be far more precise than the best of today’s atomic timekeepers.

Modern atomic clocks are the most accurate measurement tools currently available. The best current instruments deviate by just one second in 30 billion years. However, even this extraordinary level of precision can be improved upon. Indeed, a clock based on an excited nuclear state of thorium-229 should make it possible to enhance timing accuracy by another order of magnitude. Now a research team led by LMU physicist Peter Thirolf, in collaboration with colleagues at the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg, the GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung in Darmstadt, Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, Helmholtz Institute Mainz, the University of Bonn and the Technical University of Vienna has taken an important step towards such a clock. Indeed, the new study is featured on the title page of the leading journal Nature. In the paper, the authors report that they have succeeded in quantifying the energy released by the decay of the excited thorium-229 nucleus, which is an essential prerequisite for the realization of a thorium-based nuclear clock.

Clock generators are oscillations in the atomic nucleus

Unlike current atomic clocks, which make use of oscillations in the outer electron shells of atoms, nuclear clocks employ oscillations within the nucleus as their timekeeper. In both cases, the oscillations are the product of transitions between defined energy levels, which can be excited by laser light of a specific wavelength. Typically, the energies required to excite oscillations in the vast majority of atomic nuclei are orders of magnitude higher than those required to stimulate transitions in the orbital shells of electrons – which precludes the use of conventional lasers for this purpose. However, there is only one viable candidate for the development of a nuclear clock – the thorium-229 nucleus. Its excited state is located at an energy that is by far the lowest of any state found in the approximately 3800 currently known atomic nuclei. Irradiation with UV light, which is within the capability of lasers now available, is sufficient to populate this excited state.

However, up to now, the precise energy required to generate the excited thorium-229 has remained unknown. “To induce the nuclear transition, the wavelength of the laser light must be tuned to match the transition energy exactly. We have now succeeded in measuring this precisely for the first time,” says Benedict Seiferle, lead author of the new paper.

Uranium-233 sources as suppliers of excited thorium-229

For these measurements, carried out at LMU, the authors of the study made use of the doubly charged thorium-229 cation. Sources providing this cation in the excited nuclear state were developed in Mainz. “Uranium-233 was chemically purified and subsequently deposited on titanium-covered silicon wafers using an electrochemical method. This yields homogeneous thin films. Uranium-233 undergoes alpha decay, producing thorium-229. Thorium-229 recoils from the thin film due to the energy released in the alpha decay, hence entering into a dedicated ion trap developed at LMU in which thorium-229 cations are recovered,” Christoph Düllmann, chemist at GSI Helmholtzzentrum, University Mainz and HIM, describes the process. The excited state of the cation has a lifetime of hours. This is relatively long for an excited nuclear state and is crucial for the future development of the clock, but it hampers measurement of the decay energy. “This long lifetime means that decay to the ground state occurs only rarely. As measurement of this decay was the goal of our experiment, we exploited the fact that decay occurs rapidly when the cations are given the opportunity to collect the missing electrons,” says Seiferle.

To provide electrons, Seiferle and colleagues guided the ions through a layer of graphene. On its way through this layer, each ion picks up two electrons and emerges as a neutral atom on the other side. Thanks to this controlled neutralization step, the excited state then decays to the ground state within a few microseconds. The neutralized atoms expel an electron from an outer atomic shell, thus generating a positively charged thorium-229 ion. The kinetic energy of the free electron depends on the excitation energy of the nuclear state and is determined using an electron spectrometer. However, this energy is only a fraction of the energy used to generate the excited nuclear state. The rest remains in the thorium-229, which renders the interpretation of the resulting spectra complex. To get around this problem, the authors based at the Max-Planck Institute for Theoretical Physics in Heidelberg calculated the spectra to be expected. With the aid of these predictions, and in collaboration with their colleagues in Vienna and Bonn, the team in Munich was then able to determine the energy actually associated with the decay of the excited nuclear state.

Nucleus excitation by laser beams with a wavelength of 150 nanometers possible

The result indicates that the thorium-229 nucleus can be excited to this level by irradiation with laser light at a wavelength . Now lasers specifically designed to emit in this wavelength range can be constructed. This step will bring the first nuclear clock a great deal closer to practical realization. The researchers believe that a thorium-based nuclear clock will open up new avenues in the basic sciences, but will also find many applications, which only become possible on the basis of extremely precise measurements in the time domain.

The current results opens the way for new research prospects at the FAIR accelerator facility currently being built at GSI. Professor Thomas Stöhlker, Vice Director of Research and head of the Atomic Physics division at GSI, says: „This refined energy value opens up future research opportunities at the FAIR storage rings, allowing for precision studies of thorium-229 and its isomer at highest charge states via di-electronic recombination.“ (LMU/CP/JL)

Further information

Scientific publication in Nature

 

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news-3509 Wed, 11 Sep 2019 10:02:00 +0200 GSI and FAIR inform at the Darmstadtium Congress Center https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////gsi_und_fair_informieren_beim_tag_der_vereine_im_kongresszentrum_darmstadtium0.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=df80b5c6a0a62059d4477d6d48077737 Many interesting facts about the discovery of chemical elements and the physics at particle accelerators were presented by GSI and FAIR during the event “Tag der Vereine” at the Darmstadtium Science and Congress Center. Numerous visitors came to the GSI stand and took the opportunity to gain insights into current research and the outstanding opportunities at the future FAIR accelerator center, which is currently being built at GSI. Many interesting facts about the discovery of chemical elements and the physics at particle accelerators were presented by GSI and FAIR during the event “Tag der Vereine” at the Darmstadtium Science and Congress Center. Numerous visitors came to the GSI stand and took the opportunity to gain insights into current research and the outstanding opportunities at the future FAIR accelerator center, which is currently being built at GSI.

In addition to the wide range of information, it was also possible to simulate playfully the production of the element Darmstadtium on an accelerator model. In experiments at the GSI accelerator facility, scientists succeeded in discovering a total of six new elements. One of them is the Darmstadtium. The Science and Congress Center was named after this one.

The commitment during the “Tag der Vereine” is a further component of the good cooperation between GSI and the Darmstadtium Congress Center: With the discovery of the element Darmstadtium, GSI is not only eponymous for the Science and Congress Center, but was also one of the event partners of the “Tag der Vereine”. In addition, both jointly published a new periodic table of the elements as teaching material for schools, an important tool for chemistry lessons. GSI and Darmstadtium are giving out the periodic table to schools free of charge (for as long as stocks last). Teachers can order copies for their school classes. (Shipping within Germany.) (BP)

Ordering the periodic table for school classes

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news-3507 Tue, 03 Sep 2019 09:40:27 +0200 Silvia Masciocchi elected as Chair of the ALICE Collaboration Board https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////silvia_masciocchi_alice0.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=ccb9c7825879143b170ffb27bef1615e Professor Silvia Masciocchi, head of the GSI’s research department ALICE, has been elected as Chair of the ALICE Collaboration Board. Her term of office will begin in October and last three years. ALICE is one of the four large-scale experiments at the Large Hadron Collider of the European Research Center CERN in Geneva, Switzerland. The experiment is run by the ALICE collaboration, which consists of approximately 2000 members from 175 different institutes in 40 countries. Professor Silvia Masciocchi, head of the GSI’s research department ALICE, has been elected as Chair of the ALICE Collaboration Board. Her term of office will begin in October and last three years. ALICE is one of the four large-scale experiments at the Large Hadron Collider of the European Research Center CERN in Geneva, Switzerland. The experiment is run by the ALICE collaboration, which consists of approximately 2000 members from 175 different institutes in 40 countries.

The Collaboration Board is the highest body overseeing the work of the ALICE collaboration. It considers all issues, policies, decisions and recommendations relevant to the construction, maintenance, operation and upgrading of the ALICE experiment, as well as any issues related to the analysis and publication of information or data taken during experiments with the ALICE set-up.

"It is a great honor for me to be elected as Chair by the Collaboration Board. I am very thankful for the very large support and the trust the Collaboration puts in me," explained Silvia Masciocchi after the election. "I look forward to the many tasks and challenges that this responsible position brings with it. ALICE is going through a very exciting and very challenging phase: While we are still publishing many physics results from the first two periods of LHC running (from 2009 to 2018), we are currently upgrading most of the experimental apparatus and software framework. From 2021 onwards, ALICE will record heavy-ion collisions at the unprecedented rate of 50 kilohertz in continuous readout mode. The Collaboration faces ambitious and intense work in order to ensure that ALICE will be ready for a successful data taking starting in 2021, which will allow a significantly extended physics program. I am looking forward to steering the efforts of the whole collaboration through the Collaboration Board in the next exciting years. Also, in this way GSI continues to have a leading and essential role in the success of ALICE.”

Silvia Masciocchi studied physics in Milan, Italy. After completing her PhD at the University of Heidelberg, she worked at the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg, the Max Planck Institute for Physics in Munich and the Deutsches Elektronensynchrotron DESY in Hamburg. In 2006, she joined GSI in the research department ALICE, which she has also headed since 2011. In 2017, she was appointed Professor at the University of Heidelberg.

From the beginning, GSI has played a leading role in the construction and scientific program of ALICE. GSI's research department ALICE shares responsibility for the operation of ALICE's two largest detector systems. The Time Projection Chamber (TPC) and the Transition Radiation Detector (TRD) were designed and built with significant contribution of GSI’s ALICE department and Detector Laboratory. Currently, GSI gives an essential contribution to the ALICE upgrade program, specifically in the TPC project and in the development of the new Online-Offline (O2) software framework. To do this, GSI’s ALICE department, Detector Laboratory and IT department work closely together. GSI scientists have several leading roles in data analysis and in the physics program of ALICE. (cp)

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news-3505 Thu, 29 Aug 2019 09:00:00 +0200 TIARA Collaboration: Accelerator experts meet at GSI and FAIR https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////tiara_kollaboration0.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=177c8961bff267e47a5ccb8314fa1634 The TIARA Collaboration Council met on the GSI and FAIR campus recently. Representatives of the most important European accelerator laboratories and institutions participated. They came from eleven institutions from eight different countries. The TIARA Collaboration Council met on the GSI and FAIR campus recently. Representatives of the most important European accelerator laboratories and institutions participated. They came from eleven institutions from eight different countries.

The Test Infrastructure and Accelerator Research Area (TIARA) is a dedicated structure, the purpose of which is to exchange expertise and to facilitate and support the setting-up of joint research and development programs and education and training activities in the field of accelerator science and technology in Europe. The TIARA activities includes among other things the provision of scientific and technical guidance and advice for cooperative research and development (R&D) toward future accelerator science and technology.

TIARA is coordinated by Roy Aleksan from the French Atomic Energy and Alternative Energies Commission CEA with support in managing the major EU funded programs by Maurizio Vretenar from the European Organization for Nuclear Research CERN. The local organization of the meeting at GSI has been performed by the subproject SIS100/SIS18. One reason to meet at GSI-/FAIR campus was to inform the international experts on the status of the FAIR project. One point of the agenda was a visit to the FAIR construction site, accompanied by a presentation of Peter Spiller and Niels Pyka on the status of the FAIR project. A personnel decision was also to be made. The committee has elected Eugenio Nappi as new chair of the TIARA council. (BP)

More information

Homepage of the TIARA Collaboration

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news-3503 Mon, 26 Aug 2019 14:48:00 +0200 Historical gathering: International meeting of the discoverers of chemical elements https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////elemententdecker0.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=8f14884d90790ba1d937365da58d45d2 As part of the International Year of the Periodic Table 2019, the Conference on the Chemistry and Physics of Heavy Elements (TAN) taking place in Wilhelmshaven, Germany from the 25th to the 30th of August, brought together the discoverers of new chemical elements in a unique historical gathering. Researchers from Germany, Russia and Japan, who have added new elements to the periodic table in recent years, met at the international congress. As part of the International Year of the Periodic Table 2019, the Conference on the Chemistry and Physics of Heavy Elements (TAN) taking place in Wilhelmshaven, Germany from the 25th to the 30th of August, brought together the discoverers of new chemical elements in a unique historical gathering. Researchers from Germany, Russia and Japan, who have added new elements to the periodic table in recent years, met at the international congress. The GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung in Darmstadt (GSI), the Johannes Gutenberg University and the Helmholtz Institute Mainz are the organizers of this year's TAN conference.

There are currently 118 elements listed in the periodic table. 92 of them occur naturally on Earth. The search for further new elements is conducted using particle accelerators. To produce elements, researchers collide an ion beam consisting of atomic nuclei of one element with a material sample of another element. In the fusion of the atomic nuclei of both elements a new, heavy element can be produced. The recognition and inclusion of a new element in the periodic table takes place as soon as the discovery has been confirmed. Heavy elements produced in this way are unstable, i.e. they decay within a short time. Unresolved research questions in this field include, for example, how heavy elements are formed, whether heavier elements can have longer lifetimes again due to their special nuclear configuration (known as the island of stability) and which chemical and physical properties the heavy elements have.

Professors Peter Armbruster and Gottfried Münzenberg, who held leading positions in the production of elements 107 to 112 (bohrium, hassium, meitnerium, darmstadtium, roentgenium and copernicium) at the GSI Helmhotzzentrum during their active research careers, are present at the conference. Professor Yuri Oganessian is also on site. He is an element discoverer from Russia and currently the only living person an element is named after: element 118, Oganesson. He was head of the discovery team of Elements 114 to 118 (flerovium, moscovium, livermorium, tennessine and oganesson) at the Flerov Laboratory of the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research, JINR in Dubna, Russia. Dr. Kouji Morimoto from Japan of the RIKEN Nishina Center for Accelerator-Based Science, who was a member of the element 113 discovery team, attends as well. The current heads of GSI, the Flerov Laboratory and the RIKEN Nishina Center, where the respective elements were discovered, also participate in the conference.

“Research on the heavy elements is an incredibly exciting field, there are many unanswered questions,” explained Professor Paolo Giubellino, Scientific Managing Director of GSI, as well as the new international research facility FAIR (Facility for Antiproton and Ion Research) being built in Darmstadt. “Where do the elements come from? How are they produced in explosions of stars and other stellar events? We would like to elicit answers to these questions from the cosmos with the help of our accelerator facilities. The investigation of the heaviest elements will continue to play a very important role in the future of our laboratory. The FAIR facility, which is currently being built at GSI in Darmstadt in international cooperation, offers new opportunities to bring the universe into the laboratory.”

Professor Sergey Dmitriev, Director of the Flerov Laboratory of Nuclear Reactions (FLNR) said at the congress: “Priority experiments on the synthesis of new superheavy elements — flerovium (114), moscovium (115), livermorium (116), tennessine (117), oganesson (118) — were carried out at the FLNR using the U400 accelerator. Further progress required the construction of a superheavy-element factory at FLNR whose key facility is the DC280 cyclotron with the ion beam intensity an order of magnitude higher than that achieved to date. The commissioning of the factory will allow experiments on the synthesis of the elements 119 and 120 and will significantly expand the work on the study of nuclear and chemical properties of superheavy elements."

In Japan, the search for new elements also continues: “Since December 2018, we run ‘119th element search’ experiment using one of the five cyclotrons in the RIKEN RI Beam Factory. At the end of 2019, our linear accelerator will be equipped with newly-built super conducting cavities and ready to synthesize new elements with higher beam intensity.  We will run both experiments in parallel as long as resource permits. We will continue these experiments until somebody, hopefully RIKEN, finds the 119th element,” Hideto En’yo, head of the RIKEN Nishina Center, described the current research goals.

A total of 120 researchers from 19 countries and 4 continents take part in the TAN conference. During the conference week, they discussed the current results and perspectives of research on the so-called transactinides, the namesakes of the TAN conference series. This refers to the elements starting with the atomic number 104 which follow the subgroup of actinides. They are all artificially produced and will be further investigated in the course of research on heavy elements. “We are trying to determine their chemical properties, for example” explained Professor Christoph Düllmann, co-organizer of the TAN, professor at the University of Mainz and head of the GSI and HIM research departments on the chemistry of heavy elements. “The elements are sorted into the groups of the periodic table according to their atomic number. Elements with similar chemical properties stand below each other. In the case of new artificial elements, of course a clarification is needed which properties they have, and whether they also belong to these groups, or whether the high nuclear charge in these exotic atoms causes a disruption of the electron shell and thus leads to unexpected chemical properties.”

“We are also investigating the physical properties of the new elements in the same way,” commented Professor Michael Block, another TAN co-organizer and professor in Mainz, who is also head of the GSI and HIM research department on the physics of heavy elements. “For example, the configuration and the energy levels of the nuclear building blocks can be determined by spectroscopic investigations, or high-precision mass measurements of the nuclei can be carried out in order to understand the behavior of the elements in detail and further improve the current nuclear models.”

The TAN Conference takes place in the International Year of the Periodic Table 2019 (IYPT) proclaimed by UNESCO, which celebrates the 150th anniversary of the Periodic Table. In 1869, the Russian chemist Dmitri Mendeleev introduced a system to the elements, which were previously disordered, and made predictions about missing, then unknown elements. He is thus regarded as the father of the periodic table. The conference has a local connection to the physician and chemist Lothar Meyer, who also proposed a corresponding system for the elements. He came from the neighboring village of Varel, south of Wilhelmshaven.

In addition to scientific discourse, a symposium on the occasion of the IYPT with information on the history of the periodic table and the element discoveries, as well as an outlook on the future of research on heavy elements, takes place over the course of the TAN. Representatives of the international organizations IUPAC and IUPAP, responsible for naming the elements, as well as the German Physical Society and the Society of German Chemists are also present. The TAN is one of many examples of successful international cooperation in the world of research. (CP/JL)

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news-3501 Thu, 22 Aug 2019 13:51:27 +0200 A lot of power for the FAIR magnets: India supplies ultra-modern power converters https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////indien_liefert_hochmoderne_stromrichter0.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=a1b71b375d6a66f3d233f512f4c92291 Highest quality for research is the principle at the future FAIR accelerator center. The sophisticated beam transport, which is guided by the magnetic fields produced by electromagnets weighing several tons, is one of the main contributions to this. To supply them with power, ultra-stable high power converters are needed. These high-tech components come from India and are an important contribution to the FAIR project. Highest quality for research is the principle at the future FAIR accelerator center. The sophisticated beam transport, which is guided by the magnetic fields produced by electromagnets weighing several tons, is one of the main contributions to this. To supply them with power, ultra-stable high power converters are needed. These high-tech components come from India and are an important contribution to the FAIR project. On the occasion of the completion of the first batch of power converters, Jörg Blaurock, Technical Managing Director of GSI and FAIR, visited India with a delegation.

India, one of the founding members and shareholders of FAIR GmbH, is participating in the FAIR project with numerous in-kind contributions to the accelerator and several experiments. These include the most modern ultra-stable high-power converters (USHPC) for the FAIR magnets. They are being manufactured by the Electronics Corporation of India Limited (ECIL) in association with Bose Institute of Kolkata with design assistance provided by the Raja Ramanna Centre for Advanced Technology (RRCAT), Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) and Variable Energy Cyclotron Centre (VECC).

In a festive act at the ECIL site in Hyderabad, the first batch of 67 power converters was put on the road to shipment to Germany in the presence of the GSI and FAIR delegations. Jörg Blaurock and ECIL Managing Director Sanjay Chaubey, spoke of an important moment. "This is a special highlight of a ten-year journey in close cooperation with various institutions. We started from scratch and delivered what the nation has expected us to," said Sanjay Chaubey. Jörg Blaurock stressed: "ECIL is an important and reliable partner for us. We have a very successful cooperation. India is making a valuable contribution to the FAIR project with its in-kind deliveries".

In India and on the GSI and FAIR campus, in advance prototypes and first series specimens of the power converters had already successfully undergone extensive quality and performance tests. ECIL will produce a total of about 700 converters for the magnets of the large FAIR ring accelerator SIS100, the High-Energy Beam Transport HEBT and the Superconducting Fragment Separator Super-FRS.

The Electronic Corporation of India ECIL was setup in 1967 under the Indian Department of Atomic Energy with the aim of generating a strong indigenous capability in the field of high-performance electronics. The Institute has been involved already in several high-level international research programs, such as the supply of components for the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) of the European Nuclear Research Centre CERN. (BP)

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news-3491 Mon, 19 Aug 2019 11:30:00 +0200 Funding for joint project: Team conducts research at CRYRING https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////foerderung_fuer_verbundprojekt_team_forscht_am_cryring0.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=97af33c987d6ac43d0a365106af9a774 The research is concerned with the properties of magnetic materials and tailor-made changes to new materials: Two teams of female physicists from the University of Duisburg-Essen (UDE) will receive a total of 2.8 million euros for a period of three years. They are developing new instruments for experiments on particle accelerators. One project will be implemented at the CRYRING ion storage ring at the GSI and FAIR campus in Darmstadt. The news is based on a press release of the University of Duisburg-Essen

The research is concerned with the properties of magnetic materials and tailor-made changes to new materials: Two teams of female physicists from the University of Duisburg-Essen (UDE) will receive a total of 2.8 million euros for a period of three years. They are developing new instruments for experiments on particle accelerators. One project will be implemented at the CRYRING ion storage ring at the GSI and FAIR campus in Darmstadt.

At CRYRING, which will also be part of the future accelerator facility FAIR, the researchers under the direction of Professor Marika Schleberger are investigating solids using ion beams. In order to do this, a measuring station on the 17-meter-diameter ring, in which the ions fly from low speeds to a quarter of the speed of light, is being equipped with novel instruments. They are being specially developed by the project partners of the UDE and the University of Gießen. The researchers want to analyze the particles that are released during bombardment with ions in order to answer key questions: How to achieve customized changes in new materials using the targeted removal of individual atoms? In which subunits do biomolecules break under particle bombardment, and can one control this process? How can detection sensitivity be further increased?

The CRYRING is a contribution from Sweden to FAIR, which was transported from Stockholm to GSI. It was initially set up in cooperation with GSI for experiments and machine tests on the existing GSI accelerator facility. The system is planned for long-term use in atomic research with slow antiprotons at the FAIR facility.

Another project, under the direction of Dr. Katharina Ollefs deals with novel, energy-efficient cooling using magnetic materials. The previous systems damage the environment or consume a lot of electricity. Magnetocaloric materials offer an alternative: Their temperature can be altered with the use of a magnetic field. Within the framework the ULMAG project (ULtimate MAGnetic Characterization) that is currently being funded, Ollef’s Team, together with colleagues from the Technical University of Darmstadt, wants to investigate elementary and magnetic properties of materials under exactly the same conditions. The experiments will take place at the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF) in Grenoble (France). The ESRF produces x-rays that are 100 billion times more intense than the radiation used in hospitals. “The new device at the synchrotron radiation source tracks minute changes in magnetism and structure with high precision from the direct point of view of the crucial atoms at the same time as the phase transition. From this, we are hoping to achieve groundbreaking new developments in the field of magnetocaloric materials,” explains Ollefs.

Both joint projects are funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research with 1.4 million euros each for a period of three years. (UDE/BP)

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news-3499 Fri, 16 Aug 2019 09:00:00 +0200 Industrial culture: Insights into research and construction project at GSI and FAIR https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////tage_der_industriekultur_gsi_und_fair0.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=a2938bd916527d3ea573b8ce7e28b1d0 Where do the chemical elements come from? What does it look like in the interior of a neutron star? Is it possible to destroy tumors with ion beams? Answers to many exciting questions about particle accelerators and ongoing experiments were given to the visitors who were guests on the GSI and FAIR campus during the campaign days of industrial culture. Where do the chemical elements come from? What does it look like in the interior of a neutron star? Is it possible to destroy tumors with ion beams? Answers to many exciting questions about particle accelerators and ongoing experiments were given to the visitors who were guests on the GSI and FAIR campus during the campaign days of industrial culture.

The GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung and the future FAIR accelerator center once again took part in the cooperation “Tage der Industriekultur Rhein-Main” and opened their campus and research facilities to the public by appointment. Under the theme “The Universe in the Lab”, guests were able to explore the campus, get information on current research, and find out more about the mega construction project FAIR. The observation platform provided them with a comprehensive overview of the development of one of the largest construction sites for cutting-edge research worldwide. On the 20-hectare building site north-east of the GSI campus is currently being built a fascinating scientific project with accelerator and storage rings, high-tech infrastructure and outstanding experimental opportunities.

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. (BP)

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news-3497 Thu, 15 Aug 2019 09:00:00 +0200 University of Texas award for Biophysicist Marco Durante https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////auszeichnung_der_universitaet_von_texas_fuer_biophysiker_marco_durante0.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=15372c634608fd3a1e3b9094ffb34df2 Professor Marco Durante, Head of the GSI Biophysics Research Department, has received the Martin Schneider Memorial Award. With this award, the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) in Galveston honors scientists providing outstanding contributions in radiology or radiotherapy. Professor Marco Durante, Head of the GSI Biophysics Research Department, has received the Martin Schneider Memorial Award. With this award, the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) in Galveston honors scientists providing outstanding contributions in radiology or radiotherapy.

The award is associated a special lecture assigned to the laureate. Marco Durante gave the Schneider Memorial Lecture on August 5 in Galveston. The title of the lecture was "Heavy ions in radiotherapy: Do the improved physical and biological properties translate to better outcome in patients?”

The Martin Schneider Memorial Awards is assigned yearly by the University of Texas to honour the first Chairman of the Radiology Department at UTMB. Schneider headed the department form the foundation in 1948 until his death in 1966. With the awarding to Professor Durante it is the first time that the Schneider Memorial Lecture is delivered by a non-US scientist. The award has been given by the Chair of Radiation Oncology at UTMB, Professor Sandra “Sunny” Hatch. (BP)

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news-3495 Fri, 09 Aug 2019 10:00:00 +0200 800 billion degrees Celsius: temperatures as they occur in star collisions measured in the laboratory https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////temperaturen_wie_in_sternenkollisionen_im_labor_gemessen0.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=20d7001c0ae5b33d44b4b1b7ce51a692 They are among the hottest moments in cosmic events: the collisions of neutron stars in the universe, in which chemical elements are formed. With particle collisions in the accelerator scientists are able to create similar conditions at the GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung and the future FAIR accelerator center. Now, an international group of researchers at the HADES collaboration has succeeded for the first time in measuring the thermal electromagnetic radiation – the so-called black-body ra They are among the hottest moments in cosmic events: the collisions of neutron stars in the universe, in which chemical elements are formed. With particle collisions in the accelerator scientists are able to create similar conditions at the GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung and the future FAIR accelerator center.  Now, an international group of researchers at the HADES collaboration has succeeded for the first time in measuring the thermal electromagnetic radiation – the so-called black-body radiation – produced in this process. This allowed them to determine the temperature at 800 billion degrees Celsius and to explore further details about building blocks of matter under such conditions. The results were recently published in the journal "Nature Physics".

The HADES detector system on the GSI and FAIR campus in Darmstadt, as tall as a house, provides researchers with exciting insights into the events of the collision of two heavy nuclei at relativistic energies and – as has now been very successfully done – allows them to track down the microscopic properties of extreme states of matter in the laboratory. The latest results of the HADES collaboration, involving more than 110 scientists from numerous countries, mark an important moment: “The reconstruction of thermal radiation from compressed matter is a milestone in the understanding of cosmics forms of matter.  It not only allows to extract the temperature of the system formed in the collision but also provides deep insight into the microscopic structure of matter under such conditions,” says Professor Joachim Stroth, spokesperson of the HADES collaboration, who coordinated the current analyses together with Professor Tetyana Galatyuk. Numerous other scientists from GSI and FAIR were involved in the current publication.

The Scientific Managing Director of GSI and FAIR, Professor Paolo Giubellino, whose research focus is the physics of high-energy heavy ion collisions and the matter produced in them, is already looking forward to the future and to the worldwide unique accelerator center FAIR, which is currently being built at GSI: “HADES will continue to contribute a lot to the exploration of atomic nuclei and their building blocks and will be an important part of FAIR's Compressed Baryonic Matter (CBM) experiment. Among other things, researchers there will be able to investigate processes within neutron stars with unprecedented precision and over a very wide range of densities."

The electromagnetic radiation observed by the HADES detector within the scope of the study now presented is mediated by virtual photons. They exist for an instant and soon decay into a pair of leptons (dilepton), e.g. an electron and a positron. Since leptons do not undergo strong interactions, the dense hadronic medium is nearly transparent to this radiation. Nevertheless, it is produced throughout the whole evolution of the reaction and therefore provides an ideal probe for the microscopic properties of the dense and hot medium created in the collision. From the spectral distribution of the radiation it could be deduced, that the matter must have reached temperatures in excess of 70 megaelectron volt (800 Giga Kelvin) and densities three times nuclear saturation density.

Indeed, the densities and temperatures reached in the collision zone of such heavy-ion reactions resemble the conditions in neutron star merger processes. Since the detection of gravitational waves and electromagnetic radiation emitted from these Giga Novae events in a wide range of the electromagnetic spectrum, it is suggested that such merger events are the cosmic kitchens for the synthesis of heavy nuclei.  An important input to respective theoretical investigations is the so-called equation of state of matter under extreme conditions. With heavy-ion reaction experiments at relativistic energies some of the relevant properties are now accessible in the laboratory.

An advantage of detecting virtual photons, in contrast to real photons, is the fact that they carry additional information. This allows reconstructing a Lorentz-invariant quantity, which has the same value independent of the relative velocity of the emitting system with respect to the laboratory frame. Since energy and momentum is conserved throughout the process, this invariant mass is identical to the mass of the hadronic system which has emitted the virtual photon in the first place. Hence, this radiation literally allows to look inside the hot and dense interaction zone.

As a surprising outcome of this HADES experiment it was found, that very likely the photons are produced by so-called vector meson which undergo a strong modification due to the dense environment they are embedded in. The reconstructed invariant mass distribution of the virtual photons, which shows a remarkably smooth exponential falloff, suggests that the mediating mesonic states, the ρ mesons, are actually nearly dissolved in the dense matter. A similar modification of the properties of the ρ vector meson is expected if the spontaneously broken chiral symmetry is restored. The dynamical breaking of this symmetry is a fundamental property of QCD, the theory of the strong interaction, and explains e.g. the existence of the exceptionally light mesons like the pion. The degree of chiral symmetry breaking therefore controls how nucleons are interacting with each other.

The HADES experiment is the first to successfully reconstruct thermal electromagnetic radiation in collision of heavy-ions at energies around 1 A GeV, where the emission of virtual photons with mass of a few hundred MeV/c2 is a truly rare process: About 3 billion Au+Au collisions had to be recorded and analyzed to finally reconstruct 20,000 virtual photons via their decay into a pair of electrons and with masses larger than 200 MeV/c2. (BP)

Further information

Scientific publication in Nature Physics

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news-3493 Thu, 08 Aug 2019 09:22:12 +0200 Member of the Bundestag Dr. Stefan Kaufmann visits GSI and FAIR https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////bundestagsabgeordneter_dr_stefan_kaufmann_zu_besuch0.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=7496d14b3d9dc09c19837f91c313e9f7 The progress of the FAIR project and the current scientific activities on campus were the central topics during the visit of Dr. Stefan Kaufmann, a member of the Bundestag. The politician comes from Stuttgart and belongs to the CDU party. He is member of the committee on Education, Research and Technology Assessment of the Bundestag and deputy member of the parliamentary budget committee. He was received by Ursula Weyrich, Administrative Managing Director of GSI and FAIR, Professor Thomas Stöhlker, Deputy The progress of the FAIR project and the current scientific activities on campus were the central topics during the visit of Dr. Stefan Kaufmann, a member of the Bundestag. The politician comes from Stuttgart and belongs to the CDU party. He is member of the committee on Education, Research and Technology Assessment of the Bundestag and deputy member of the parliamentary budget committee. He was received by Ursula Weyrich, Administrative Managing Director of GSI and FAIR, Professor Thomas Stöhlker, Deputy Research Director of GSI and FAIR, FAIR Site Manager Harald Hagelskamp and Ingo Peter, the Head of Public Relations.

The politician, who is also member of the Senate of the Helmholtz Association, informed himself about the status of the FAIR construction project, which is one of the largest cutting-edge research projects worldwide, and about previous research successes and the current experiments. After an introductory presentation and opportunity for discussion, he was able to take a close view on the great progress made on the mega construction site FAIR during a tour of the site, from the completed shell construction of the first tunnel segments for the large ring accelerator SIS100 up to the excavation pit for the first of the further large-scale experiments

The visit of Dr. Stefan Kaufmann concluded with a walking tour on the GSI and FAIR Campus, which provided him with an insight into the existing accelerator and research facilities. He visited the test facility for superconducting accelerator magnets, where high-tech components for FAIR are examined, the Experimental Storage Ring ESR and the therapy unit for tumor treatment using carbon ions. It became clear that, in addition to the great construction progress, top research and high-tech developments for the mega-project FAIR are also very active. (BP)

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news-3489 Thu, 01 Aug 2019 10:47:34 +0200 Cryogenic testing of magnet modules for FAIR ring accelerator: GSI and INFN sign collaboration agreement https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////magnetmodule_fuer_fair_ringbeschleuniger0.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=d1593c49a5b2eca986eded98cf7f6d61 The successful cooperation between the GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schweronenforschung and the Italian National Nuclear Physics Institute (Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare, INFN) in development and construction of superconducting magnets has existed for many years. On this basis the foundation for further collaboration in this area has now been laid. The INFN will put a series of complex magnet systems, so-called quadrupole modules, for the large FAIR ring accelerator SIS100 through extensive cold testin The successful cooperation between the GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schweronenforschung and the Italian National Nuclear Physics Institute (Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare, INFN) in development and construction of superconducting magnets has existed for many years. On this basis the foundation for further collaboration in this area has now been laid. The INFN will put a series of complex magnet systems, so-called quadrupole modules, for the large FAIR ring accelerator SIS100 through extensive cold testings and thus make an important contribution to the FAIR project. A corresponding collaboration agreement has now been signed.

In preparation for this cooperation, the FAIR subproject team SIS100/SIS18 first compared different options and locations. A good basis for this was also a broader Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for scientific cooperation between Germany and Italy. The collaboration agreement now signed by GSI/FAIR and INFN is an important part of the technical acceptance of the quadrupole modules to be integrated at Bilfinger Noell in Würzburg.

The high-tech modules for the large FAIR ring accelerator are the result of a complex international production process: first, custom-made superconducting quadrupole units consisting of various types of focusing and correction magnets are produced in Russia and then sent to Germany. There they are brought together with other components procured by GSI and assembled into complete modules for the FAIR ring accelerator.

More than 80 of these integrated quadrupole modules will then be shipped from Würzburg to the National Facility for Superconducting Systems (NAFASSY) in Salerno, Italy, where they will be tested at the final operating temperature of -270 degrees Celsius on a cryogenic test facility specially converted for this process. Main subject of the cold test are the new subsystems formed at Bilfinger Noell as a result of the integration, such as the electric circuits of the correction magnets, the UHV system (ultra-high vacuum) and the thermomechanical characteristics of the cryostat system itself.

The cooperation at the Salerno site, which is well suited for these tasks due to the already existing technical equipment, is to last for several years until all quadrupole modules for the SIS100 ring accelerator have been manufactured, accepted and stepwise set up in the tunnel on the FAIR construction site. (BP)

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news-3487 Fri, 26 Jul 2019 09:12:36 +0200 Hessian Minister for Higher Education, Research and the Arts Angelika Dorn visits GSI and FAIR https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////wissenschaftsministerin_dorn_besucht_gsi_und_fair0.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=2bd251493efd08966364d0544bd87a7e Angela Dorn, the Hessen State Minister for Higher Education, Research and the Arts, recently visited GSI and FAIR. She was welcomed by Ursula Weyrich, Administrative Managing Director of FAIR and GSI, as well as by Research Director Professor Karlheinz Langanke and FAIR Construction Site Manager Harald Hagelskamp. Minister Dorn was accompanied by Dr. Ulrike Mattig, Head of Unit III 5 for non-university research institutions of the ministry. Angela Dorn, the Hessen State Minister for Higher Education, Research and the Arts, recently visited GSI and FAIR. She was welcomed by Ursula Weyrich, Administrative Managing Director of FAIR and GSI, as well as by Research Director Professor Karlheinz Langanke and FAIR Construction Site Manager Harald Hagelskamp. Minister Dorn was accompanied by Dr. Ulrike Mattig, Head of Unit III 5 for non-university research institutions of the ministry, which is responsible for GSI and FAIR. Ulrike Mattig is the representative of the State of Hesse in the FAIR Council and deputy chairperson of the GSI supervisory board.

In an introductory lecture, Minister Dorn received information on the existing accelerator facilities and experiments of GSI as well as on the previous research successes. She also learned more about the planning and construction progress of the international accelerator center FAIR. During a subsequent bus tour of the FAIR construction site, she was able to see the work for herself. On the FAIR/GSI campus, the visit then led her to the treatment center for tumor therapy with carbon ions and to the large-scale detector HADES. The Minister was very interested in the research results and impressed by the unique scientific possibilities and complexity of the FAIR construction project. The Minister commented on Twitter: "When you can only speak in records and the human imagination reaches its limits — the fascination of particle acceleration during a visit including a tour of the construction site". (CP)

Further information:
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news-3485 Fri, 19 Jul 2019 11:21:33 +0200 Start of the Summer Student Program https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////start_des_summer_student_program0.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=ef95e5c5be74349a090ef5a30bf416db 37 Students from 19 countries participate in the Summer Student Program of GSI and FAIR this year. They spend eight weeks on campus, getting to know the experiments and research areas of GSI and FAIR and experiencing everyday work at an international accelerator laboratory. 37 Students from 19 countries participate in the Summer Student Program of GSI and FAIR this year. They spend eight weeks on campus, getting to know the experiments and research areas of GSI and FAIR and experiencing everyday work at an international accelerator laboratory. 

Every year, the Summer Student Program offers participants an insight into research at a particle accelerator facility. Each summer student works in a research group on a small scientific or technical project from ongoing research operations. The topics range from plasma physics and tumor therapy to nuclear and astrophysics. Developments and tests of technical and experimental components for the FAIR accelerator facility, which is currently under construction at GSI, and their future experiments are in focus.

Many students, mainly from European and Asian countries, return to Darmstadt after the Summer Student Program for a master's or doctoral thesis at GSI and FAIR. The Summer Student Program that takes place for the 39th time is organized in cooperation with the graduate school HGS-HIRe. In addition to scientific events, the program also includes barbecues, a football tournament and activities in the region. Accompanying lectures will present the broad research spectrum of GSI and FAIR and the scientific results achieved. The lectures are held in English. They are open to the public and can be attended by anyone interested. (LW)

More information

Summer Student Program of GSI and FAIR

Lectures

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news-3483 Thu, 18 Jul 2019 09:26:34 +0200 Member of the Bundestag Bernd Reuther gets informed about GSI and FAIR https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////bundestagsabgeordneter_informiert_sich0.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=d807cda24990e426341a13ae5bedb89e The visit of Bernd Reuther, FDP Member of the Bundestag, to GSI and FAIR focused on the progress of the FAIR project and the current scientific activities on campus. The politician was received by Ursula Weyrich, Administrative Managing Director of GSI and FAIR, FAIR Site Manager Harald Hagelskamp and Ingo Peter, Head of Public Relations. The visit of Bernd Reuther, FDP Member of the Bundestag, to GSI and FAIR focused on the progress of the FAIR project and the current scientific activities on campus. The politician was received by Ursula Weyrich, Administrative Managing Director of GSI and FAIR, FAIR Site Manager Harald Hagelskamp and Ingo Peter, Head of Public Relations.

Bernd Reuther is delegate from the Wesel I district and member of the parliamentary Committee on Transport and Digital Infrastructure, in addition member of the federal state executive of the FDP Nordrhein-Westfalen and district chairman of the FDP Wesel.

After an introductory presentation and opportunity for discussion, Bernd Reuther was able to take a close view on the great progress on the construction site FAIR during a tour of the area, from the completed shell construction of the first tunnel segments for the large ring accelerator SIS100 and the work for the central transfer building up to the excavation pit for the further large-scale experiment CBM.

The visit to the test facility for superconducting accelerator magnets, where high-tech components for FAIR are tested, was also on the agenda. It became clear that, in addition to the great progress in construction, the high-tech developments for the mega-project FAIR are already in full swing. (BP)

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news-3481 Mon, 15 Jul 2019 11:28:37 +0200 Radiation protection: Federal Ministry appoints GSI researcher to UN committee https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////bundesministerium_beruft_gsi_forscherin0.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=2cbc6a2069d67f8a494721331a729076 The broad expertise of the scientists at the GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung and at the accelerator center FAIR, currently under construction, is in demand. Latest occasion: The radiation biologist Professor Claudia Fournier from the Biophysics Department of GSI was appointed by the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) as an expert to a United Nations scientific committee meeting. The broad expertise of the scientists at the GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung and at the accelerator center FAIR, currently under construction, is in demand. Latest occasion: The radiation biologist Professor Claudia Fournier from the Biophysics Department of GSI was appointed by the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) as an expert to a United Nations scientific committee meeting.

Claudia Fournier, who leads the research field "Immune system and tissue radiobiology” at GSI, was member of the German delegation for the annual meeting of UNSCEAR. The United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR), set up by resolution of the United Nations, publishes reports, which provide a scientific basis for the recommendations of the ICRP (International Commission on Radiological Protection) on radiological protection concerning ionizing radiation. (BP)

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news-3472 Fri, 12 Jul 2019 07:58:00 +0200 Yuri Oganessian, after whom a chemical element is named, visits FAIR and GSI https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////oganesjan_besuch0.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=8916c957e3ad809989673df169a91ec7 Professor Yuri Tsolakovich Oganessian, Russian researcher of Armenian descend and currently scientific leader of the Flerov Laboratory for Nuclear Reactions of the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research (JINR) in Dubna, visited FAIR and GSI. The 86-year-old Oganessian has led many experiments on the synthesis of artificially produced chemical elements, including the heaviest currently existing element of the periodic table, element 118, which was named Oganesson in his honor. Professor Yuri Tsolakovich Oganessian, Russian researcher of Armenian descend and currently scientific leader of the Flerov Laboratory for Nuclear Reactions of the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research (JINR) in Dubna, visited FAIR and GSI. The 86-year-old Oganessian has led many experiments on the synthesis of artificially produced chemical elements, including the heaviest currently existing element of the periodic table, element 118, which was named Oganesson in his honor. He is thus the only living human being after whom a chemical element is named.

In addition to talks with the scientists from FAIR and GSI, Oganessian also held the traditional Tuesday Colloquium. On the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the Periodic Table of the Elements, he spoke in front of a full auditorium about its development and in particular about the efforts to expand it by producing superheavy elements. Numerous questions showed the great interest of the audience in the topic. Oganessian has been in friendly scientific contact with FAIR and GSI since the establishment of GSI in the 1970s. Especially in the efforts to generate new chemical elements, there has been and still is a lively exchange between the researchers at FAIR/GSI and at JINR.

In addition to the synthesis and description of the heavy elements, Oganessian's work focuses on the development of ion accelerators and methods for investigating nuclear reactions. He developed new ideas for the production of the elements 102 to 118 and successfully implemented them in the discovery of many new elements. The element with the atomic number 118 was last detected by his research group in October 2006. Ten years later, in 2016 the name Oganesson (chemical symbol Og) was proposed by the participating research groups for this element and, subsequently, officially awarded. Following Glenn T. Seaborg, Oganessian is thus only the second human after whom an element was named during his lifetime. (CP)

More information

Production and detection of new elements

Original publication on the discovery of element 118

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news-3470 Thu, 11 Jul 2019 08:50:00 +0200 Michael Boddenberg visits FAIR and GSI https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////michael_boddenberg_zu_besuch_bei_fair_und_gsi0.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=0adc085d34f483f34621bd079af4ca42 Recently, Michael Boddenberg visited the FAIR and GSI facilities. Boddenberg is a member of the Hessian state parliament and chairman of its CDU parliamentary group. He was accompanied by Dr. Tobias Kleiter, head of the parliamentary group chairman's office. The guests were welcomed by the joint management of FAIR and GSI. Recently, Michael Boddenberg visited the FAIR and GSI facilities. Boddenberg is a member of the Hessian state parliament and chairman of its CDU parliamentary group. He was accompanied by Dr. Tobias Kleiter, head of the parliamentary group chairman's office. The guests were welcomed by the joint management of FAIR and GSI.

In an introductory lecture followed by a discussion, Professor Paolo Giubellino, Scientific Managing Director of FAIR and GSI, Ursula Weyrich, Administrative Managing Director of FAIR and GSI, and Jörg Blaurock, Technical Managing Director of FAIR and GSI, provided information on the research at the existing GSI facilities as well as on the objectives and status of the FAIR project. During a tour of the FAIR construction site, the guests were afterwards able to see the progress of construction and, in particular, take a look at the work on the transfer building and the tunnel segments.

Subsequently, they visited the test stand for the superconducting magnets of the FAIR ring accelerator SIS100 on the FAIR/GSI campus, which are cooled down to minus 269°C during operation. At the large-scale detector HADES, they were informed about the detector technology and the research carried out on the measuring setup. Special attention was paid to the complex data acquisition, storage and analysis of large amounts of measurement data. (cp)

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news-3479 Mon, 08 Jul 2019 10:14:38 +0200 50 years, 50 pictures — Vote for your favorite photos https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////50_jahre_50_bilder_lieblingsfotos_waehlen0.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=50f4cc23e703edbd683f5176f70845f2 50 years of GSI are also 50 years full of impressive images of our accelerators, experiments and facilities. We have selected 50 of the best photos and now ask you to select your three favorite pictures. We will give away ten of our coffee mugs "Das Universum im Labor" in a prize draw among all entries. 50 years of GSI are also 50 years full of impressive images of our accelerators, experiments and facilities. We have selected 50 of the best photos and now ask you to select your three favorite pictures. You are also welcome to invite your friends and acquaintances, everyone can take part.

We will give away ten of our coffee mugs "Das Universum im Labor" in a prize draw among all entries (shipping only to Germany). The photos with the most votes will be presented in an internal photo exhibition in the KBW foyer at the end of the year, as well as published via our website and our social media channels.

The campaign runs until August 31, 2019. Find all information, the conditions of participation and the entry form at www.gsi.de/en/lieblingsbild.

We are looking forward to your selection. (cp)

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news-3475 Thu, 04 Jul 2019 09:37:00 +0200 State Secretary of the Hessen State Ministry of Science Ayse Asar visits GSI and FAIR https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////ayse_asar_besucht_gsi_und_fair0.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=b6b57131f6ac96267259512604d54253 Ayse Asar, State Secretary at the Hessen State Ministry of Higher Education, Science and the Arts, recently visited FAIR and GSI. She was informed about the current research and the progress of FAIR, one of the largest projects for cutting-edge research worldwide. She was received by Professor Paolo Giubellino, Scientific Managing Director, Ursula Weyrich, Administrative Managing Director, Jörg Blaurock, Technical Managing Director. Ayse Asar, State Secretary at the Hessen State Ministry of Higher Education, Science and the Arts, recently visited FAIR and GSI. She was informed about the current research and the progress of FAIR, one of the largest projects for cutting-edge research worldwide. The former Chancellor of the RheinMain University of Applied Sciences was received by Professor Paolo Giubellino, Scientific Managing Director, Ursula Weyrich, Administrative Managing Director, Jörg Blaurock, Technical Managing Director, and Ingo Peter, Head of Public Relations.

Following a presentation on GSI and the future FAIR accelerator center, they, among other topics, exchanged views on the strategic goals for FAIR and GSI. Afterwards, a tour of the existing research facilities and the FAIR construction site was part of the program.

During the bus tour of the FAIR construction site, Ayse Asar was able to personally inspect the work on the 20-hectare site, for example the first tunnel sections for the main ring accelerator SIS100, the ongoing work for the transfer building, the central node for the beamlines, and the excavation pit for the future large-scale experiment CBM. During the subsequent tour of the test facility for the superconducting magnets of the FAIR ring accelerator SIS100, it was visible that the high-tech developments for the mega-project FAIR are already in full swing. (LW)

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news-3477 Wed, 03 Jul 2019 09:30:42 +0200 New International Biophysics Collaboration Meets at GSI and FAIR https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////neue_internationale_biophysik_kollaboration_trifft_sich_bei_gsi_und_fair0.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=8d593c6e671e76f7a016838bbb2027f9 The first meeting of the International Biophysics Collaboration took place at GSI and FAIR. More than 200 researchers, scientists and students from all over the world attended the three-day conference. The Collaboration exploits the opportunities offered by FAIR and other new accelerator facilities in biomedical applications of ion beams. Astronaut Reinhold Ewald was among the top-class speakers. The first meeting of the International Biophysics Collaboration took place at GSI and FAIR. More than 200 researchers, scientists and students from all over the world attended the three-day conference. The Collaboration exploits the opportunities offered by FAIR and other new accelerator facilities in biomedical applications of ion beams. Astronaut Reinhold Ewald was among the top-class speakers.

In order to network, coordinate and strengthen future biophysical research at FAIR and other large accelerator facilities, the first meeting of the International Biophysics Collaboration took place at GSI and FAIR. The participants were welcomed by Professor Paolo Giubellino, Scientific Managing Director of GSI and FAIR, Professor Karlheinz Langanke, Research Director of GSI and FAIR, and Professor Marco Durante, Head of the Biophysics Department.

“We are proud of the success of this first meeting of the new international biophysics collaboration,” said Giubellino. “FAIR will open up new opportunities for experimentation for the international biophysics community with particularly high energies and intensities. The numerous and active participation in the meeting shows how important the FAIR Phase 0 Research Program, which has already begun, is in view of the later unique research opportunities in FAIR which is currently under construction. As a user facility, our mission is to offer scientists the opportunity for excellent research, and the response of the international scientific community is the most direct measure of the quality of our work.”

“We are thrilled of the community's great interest in the first meeting of the International Biophysics Collaboration,” says Durante. “Participants have arrived from 27 countries in all 5 continents. The beginning of the FAIR experiments with FAIR Phase 0 is the occasion for us to establish a solid collaboration from the already existing cooperation of the user groups. FAIR offers completely new opportunities for biology, medicine and space research. The other new facilities that are currently being built in Europe, Asia and the USA also want to develop research programs in biomedical applications, and therefore they knit together in the FAIR Collaboration. We jointly want to develop new cooperative research programs and tools for the future.”

One of the first speakers was astronaut Reinhold Ewald: “For a mission to Mars, research is still needed in many areas. How, for example, do the vitamins in astronaut food change when exposed to space radiation for a long time? As an astronaut, I would only get into the rocket if all the biological and physiochemical systems had been tested under conditions that were as real as possible on earth. It seems that this will be possible with FAIR,” said Ewald, who is also a professor at the Institute of Space Systems at the University of Stuttgart.

The speakers included Professor Gerhard Kraft, who introduced carbon ion therapy in Europe and founded the Biophysics Department at GSI; Professor Thomas Haberer, scientific and technical director at the Heidelberg Ion Beam Therapy Center (HIT); and Professor Jürgen Debus, medical director of the Department of Radiation Oncology and Radiation Therapy and Scientific-medical manager at HIT. “We want to continue the long-term cooperation with GSI also in regards of FAIR research,” said Debus. “Both biophysics and accelerator physics offer new technologies that are of interest for clinical application. The large and international response to the first meeting of the International Biophysics Collaboration demonstrates the potential of biomedical applications of ion beams and speaks in favor of the new collaboration.”

The international guests saw the meeting as a chance for new ideas and cooperation. Prof. Vincenzo Patera from the University of Rome, elected spokesperson of the Collaboration,  said: “In the field of biophysics we need a comprehensive network to facilitate the exchange of information, the joint application for funding and to offer more flexibility for students. In that regard the International Biophysics Collaboration could play an important role and could improve the coordination of the various smaller research groups.”

The collaboration is supposed to support the cooperation beyond FAIR and to include experiments at other new accelerator facilities (NICA, RAON, FRIB, SPIRAL2, SPES, SEEIIST, ELI). Dr. Sanja Damjanovic, Minister of Science of Montenegro, presented one of the newly planned facilities during the conference, the South East European International Institute for Sustainable Technologies (SEEIIST): „SEEIIST is a facility for tumor therapy and biomedical research which is supposed to be equally used for patient treatment and for research. Our aim is offering a regional possibility for excellent research to students and scientists of all countries from Slovenia to Greece.”  

The meeting of the International Biophysics Collaboration is planned to take place regularly in the future. (LW)

More information:

Link to the paper on Physics Reports: Durante M., Golubev A., Park W.-Y., Trautmann C., Applied nuclear physics at the new high-energy particle accelerator facilities. Phys. Rep. 800 (2919) 1-38

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news-3468 Thu, 27 Jun 2019 11:01:30 +0200 Klaus Blaum is member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////klaus_blaum_ist_mitglied_der_koeniglich_schwedischen_akademie_der_wissenschaften0.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=34f37d77fb7375d9a1a8e2a4b8835d4f Klaus Blaum, Director of the division “Stored and cooled ions” at the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg is foreign member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences since 2019. Blaum is a member of the GSI Supervisory Board, Vice Chair of the FAIR-GSI Joint Scientific Council and Professor and faculty member of the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the Ruprecht-Karls-University Heidelberg. Klaus Blaum, Director of the division “Stored and cooled ions” at the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg is foreign member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences since 2019. Blaum is a member of the GSI Supervisory Board, Vice Chair of the FAIR-GSI Joint Scientific Council and Professor and faculty member of the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the Ruprecht-Karls-University Heidelberg.

“I feel very honored and pleased to be a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences”, says Blaum. He got nominated for the physics class of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences because of his excellent scientific achievements and his international reputation. "This is a personal award, but it can be considered as award for the performance of my entire department at the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics," says Blaum. "It is only due to the outstanding achievements of my team, which does excellent scientific work, that we are among the world leaders in our field of research. This was the basis for my award. I therefore accept it on behalf of my entire research group."

The election took place at the General Meeting of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in Stockholm in February 2019. In the FAIR-GSI Joint Scientific Council there are now two members of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences: Eva Lindroth, Professor at the Stockholm University, also is a member.

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences was founded in 1739 and is an independent non-governmental organization, whose overall objective is to promote the sciences and strengthen their influence in society. It enhances the status of science in society by drawing attention to key social issues, examining them in scientific terms and communicating the results, and joins in cooperation on global issues, with the aim of being an international  scientific proponent of sustainable development. The Academy consists of approximately 460 Swedish and 175 foreign members, who together represent the country’s foremost expertise in the sciences.

Klaus Blaum studied physics at the Johannes Gutenberg-University in Mainz (Germany). After receiving his PhD, he worked as PostDoc for the “GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung” (Darmstadt, Germany) at the European Organization for Nuclear Research CERN in Geneva, Switzerland. From 2004 to 2007, he was leader of a Helmholtz Research Group in Mainz (Germany), where he habilitated in 2006. At the age of only 35 years, he was appointed as Director of the division “Stored and cooled ions” at the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg and as Professor and faculty member of the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the Ruprecht-Karls-University Heidelberg. For his groundbreaking research, he was awarded numerous prestigious prizes, among others the Mattauch-Herzog-Price 2005 of the German Society for Mass Spectrometry, the G.N. Flerov-Prize in 2013 and the 2016 Lise-Meitner-Award of the Gothenburg Physics Centre. In 2008, he was nominated Fellow of the American Physical Society. (LW)

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news-3466 Tue, 25 Jun 2019 08:57:00 +0200 Member of the Bundestag Christoph Meyer visits FAIR and GSI https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////bundestagsabgeordneter_christoph_meyer_besucht_fair_und_gsi0.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=89d68ec6fac1f65c48d4121fe0d08bc4 Christoph Meyer, member of the Bundestag, visited GSI and FAIR. The FDP politician from Berlin is a member of the parliamentary Committee on Budget and in this context concerned with education and research, amongst others also with the FAIR project. Important topics during his visit on Monday, 17 June 2019, were the progress of the FAIR project and the current scientific activities on campus. He was welcomed by Professor Paolo Giubellino, Scientific Managing Director, Administrative Managing Director ... Christoph Meyer, member of the Bundestag, visited GSI and FAIR. The FDP politician from Berlin is a member of the parliamentary Committee on Budget and in this context concerned with education and research, amongst others also with the FAIR project. Important topics during his visit on Monday, 17 June 2019, were the progress of the FAIR project and the current scientific activities on campus. He was welcomed by Professor Paolo Giubellino, Scientific Managing Director, Administrative Managing Director Ursula Weyrich and Technical Managing Director Jörg Blaurock, as well as Ingo Peter, Head of Public Relations Department.

Christoph Meyer used the visit to Darmstadt to inform himself personally about the progress of the mega project FAIR and to visit the construction site. The tour included a look at the first completed shell construction sections for the large SIS100 ring accelerator, the construction activities for the central transfer building and the excavation pit for the future large-scale experiment CBM. Information was also provided on the FAIR project organization and construction site logistics.

Afterwards, Christoph Meyer, who was accompanied by his team member Marcel Schwemmlein, was able to gain insights into the existing research facilities during a guided tour on the GSI and FAIR campus. For example he visited the test facility for superconducting magnets for the accelerator ring SIS100 as well as the experimental storage ring ESR and the large detector HADES. The treatment unit for tumor therapy with carbon ions was also part of the visit. (LW)

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news-3460 Mon, 24 Jun 2019 08:31:00 +0200 As hot as the Sun’s interior — Physicists create plasma for the first time using nanowires and long-wavelength ultrashort pulse laser https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////so_heiss_wie_im_inneren_der_sonne0.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=c985c283f86dc323ff0f0f2bb741c769 Physicists at the University of Jena have developed a new method for producing plasma, enabling them to deal with some of the problems that stand in the way of this extremely difficult process. The three classic physical states – solid, liquid and gaseous – can be observed in any normal kitchen, for example when you bring an ice cube to the boil. But if you heat material even further, so that the atoms of a substance collide and the electrons separate from them, then another state is reached: plasma. The news is based on a press release of the Friedrich Schiller University Jena

Physicists at the University of Jena have developed a new method for producing plasma, enabling them to deal with some of the problems that stand in the way of this extremely difficult process. The three classic physical states – solid, liquid and gaseous – can be observed in any normal kitchen, for example when you bring an ice cube to the boil. But if you heat material even further, so that the atoms of a substance collide and the electrons separate from them, then another state is reached: plasma. More than 99 per cent of material in space is present in this form, inside stars for instance. It is therefore no wonder that physicists are keen to study such material. Unfortunately, creating and studying plasmas on Earth using the high temperature and pressure that exist inside stars is extremely challenging for various reasons. A team of physicists under participations of GSI and the Helmholtz Institute Jena, once o GSI's branches, has now managed to solve some of these problems at Friedrich Schiller University Jena, and they have reported on their results in the renowned research journal ‘Physical Review X’.

Nanowires let light through

“To heat material in such a way that plasma is formed, we need correspondingly high energy. We generally use light in the form of a large laser to do this,” explains Christian Spielmann of the University of Jena. “However, this light has to be very short-pulsed, so that the material does not immediately expand when it has reached the appropriate temperature, but holds together as dense plasma for a brief period.” There is a problem with this experimental setup, though: “When the laser beam hits the sample, plasma is created. However, it almost immediately starts to act like a mirror and reflects a large part of the incoming energy, which therefore fails to penetrate the matter fully. The longer the wavelength of the laser pulse, the more critical the problem,” says Zhanna Samsonova, who played a leading role in the project. 

To avoid this mirror effect, the researchers in Jena used samples made of silicon wires. The diameter of such wires – a few hundred nanometres – is smaller than the wavelength of around four micrometres of the incoming light. “We were the first to use a laser with such a long wavelength for the creation of plasma,” says Spielmann. “The light penetrates between the wires in the sample and heats them from all sides, so that for a few picoseconds, a significantly larger volume of plasma is created than if the laser is reflected. Around 70 per cent of the energy manages to penetrate the sample.” Furthermore, thanks to the short laser pulses, the heated material exists slightly longer before it expands. Finally, using X-ray spectroscopy, researchers can retrieve valuable information about the state of the material.

Maximum values for temperature and density

“With our method, it is possible to achieve new maximum values for temperature and density in a laboratory,” says Spielmann. With a temperature of around 10 million Kelvin, the plasma is far hotter than material on the surface of the Sun, for example. Spielmann also mentions the cooperation partners in the project. For the laser experiments, the Jena scientists used a facility at the Vienna University of Technology; the samples come from the National Metrology Institute of Germany in Braunschweig; and computer simulations for confirming the findings come from colleagues in Darmstadt and Düsseldorf.

The Jena team’s results are a ground-breaking success, offering a completely new approach to plasma research. Theories on the state of plasma can be verified through experiments and subsequent computer simulations. This will enable researchers to understand cosmological processes better. In addition, the scientists are carrying out valuable preparatory work for the installation of large-scale apparatus. For example, the international particle accelerator, ‘Facility for Antiproton and Ion Research’ (FAIR), is currently being set up in Darmstadt and should become operational around 2025. Thanks to the new information, it will be possible to select specific areas that merit closer examination look. (FSU/CP)

Further information:
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news-3458 Fri, 21 Jun 2019 08:14:00 +0200 Marco Durante is member of the ICRP https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////durante_icrp0.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=5404450dae8fb8b223baa8b85b9e11aa Professor Marco Durante, the head of the GSI Biophysics Department, has been appointed member of the International Commission of Radiological Protection (ICRP), the International organisation providing recommendations and guidance on radiological protection from ionising radiation. The appointment follows a long-standing commitment of Durante and the GSI Biophysics to the investigation of and protection from ionizing radiation in space, in particular in cooperation with the European Space Agency ESA. Professor Marco Durante, the head of the GSI Biophysics Department, has been appointed member of the International Commission of Radiological Protection (ICRP), the International organisation providing recommendations and guidance on radiological protection from ionising radiation. The appointment follows a long-standing commitment of Durante and the GSI Biophysics to the investigation of and protection from ionizing radiation in space, in particular in cooperation with the European Space Agency ESA. With the GSI accelerator facilites, particle radiation as it is prevalent in outer space can be generated and used for experiments.

Durante will join the Task Group 115 on Risk and Dose Assessment for Radiological Protection of Astronauts. The goal is to provide recommendations for the space agencies (including NASA, ESA, JAXA, Canadian, Russian and Chinese space agencies) on dose limits for astronauts in exploratory-class missions. At the moment different space agencies apply different career or mission-specifc limits, making an international mission to moon and Mars almost impossible. (cp)

Further information:
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news-3456 Wed, 19 Jun 2019 08:42:00 +0200 Six million euros for "Smallest Particles" https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////sechs_millionen_euro_fuer_kleinste_teilchen0.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=385093ed2ae343e9b5891b026ab53ac5 The origin of mass, the properties of the building blocks of matter and their interaction in the formation of our universe — several research groups of the Physics Institutes at Justus Liebig University Giessen (JLU) are dealing with fundamental questions such as these. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) is funding their research on these topics with a total of around six million euros as part of several joint research projects. Press release of the Justus Liebig University Gießen

The origin of mass, the properties of the building blocks of matter and their interaction in the formation of our universe — several research groups of the Physics Institutes at Justus Liebig University Giessen (JLU) are dealing with fundamental questions such as these. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) is funding their research on these topics with a total of around six million euros as part of several joint research projects.

Atomic and subatomic particles and their interactions are the focus of the BMBF Collaborative Research Program "Physics of the Smallest Particles". The program is embedded in the BMBF framework program ErUM (Erforschung von Universum und Materie). Working groups at the JLU and at other German universities are involved in research on the physics of the smallest particles at the national and international large-scale research institutions (co-financed) by the BMBF.

The working groups from the JLU Physics Institutes are particularly involved in the international research facility FAIR (Facility for Antiproton and Ion Research) currently under construction near Darmstadt, where in the near future state-of-the-art high-performance particle accelerators, ion storage rings and particle detectors will provide novel, high-precision insights into the structure and behavior of elementary particles and matter under the most extreme conditions. Such very high temperatures or pressures occurred shortly after the Big Bang or during stellar explosions and collisions of neutron stars. The Giessen working groups will receive around 5.3 million euros from the BMBF's Collaborative Research Program "Physics of the Smallest Particles" until the middle of 2021 for setting up and conducting experiments at FAIR and for theoretical investigations.

With a further 0.7 million euros, the BMBF is funding Giessen’s contributions to the Japanese BELLE-II experiment, where exotic elementary particles are produced and studied, and to the ATLAS experiment at the world's largest particle accelerator, the LHC, at the international research center CERN in Geneva.

The FAIR research program

The research program at FAIR consists of the four pillars APPA (Atomic and Plasma Physics and Applications), CBM (Compressed Baryonic Matter), NUSTAR (Nuclear Structure, Astrophysics and Reactions) and PANDA (Antiproton Annihilation in Darmstadt). Giessen Physics is active in all four research pillars.

As part of APPA, the Atomic and Molecular Physics Working Group (I. Physikalisches Institut, Prof. Dr. Stefan Schippers) is developing an intensive electron beam for precision measurements of heavy ions in the FAIR ion storage ring CRYRING for the highly accurate verification of quantum theoretical predictions. In addition, they coordinate the network of all German university groups involved in APPA.

The investigation of nuclei far from stability is expedited in NUSTAR, where Giessen Physics is involved with the working group of Prof. Dr. Christoph Scheidenberger (II. Physikalisches Institut) and builds high-precision detectors.

For the PANDA experiment, which will measure exotic hadronic states with worldwide unique precision, Giessen Physics is involved with two working groups in the development and construction of three subdetectors. The group around Prof. Dr. Kai-Thomas Brinkmann (II. Physikalisches Institut) builds the electromagnetic calorimeter and a micro-vertex detector, the group around Prof. Dr. Michael Düren (II. Physikalisches Institut) a special DISC-DIRC detector.

The CBM experiment will investigate high-density matter, similar to matter produced in the collision of neutron stars or black holes. Here, the group of Prof. Dr. Claudia Höhne (II. Physical Institute) develops and builds a RICH detector, for aspects concerning special materials there is a cooperation with Prof. Dr. Michael Dürr (Institute for Applied Physics). Part of this RICH development is already being used in the current HADES detector at the GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung in Darmstadt.

Participation in further research facilities worldwide

The strong commitment to the construction of detectors at FAIR is rounded off by Giessen's participation in other research facilities worldwide, such as CERN (ATLAS experiment, Prof. Dr. Michael Düren, AR Dr. Hasko Stenzel) in Switzerland, or KEK (BELLE-II experiment, Prof. Dr. Claudia Höhne, PD Dr. Jens-Sören Lange) in Japan.

Based on the theory of strong interaction, the groups of Prof. Dr. Christian Fischer, PD Dr. Bernd-Jochen Schaefer and Prof. Dr. Lorenz von Smekal at the Institute of Theoretical Physics calculate the properties of hadrons and hadronic matter under extreme conditions using modern numerical methods and complex simulations in order to make theoretical predictions for the PANDA and CBM experiments. (JLU/CP)

Further information:

Press release of the Justus Liebig University Gießen (German)

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news-3453 Mon, 17 Jun 2019 08:44:00 +0200 FAIR delegation visits Indian partner institutions https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////indien_besuch0.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=93522a8520decc31610cf2fc41e9a0d7 A delegation from FAIR, led by Professor Paolo Giubellino, Scientific Director of FAIR and GSI, visited the Republic of India in May. In addition to talks with representatives of FAIR partner institutions, Giubellino took part in the inauguration ceremony of the mega-science exhibition in Mumbai named "Vigyan Samagam". India is one of the shareholders of the FAIR GmbH and participates in the FAIR project through numerous in-kind contributions. A delegation from FAIR, led by Professor Paolo Giubellino, Scientific Director of FAIR and GSI, visited the Republic of India in May. In addition to talks with representatives of FAIR partner institutions, Giubellino took part in the inauguration ceremony of the mega-science exhibition in Mumbai named "Vigyan Samagam" and visited the FAIR pavilion consisting of posters, videos, multimedia kiosks and exhibits on FAIR. India is one of the shareholders of the FAIR GmbH and participates in the FAIR project through numerous in-kind contributions for the accelerators and several experiments. It is one of the founding members of FAIR and carries a fundamental role in the project.

The Bose Institute in Kolkata, acting as the Indian shareholder of the FAIR GmbH, was an important part of the visit. Giubellino met the new Director of Bose Institute Professor Uday Bandyopadhyay, who took over from Professor Sibaji Raha (chair of the FAIR Joint Scientific Council and representative of the Indian Council delegation), discussing the current status of the FAIR project and informing him about the steady progress in the four experimental pillars of FAIR. The meeting in Kolkata continued in a conversation with Subhasis Chattopadhyay, the program director of the Bose Institute’s Indo-FAIR Coordination Centre, and Professor Sanjay Ghosh of Bose Institute about in-kind contracting issues. Subsequently, Giubellino held a talk about FAIR at the University of Kolkata.

The delegation also visited the Electronics Corporation of India Ltd. (ECIL) located in Secunderabad (near Hyderabad). The company, as one of India’s providers for FAIR, produces around 750 power converters for magnets of the High-Energy Beam Transport (HEBT), the SIS100 ring accelerator and the Superconducting Fragment Separator (Super-FRS). The delegation inspected the testing laboratory for the power converters and a large number of finalized components on site ready for delivery to FAIR, and discussed the continuation of the successful cooperation.

In addition to the exchange with the FAIR partners, the opening ceremony of the scientific exhibition "Vigyan Samagam" (engl. congression of science) was part of the program. In the framework of the exhibition, Giubellino also met with Indian authorities, including a discussion with Professor Ashutosh Sharma, Secretary of the Department of Science and Technology (DST), and Dr. Kamlesh Nilkanth Vyas, Secretary of the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE). Another highlight of Giubellino's foray in Mumbai was a meeting with Professor Krishnaswamy VijayRaghavan, the Principal Scientific Advisor to the Government of India. He was very supportive of India's involvement in FAIR and readily accepted to visit FAIR at an early convenient date.

The touring exhibition will be shown in several major Indian cities, providing information about large international science projects in which India is involved. It contains a section about FAIR and the Indian contribution to the project featuring also components of detectors and accelerators. In total, more than 25 Indian science organizations and seven Indian industrial partners are collaborating with FAIR. Vigyan Samagam is planned to continue at Mumbai until 7 July 2019 and then moves through India to several other locations: Bengaluru from 29 July to 28 September 2019, Kolkata from 4 November to 31 December 2019 and finally to Delhi from 21 January 2020 to 20 March 2020. Each location will see a speech at the opening ceremony by one of the FAIR directors. (cp)

Further information:
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news-3455 Thu, 13 Jun 2019 11:20:26 +0200 10 years Helmholtz Institute Mainz: Successful cooperation between the University of Mainz and the GSI Helmholtzzentrum in Darmstadt https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////10_jahre_him0.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=42c5527609203ccfe12bbb146172847b The Helmholtz Institute Mainz (HIM) celebrates its tenth anniversary. With its remarkable research achievements in the fields of physics and chemistry, HIM has become an international research center of scientific excellence. At the heart of the institute's work is the FAIR accelerator complex, currently being built at GSI in Darmstadt. The institute celebrates its anniversary with a ceremony. The Helmholtz Institute Mainz (HIM) celebrates its tenth anniversary. With its remarkable research achievements in the fields of physics and chemistry, HIM has become an international research center of scientific excellence. At the heart of the institute's work is the FAIR accelerator complex, currently being built at GSI in Darmstadt. The institute celebrates its anniversary with a ceremony.

"Our hard work over the institute's first ten years has created a lasting basis that will ensure we continue to make outstanding progress in future. We have succeeded in our aims not only of proposing and establishing the first Helmholtz Institute in Germany as a cooperation between GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung in Darmstadt and Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz but also of constructing a state-of-the-art research building," said Professor Kurt Aulenbacher, Director of HIM. "It was the appeal of our infrastructure, in particular, that helped to attract a group of leading researchers to come to Mainz. The research program, which was initially both narrowly focused and extremely ambitious, is now being managed by these first researchers and their teams with the fertile results we have seen so far," the HIM Director stated.

The Helmholtz Institute Mainz as a model of success

Professor Paolo Giubellino, Scientific Managing Director of GSI and FAIR, commented on the tenth anniversary of the Helmholtz-Institut Mainz: "HIM is one of the two Helmholtz institutes in which GSI is participating and which strengthen our user community and lead to unique opportunities. The foundation ten years ago was a decisive step with which we placed our already very good cooperation on a solid institutional basis which allows to optimally combine the competences of the Mainz University and GSI to produce world class scientific results. At the same time, this is also an extremely important building block for the excellent research that we can conduct at the international accelerator center FAIR. Such connections bring researchers from all over the world together and enable extremely fruitful collaborations".

In 2009, the Helmholtz Institute Mainz was the first of today nine Helmholtz Association institutes to be founded on the initiative of the German federal government. The intention was to extend the long-standing partnership between GSI in Darmstadt and Mainz University and to promote the university’s profile in this field of research. As is usual for projects of this kind, the HIM is financed by the federal government (90 percent) and the state of Rhineland-Palatinate (10 percent). In addition, JGU makes available its technical infrastructure, scientific and technical staff as well as operating resources. The HIM has a total annual budget of approximately EUR 11 million.

"Helmholtz institutes are a valuable instrument for establishing long-term strategic partnerships between a Helmholtz Center, a university, and, occasionally, other partners," said Professor Otmar D. Wiestler, President of the Helmholtz Association. "They create an excellent basis for close cooperation in a pioneering field of research in which both partners complement each other. This makes them an attractive destination for top researchers from all over the world. Founded in June 2009, the HIM was the first Helmholtz institute in Germany. Ever since, the GSI Helmholtzzentrum network on the Gutenberg Campus in Mainz was making a name for itself as a pioneer in research into the strong interaction."

The Rhineland-Palatinate Minister of Science, Professor Konrad Wolf, also endorses this new model of cooperation between Helmholtz centers and universities: "Thanks to the achievements it has already attained in the field of fundamental physics, the Helmholtz Institute Mainz has become an internationally recognized and prominent facility in the Rhineland-Palatinate research landscape. It has clearly demonstrated just how profitable cooperation between centers of the Helmholtz Association and Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz can be."

"Establishing the Helmholtz Institute on the Gutenberg Campus has provided sustainable enhancement of our groundbreaking research in nuclear physics and nuclear chemistry," emphasized Professor Georg Krausch, President of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz. "In its role as an influential strategic partner in JGU's Cluster of Excellence on Precision Physics, Fundamental Interactions and Structure of Matter, or PRISMA+, the Helmholtz Institute Mainz is reinforcing our research profile both nationally and internationally."

The Helmholtz Institute Mainz is currently concentrating on the strong interaction, which is the mechanism responsible for the strong nuclear force, one of the four fundamental forces of nature. To shed light on the subject from differing perspectives, the HIM is divided into six research sections. Some of these are dedicated to current and future experiments, chiefly at GSI and FAIR, one of the largest research projects in the world. Other HIM sections are focused on developing new accelerator technologies and working on testing and refining prevailing theories using supercomputers.

The strong force binds quarks and also neutrons and protons, the basic building blocks of the atomic nucleus, together. Researchers at the Helmholtz Institute Mainz are investigating the properties of mesons, i.e., short-lived particles composed of quarks. They are analyzing the structure of the proton and studying the properties of superheavy atomic nuclei. Furthermore, they are hunting for new, hypothetical particles beyond the Standard Model of particle physics and developing new theoretical models and future accelerator technologies.

In 2010, the HIM had a total of 25 personnel, now it counts 135 employees from 16 different nations. These talented individuals and the high-quality infrastructure are the essential resources to generate the anticipated exceptional research results.

Research achievements

Many research projects, often in international alliances, have been successfully completed over the past ten years, while contributions have been made to other projects:

  • In 2017, the HIM research section SHE (SuperHeavy Elements) made a breakthrough in the field of chemistry of superheavy elements. They became the first ever research group to generate a compound formed of a superheavy element and carbon. This will enable researchers to study the relationship between the theory of relativity and chemistry.
  • Within the ACID (ACcelerator and Integrated Detectors) section, an accelerator research group led by Dr. Winfried Barth managed to increase the efficiency of the technique for accelerating heavy ions significantly with the help of a complex multi-cell CH structure. These structures are required, for example, to generate superheavy elements and investigate their properties. "The significance of this development is difficult to overestimate. As a rule every additional percentage of improvement in efficiency involves a great deal of hard work," stressed Dr. Winfried Barth, head of the ACID section.
  • Dr. Miriam Fritsch, a junior HIM scientist, attracted financial support of the Helmholtz Association for the Helmholtz Young Investigators Group PALUMA. She spent six years at HIM in the Precision Spectroscopy of Hadrons with PANDA team.
  • The particular structure of the HIM has enabled the establishment of three new professorships, one of them being that of Professor Dmitry Budker, an eminent US-American nuclear physicist, who came to Mainz from the University of California, Berkeley. Since 2014, Budker has headed up the MAM research group, which focuses on high-precision measurement of the fundamental symmetries of nature, one of the four fundamental forces of physics. In 2016, the European Research Council granted EUR 2.5 million in funding by Budker's new project involving the hunt for dark matter and dark energy.
  • In 2012, the HIM participated in the successful application to establish the PRISMA Cluster of Excellence at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz. Today's PRISMA+ now closely cooperates with the HIM, and in 2018 the HIM provided significant support for its successful reapplication.
Modern infrastructure

Researchers in Mainz have a high-tech infrastructure at their disposal. In 2017, for instance, a new Structure, Symmetry, and Stability of Matter and Antimatter institute building of 8,000 square meters was inaugurated, with a state-of-the-art laser and chemistry laboratory and a clean room for assembling and preparing superconducting accelerator modules.

Since 2016, the state government of Rhineland-Palatinate, the federal government, Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, and the HIM have invested a total of EUR 10.6 million in the new high-performance supercomputer MogonII/HIMsterII, which allows complex computational simulations.

The supercomputer is located in the new computer center in the HIM research building and is operated jointly by the JGU Center for Data Processing and the HIM. Thanks to its total computing power of two petaflops, researchers at the HIM and JGU now have access to the fastest high-performance computer presently installed at a German university. (JL/HIM)

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news-3451 Thu, 13 Jun 2019 08:19:00 +0200 Kickoff: Series production of the bypass lines for the large FAIR ring accelerator begins https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////serienproduktion_bypass0.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=c657e6eaf3128dea73c820022014626b Extreme cold in one area, warm room temperature right next to it – the sophisticated cryotechnology for the large SIS100 ring accelerator, the heart of the international accelerator facility FAIR, is a major challenge. An important element in achieving the best possible technical solutions for cooling the 1100-metre-long SIS100 is now going into series production: the so-called bypass lines. Extreme cold in one area, warm room temperature right next to it – the sophisticated cryotechnology for the large SIS100 ring accelerator, the heart of the international accelerator facility FAIR, is a major challenge. An important element in achieving the best possible technical solutions for cooling the 1100-metre-long SIS100 is now going into series production: the so-called bypass lines, a Polish contribution to the FAIR facility currently under construction at the GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung.

Recently, a delegation with Jörg Blaurock, Technical Managing Director of GSI and FAIR, and representatives of the FAIR project lead as well as the subprojects ring accelerator SIS100/SIS18 and fragment separator Super-FRS visited the Wroclaw University for Science and Technology (WUST) in Poland. The delegation, which also included subproject managers Peter Spiller (SIS100/SIS18) and Haik Simon (Super-FRS) as well as work package managers Thomas Eisel and Felix Wamers, met with representatives of the Polish FAIR shareholder, the University of Wroclaw, to which Majka Zbigniew belonged, as well as the top management of the executing Wroclaw company Kriosystem. The kickoff meeting marked the start of the important phase of series production of bypass lines for the SIS100.

The bypass lines that are arranged around the entire ring ensure the transport of the cryogenic agent (liquid helium, LHe) past warmer accelerator components such as high-frequency systems, injection systems or extraction systems and serve to bypass these room-temperature devices in the straight sections of the SIS100. In this way, they constantly guarantee the cold of -268.6 °C required for the operation of the superconducting magnets in the entire ring system and are thus an essential part of the SIS100 local cryogenics system.

Beside the LHe process lines, the bypass lines contain the most important magnet bus bar system (consisting of three quadrupole- and one dipole circuit). In comparison to standard LHe transfer lines, they create major technical challenges. According to a design of WUST University, which was responsible for the design, Kriosystem has already manufactured and delivered the first of a series (FoS, First of Series) of bypass lines, which was successfully tested and accepted at GSI in Darmstadt after careful SAT tests (Site Acceptance Tests). With the signed manufacturing contract between the provider WUST and the company Kriosystem, the series production of 27 such bypass lines will now be launched.

In addition to these bypass lines, two more major technical systems of the highly specialized SIS100 cryogenics will be designed and manufactured as a Polish inkind contribution: The "lead boxes", chambers with terminals for feeding electricity into the cryogenic system, provide the link between the room-temperature water-cooled copper cables and the superconducting Nuclotron cables of the cryomagnetic system. The inkind contract for these lead boxes has already been signed and the design could meanwhile be completed. For the so-called "feed boxes" the content of the inkind contract has already been agreed and the final signature process has been launched.

Another important Polish FAIR contribution is planned for the superconducting fragment separator (Super-FRS) for the local cryogenics system. In order to be able to sign the corresponding inkind contract on short term, a steering group has been established to finalize the definition of the contractual scope of this contribution and to implement technical simplifications, proposed by the responsible team at WUST and GSI. (BP)

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news-3449 Tue, 11 Jun 2019 09:50:00 +0200 Astronaut safety: Research by GSI and FAIR for the best protection from space radiation https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////weltraumstrahlung0.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=59e115f0a85fc15d39c95e7afbc26621 It’s light, solid and could play an important role in future space missions into the depths of space: lithium hydride, a salt-like chemical compound of lithium and hydrogen. Crucial indications for the possible suitability of lithium hydride as a shielding material against cosmic radiation have now been found by research partners in Germany and Italy. It’s light, solid and could play an important role in future space missions into the depths of space: lithium hydride, a salt-like chemical compound of lithium and hydrogen. Crucial indications for the possible suitability of lithium hydride as a shielding material against cosmic radiation have now been found by research partners in Germany and Italy. The international team including the scientists Marco Durante, Christoph Schuy, Felix Horst and Uli Weber from the Department of Biophysics at the GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung in Darmstadt as well as other partners has published its findings in the “Radiation Research” journal.

Protecting people in space from cosmic radiation is a major challenge for space exploration. Harmful effects of space radiation pose a serious health risk to astronauts, especially in future long-term missions. Such radiation effects must be considered and minimized both in the design phase of spaceships and in mission planning. The weight that can be taken on board a spacecraft is yet another limiting factor. New materials which offer an improved shielding performance and lighter weight are in demand. That’s especially true when it comes to deep-space missions where radiation is even more intense than in the near-Earth orbit.

The international team of scientists has been working together in this area. Aside from the GSI Helmholtzzentrum the researchers are from the Institute of Medical Physics and Radiation Protection at the the Mittelhessen University of Applied Sciences in Giessen, from the Trento Institute for Fundamental Physics and Applications (TIFPA) in Povo, the Physics Department at the University of Trento in Povo, the Department of Applied Science and Technology at the Politecnico di Torino in Turin as well as from the Physics and Chemistry Departments and NIS (Center for Nanostructured Interfaces and Surfaces) at the University of Torino in Turin. Thales Alenia Space in Turin is also a part of the team. The company manages for the European Space Agency ESA the ROSSINI project for the optimization of radiation protection for astronauts, a long-term joint research project by ESA and GSI.

The team’s objective: to identify suitable shielding materials which are better than the well-proven standard solution hard polyethylene which is currently used for radiation protection on Earth, for example, or in the sleeping areas of the near-Earth International Space Station ISS . Due to the high hydrogen content of hydrides, lithium hydride was chosen as a promising starting point for further studies.

The investigations were carried out mainly at the accelerator facility on the GSI and FAIR campus in Darmstadt where particle radiation which is prevalent in outer space can be generated and made available for experiments. In its experiments, the research team evaluated the shielding performance of lithium hydride among other things using measurements with high-energy carbon rays. Accurate data could also be provided for benchmarking Monte Carlo simulations. Such simulations are used for risk estimation in studies without particle accelerators to obtain a statistical overview of radiation effects.

The recently published studies suggest that lithium hydride might be a good candidate as a shielding material. The Head of the GSI Department of Biophysics, Professor Marco Durante, summarizes: “Initial experimental results suggest that lithium hydride is appropriate in improving radiation protection for people over a long-term space mission.” Lithium hydride could therefore be an effective strategy in protecting people when it comes to long-term exploration of the solar system. “It could be the right material to go to Mars.”

Dr. Christoph Schuy, experiment supervisor, also considers the lithium hydride compounds to be promising. However, the researchers and engineers still have a number of tasks ahead of them, such as the precise determination of neutron production cross sections at high energies or the safe coating of the material.

While it offers a glimpse into the future, additional experiments at higher energies and with heavier ions are needed to fully assess the shielding ability of lithium hydride and other promising lithium compounds. The potential emergence of secondary radiation must also be investigated as well as a possible secondary benefit of shielding material such as in lithium-hydride-based batteries in spacecraft. Professor Durante explains: "We now have to test complex, realistic structures that simulate the real spacecraft walls, including lithium hydride. These tests started in February as part of the FAIR Phase 0 experimental program and are funded by the ESA-ROSSINI3 project".  

ESA and GSI have been working together successfully on several research projects for years. At the future FAIR Accelerator Center which is currently being built at GSI, these possibilities will be considerably expanded upon: FAIR will facilitate experiments with an even wider range of particle energies and intensities and can simulate the composition of cosmic radiation more accurately than any other accelerator facility. ESA and FAIR agreed to work closer together and signed a collaborative agreement on cosmic radiation research just over a year ago. (BP)

More information

Article in Radiation Research

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news-3447 Thu, 06 Jun 2019 09:46:46 +0200 A successful connection: GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung and the Darmstadtium Congress Center publish a periodic table for schools https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////eine_gelungene_verbindung_gsi_helmholtzzentrum_fuer_schwerionenforschung_und_kongresszentrum_darmsta.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=fb97a7bd1ff49be66adc0b7e074de674 At 150 years of age, every chemistry lesson still must have it: the periodic table of the elements. The table organizes all substances in the universe according to their atomic masses and chemical properties. The United Nations has declared 2019 to be the International Year of the Periodic Table of Chemical Elements. For this occasion, GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung and the Darmstadtium Science and Congress Center have published a periodic table as educational material for chemistry lessons. At 150 years of age, every chemistry lesson still must have it: the periodic table of the elements. The table organizes all substances in the universe according to their atomic masses and chemical properties. The United Nations has declared 2019 to be the International Year of the Periodic Table of Chemical Elements. For this occasion, GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung and the Darmstadtium Science and Congress Center have published a periodic table as educational material for chemistry lessons.

The periodic table of elements is an important tool in chemistry lessons where it gives students a well-grounded comprehension of the structure of atoms and the properties of the chemical elements. All known chemical elements are included in this table. Each box represents an element and, in addition to its name, contains its chemical symbol and properties. Since it was drawn up 150 years ago, the periodic table has continued to develop, and today it lists 118 elements. The currently published version of the periodic table incorporates the latest IUPAC data and standards and is intended to be a learning aid for intermediate school levels.

With the discovery of six chemical elements, GSI Helmholtzzentrum has made a significant contribution to expanding the periodic table. The bohrium to copernicium elements were first discovered in experiments at GSI. A new element was created through fusing two atomic nuclei to form a new, much larger and heavier atomic nucleus. To do so, a particle collider was used to bombard the layer of an atomic nuclei of one element with the atomic nuclei of a second element at extremely high speeds. If the atomic nuclei hit one another in the center, they can fuse into a new atomic nucleus. One element discovered this way is darmstadtium, named after the city of Darmstadt, where it was discovered. At the same time, it also gave its name to the Darmstadtium Science and Congress Center.

Darmstadtium is a state-of-the-art congress center that focuses on the needs of future generations. It is well-known in Germany and Europe for sustainability and excellent information technology. As a pioneer in the connectivity revolution, it offers first-class in-house Internet access for conferences and congresses at the level of a major provider. 

Darmstadtium and GSI Helmholtzzentrum are closely connected through the element names and their national and international standing. This is why the project partners have jointly published the periodic table as teaching material for chemistry lessons. With a clear and informative design and practical A4 format, the periodic table will be made available to schools. In addition to traditional data such as the atomic number, element symbol, electronegativity and melting and boiling points, it also contains information about both project partners. The surface of the sheet has been given a special coating. It protects the paper from dust, damp and other contamination. Furthermore, the matt surface of the coating absorbs annoying light reflections during the lessons.

GSI and Darmstadtium are giving out the periodic table to schools free of charge (for as long as stocks last). Teachers can order copies for their school classes. (Shipping within Germany.) (JL)

Click here to order.

 

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news-3445 Tue, 04 Jun 2019 13:16:21 +0200 Pions as a catalyst: Microscopic study of deuteron production in lead collisions https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////studie_zur_deuteron_produktion_in_blei_kollisionen0.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=6f82d017747df284860d11eab955939e It’s an exciting field of research for physics: quark-gluon plasma, the state of matter that existed in the universe until fractions of a second after the big bang, that can be generated and studied by collisions of heavy lead ions. Experimental observations show that these collisions produce light nuclei such as deuterons, tritons and helium. Researchers, however, don’t agree on the theoretical explanation for their production. It’s an exciting field of research for physics: quark-gluon plasma, the state of matter that existed in the universe until fractions of a second after the big bang, that can be generated and studied by collisions of heavy lead ions. Experimental observations show that these collisions produce light nuclei such as deuterons, tritons and helium. Researchers, however, don’t agree on the theoretical explanation for their production. A group of physicists including Professor Hannah Elfner from the GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung and her former PhD candidate Dr. Dmytro Oliinychenko from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California as well as other partners recently published in the “Physical Review C” journal regarding new results on the microscopic understanding of deuteron production.

Deuteron is the atomic nucleus of deuterium (“heavy hydrogen”). Deuterons play a role in nuclear fusion reactions in stars. “Like snowballs in hell” is how some researchers describe the fact that light nuclei like deuterons are recognizable in the quark-gluon plasma. In actuality, the high temperatures of the fireballs emanating from the collisions should melt the nuclei into their subatomic constituents though that’s not exactly what they seem to do. Elfner, Oliinychenko and his colleagues are now proposing a microscopic mechanism that could explain why the nuclei don’t disappear.

They start from an already existing qualitative explanation for the observation of these nuclei. This proposal postulates that the light nuclei created in the fireball are destroyed by high temperatures and are recreated over and over again by flying protons and neutrons as the fireball cools down. The microscopic mechanisms behind this scenario were unclear up until now. This is where Elfner, Oliinychenko and colleagues started and set about finding the mechanism by analyzing a series of reactions that could form deuterons. They identified a possible reaction in which protons and neutrons form deuterons in the presence of pions or quark-antiquark pairs. The pions could serve as a kind of catalyst for reactions between protons and neutrons, thereby enabling the stable production of deuterons in high-energy nuclear collisions.

The team simulated similar conditions to a CERN experiment recently conducted by the ALICE collaboration that accurately characterized collisional light nuclei. Then the comparison followed: the calculated deuteron yield and energy spectra were consistent with ALICE observations. The conclusion: if Elfner, Oliinychenko and the team’s idea is correct, it should also explain the formation of other observed nuclei such as tritons.

The authors now plan to review this possibility in upcoming calculations and to further substantiate their findings. In addition, they’re considering how to conduct further studies at lower radiation energies. Such considerations are also relevant for the HADES experiment at GSI and for the CBM experiment at the future FAIR Accelerator Center currently being developed at GSI. The topic of Elfner, Oliinychenko and the group is also presented in Bari, Italy, at this year's "Strangeness in Quark Matter" conference, one of the largest conferences in this field of research. (BP)

More information

Article in Physical Review C

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news-3443 Fri, 31 May 2019 09:01:00 +0200 Improved emittance measurement in accelerator systems — Over €360,000 of funding through the LOEWE initiative https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////loewe_foerderung_fuer_rose0.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=8e189ad72903579a564b068bf07ea2cf Developed by two GSI researchers, the ROSE system (ROtating Scanner for 4-dimensional Emittance measurement) will receive funding of more than €360,000 from the LOEWE funding initiative of the State of Hesse for a period of three years from May 2019 on. The purpose of the current project is the development and system integration of a software package for ROSE. The applicant is NTG (New Technologies GmbH of Gelnhausen), a company cooperating with GSI. Developed by two GSI researchers, the ROSE system (ROtating Scanner for 4-dimensional Emittance measurement) will receive funding of more than €360,000 from the LOEWE funding initiative of the State of Hesse for a period of three years from May 2019 on. The purpose of the current project is the development and system integration of a software package for ROSE. The applicant is NTG (New Technologies GmbH of Gelnhausen), a company cooperating with GSI, though the greater part of the funding, approx. €200,000, will go to GSI for personnel costs.

ROSE is a novel system for measuring four-dimensional (4D) transversal ion beam emittance. This is the volume occupied by an ion beam in the transversal phase space. Knowledge and manipulation of the ion beam emittance in the accelerator are relevant for improving the beam quality. Previously, only the horizontal and vertical projections of the 4D phase space could be measured for heavy ion beams with energies above 100 kilo-electron volts per nucleon. These measurements lack information on the coupling of the planes, since they represent only a shadow image of the actual volume in the phase space. Researchers Dr. Michael Maier and Dr. Chen Xiao of GSI's accelerator division developed the rotatable emittance measurement system ROSE at GSI to overcome this limitation. As a result, operators of heavy-ion accelerator systems will now have a universal measuring tool available to them for the first time that will enable measurement of the couplings between the planes. This allows a considerably more efficient tuning of the accelerator systems.

Maier describes his invention as follows: “In addition to the capability of a complete 4D measurement of the transversal beam emittance, the rotatability of the system allows one measurement plane to be spared, since all spatial directions can be approached from a single device. Since the rotary drive is significantly cheaper than the electronics required for a complete extra measurement plane, this reduces the costs of the emittance measurement system.”

The software package to be developed in the funded project and integrated into the overall ROSE system is intended to combine the four necessary and hitherto separate sub-functions of planning, controling, measuring and evaluating the 4D emittance measurement for the first time. In the project, this software and the previously developed components, the ROSE detector and the ‘Robomat’ electronic control system (previously also funded by the WIPANO project of the German Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy), will be brought together to form a prototype of the complete 4D ROSE emittance system. Outside the project, the prototype will be tested at GSI in routine operation, optimized jointly with NTG, and finally marketed by NTG as a complete system. The prototype used in routine operation at GSI will also serve as a demonstrator for NTG.

“For users, the clear advantages are a shorter measurement time, less dependence on highly qualified personnel for planning and carrying out the measurement, the possibility of directly correcting the beam at a later stage and the possible minimization of installation and operating costs for the accelerator system,” explains Martina Bauer, who oversees the ROSE project as part of the GSI technology transfer, describing the benefits of the new technology. “Both in functional and economic terms, ROSE is superior to the greater part of the 2D emitter measuring systems currently available. ROSE may generally replace these when they are updated, or may be used directly in new accelerator systems. In Germany at least ten research institutes and a number of companies are now working with systems compatible with ROSE. According to the cooperation partner NTG there are more than 100 interested institutions across Europe in the fields mentioned above, while in particular the Asian market offers a far greater potential.”

Forecasts anticipate a global market share of approximately 20% and a significant increase in sales of 250% in the field of beam diagnostics, with a correspondingly significant positive effect on the employment of dedicated personnel by NTG. In addition, ROSE emittance measurements will enable many new research projects in the field of accelerator physics to be carried out. Especially with regard to the large-scale FAIR (Facility for Antiproton and Ion Research) project and the scientific experiments planned in relation to it, the technical possibilities now opened up by ROSE are a key element for meeting the requirements of the new and world-wide unique accelerator facility currently under construction at GSI in Darmstadt.(cp)

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news-3441 Tue, 28 May 2019 09:46:03 +0200 Outreach of fundamental research and its applications — IPPOG meets at FAIR and GSI https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////vermittlung_von_grundlagenforschung_und_ihren_anwendungen_ippog_tagt_bei_fair_und_gsi0.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=405b1ed498cdd7ed974aa9a062510be8 FAIR and GSI hosted this year’s spring meeting of the International Particle Physics Outreach Group (IPPOG) in May. During three days, the international participants exchanged views on the possibilities of communicating science to the public and in particular to young people. The meeting also gave the participants an opportunity to learn more about the research program of GSI and the status of the international FAIR project, one of the largest construction projects for fundamental research in the world.

In addition to general IPPOG-related topics, the agenda included information on the ongoing FAIR/GSI research, the public relations activities on site, a panel discussion, working groups and demos of educational kits by CAEN. Furthermore, participants took part in a tour of the facilities and the viewing platform of the FAIR construction site. On the occasion of the meeting, a so-called Masterclass for the children of staff members was held. The young people, under professional supervision of scientists, autonomously analyzed and interpreted recent data of the ALICE experiment located at the European research center CERN. IPPOG offers Masterclasses worldwide in cooperation with 250 research institutions that reach out to about 15,000 school-children in 55 countries. The IPPOG steering group approved and will include in the next year’s program the new Masterclass on particle therapy developed in a cooperation of GSI, CERN and Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum (DKFZ) in Heidelberg.

IPPOG is a network of scientists, science educators and communication specialists working across the globe in informal science education and outreach for particle physics and fundamental research in general. IPPOG brings new discoveries to young people and conveys to the public that the beauty of nature is indeed becoming understandable from the interactions of its most fundamental parts. Recently, IPPOG has also focused on applications for society, which was reflected by the contributions of FAIR and GSI. The IPPOG collaboration currently comprises 30 members: 24 countries, five experiments and CERN as an international laboratory, as well as several candidates for membership. (cp)

Further information:

International Particle Physics Outreach Group

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news-3437 Wed, 22 May 2019 08:11:00 +0200 New Masterclass for pupils on particle therapy https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////masterclass_partikeltherapie0.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=ec92e4c70aff9efdea0346cb48e835cc In April, a pilot Masterclass on particle therapy took place at GSI and FAIR, as well as at the Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum (DKFZ) in Heidelberg and the European research center CERN in Geneva, Switzerland. School children with an age distribution spanning from 12 to 17 years were invited to immerse in the world of scientists for a day. At the end of the event they joined a common video conference to share their experiences. In April, a pilot Masterclass on particle therapy took place at GSI and FAIR, as well as at the Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum (DKFZ) in Heidelberg and the European research center CERN in Geneva, Switzerland. School children with an age distribution spanning from 12 to 17 years were invited to immerse in the world of scientists for a day. At the end of the event they joined a common video conference to share their experiences and discuss their results from a hands-on session as international scientific collaborations do.

This new masterclass was proposed towards enriching the program of the well-established International Physics Masterclasses (IMC), an educational outreach activity and flagship project of the International Particle Physics Outreach Group (IPPOG). The program currently reaches out to approx. 15,000 school children around the world with about 225 institutes from 55 participating countries in 2018. The aim of the pilot Masterclass session was to explore the students’ interest in the subject of particle therapy, as well as to get feedback from participants before presenting the new package to the IMC steering group during the spring IPPOG meeting in May at FAIR and GSI. More specifically, the theme of this new masterclass was chosen with the aim to highlight benefits for society from fundamental research, focusing on medical applications and related questions. The Particle Therapy Masterclass allows participants to get a hands-on experience of the actual techniques employed by researchers for treatment of cancer tumors using x-rays, protons or carbon ions, in a realistic way. The professional research software toolkit matRad developed by the DKFZ has been used in this Masterclass.

The alpha testing phase of the program was done at GSI in February 2019 and comments from the students were implemented in the program’s next version. Subsequently, following the pattern of any typical masterclass day, the involved institutes organized the local details of the event with schools of their area and also worked out a plan for the presentation of results and discussion during the common video conference at the end of the hands-on session. Each institute adapted the exact program of the masterclasses to the local needs, e.g. language or program details, in order to make it as attractive as possible to the participants. Comments from the participants, as well as from observing PhD students and scientists, were recorded and will be taken into consideration as the project moves to its next phase.

During the video-conference discussion of results, the enthusiasm and interest of the students were obvious, as well as their understanding of the presented topics. The local organizers who contributed in preparing and performing the event in all three institutes expressed their satisfaction but also their motivation and commitment to continue. The team work among colleagues of all three institutes contributes in preparing the next generation of scientists, but also in strengthening bonds among the involved institutes developing this project.

The successful pilot session has set the basis, and already several other institutes have declared interest to join. In addition to its impact in the framework of IMC, it has a great potential that can be explored and applied to enhance awareness of public, trigger interest and engage the next generation of scientists, promote education and training in related fields, and make clear the benefits of science and international collaborative spirit for society.

It is not a coincidence that the involved institutes in this pilot project are leading institutes for fundamental research but also renowned for important contributions in the field of medical applications. At GSI, where carbon ion therapy for cancer was pioneered in the 1990s, participants had the chance to visit the medical treatment facility where approx. 450 patients were treated for the first time. At Heidelberg, a visit of the HIT ion therapy center, built following the research results of GSI, had a strong impact particularly since it included a group photo next to the impressive gantry. At CERN, participants were excited about the visit to the Antiproton Decelerator and learning about antimatter and its use in PET scanners. They were also informed that CERN was the home of the open source design study of particle therapy facilities (PIMMS), which became the basis for the construction of two therapy centers in Europe, CNAO in Italy and MedAustron in Austria. It was only natural then to hear their question “What next?”.

Overall, the event was very successful and highly appreciated by the students, their teachers and families. (yf/cp)

Further information:
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news-3433 Mon, 20 May 2019 08:19:00 +0200 BVMW-Wirtschaftssenat visits GSI and FAIR https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////bvmw_wirtschaftssenat_besucht_gsi_und_fair0.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=dedea9a840afb8ed4a908c821b88d56f In May, the Wirtschaftssenat of the Bundesverband mittelständische Wirtschaft, Unternehmerverband Deutschlands e.V. (BVMW) visited the FAIR/GSI campus to learn about research, the FAIR project and, in particular, the technologies and innovations available at the location. The group was accompanied by former ESA astronaut Dr. h.c. Thomas Reiter, ESA Interagency Coordinator. In May, the Wirtschaftssenat of the Bundesverband mittelständische Wirtschaft, Unternehmerverband Deutschlands e.V. (BVMW) visited the FAIR/GSI campus to learn about research, the FAIR project and, in particular, the technologies and innovations available at the location. The group was accompanied by former ESA astronaut Dr. h.c. Thomas Reiter, ESA Interagency Coordinator and also a member of the Wirtschaftssenat, and Eric Morel de Westgaver, ESA Director for Industry, Procurement and Legal Services.

After a welcoming address by the Scientific Managing Director of FAIR and GSI Professor Paolo Giubellino, the Technical Director of FAIR and GSI Jörg Blaurock and Dr. Ingo Peter, Head of Press and Public Relations, gave an overview of the research highlights to date and the plans for the future at the international FAIR accelerator facility as well as the fields of technology in which work is being carried out both in research and in infrastructure.

During the subsequent tour, the guests visited the FAIR viewing platform to gain an overview of the progress on the construction site. In cryotechnology, they learned more about the superconducting magnets, which must be cooled to minus 269°C for operation at FAIR. They also had the opportunity to inspect the main control room of the facility, the linear accelerator UNILAC and the experimental storage ring ESR. At the medical irradiation facility of the biophysics research department, the participants were informed about tumor therapy with carbon ions. A visit to the large detector HADES and the particularly energy-efficient high-performance computing center Green IT Cube rounded off the tour.

During the following lunch, the guests were able to connect with the technology experts of FAIR and GSI via an in-house exhibition. Representatives from technology transfer, biophysics, materials research, cryotechnology, electronics, IT and laser technology were available for discussions, could establish contacts and sound out cooperation possibilities. During the afternoon, the group also visited ESA's mission control, ESOC in Darmstadt. The day ended with a joint dinner where Professor Marco Durante, Head of GSI Biophysics, informed the participants about the effects of cosmic radiation on the human body and tumor therapy with ion beams in an accompanying lecture.

The event is part of the long-standing and very successful cooperation between GSI/FAIR and ESA. GSI/FAIR support ESA in the investigation of cosmic rays. To learn more about the effects of cosmic rays on humans, electronics and materials is one of the crucial questions of the future in astronautical and robotic spaceflight.

The BVMW represents the interests of medium-sized German industry. Its aim is to strengthen the competitiveness of companies and thus to secure the future viability of German SMEs. The Wirtschaftssenat, to which the BVMW appoints the members, is made up of around 230 business personalities who represent the services provided by small and medium-sized enterprises for our country. (cp)

Further information:
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news-3435 Fri, 17 May 2019 09:31:19 +0200 GET_INvolved Programme with Poland and Romania established https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////get_involved_stipendienprogramm_polen_rumaenien0.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=9f23ffa155ed493b30d925c00ae87c54 Four universities in Poland and Romania now agreed to become GET_INvolved partners by listing GSI/FAIR as receiving organization for the Erasmus+ scholarship programme. Students and graduates from these universities may now apply for Erasmus+ scholarships using a simplified procedure to enable them an internship, traineeship or research stay at GSI and FAIR in Darmstadt. Four universities in Poland and Romania now agreed to become GET_INvolved partners by listing GSI/FAIR as receiving organization for the Erasmus+ scholarship programme. Students and graduates from these universities may now apply for Erasmus+ scholarships using a simplified procedure to enable them an internship, traineeship or research stay at GSI and FAIR in Darmstadt, Germany.

Erasmus+ is the European Union's programme to foster education, training, youth and sport in Europe. Erasmus+ supports, for example, traineeships and internships abroad for students currently enrolled in higher education institutions in programme countries at Bachelor and Master level as well as for doctoral candidates. These opportunities are also open to recent graduates.

The GET_INvolved programme provides international students and early stage researchers with opportunities to perform internships, traineeships and early-stage research experience in order to get involved in the international FAIR acclerator project while receiving scientific and technical training.

So far, three Polish universities and one Romanian university agreed to become GET_INvolved partners and to list GSI/FAIR as receiving organization for their students: in Poland the Warsaw University of Technology (WUT), the Wrocław University of Science and Technology (WUST) and the Białystok University of Technology (BUT), in Romania the University of Bucharest. (mbe)

More information about the partner universities

Warsaw University of Technology

Wrocław University of Science and Technology

Białystok University of Technology

University of Bucharest

More about GET_INvolved

GET_INvolved programme Poland

GET_INvolved programme Romania

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news-3425 Wed, 15 May 2019 09:09:00 +0200 Longstanding puzzle about beta decay solved https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////beta_decay0.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=955380eae5632572513731b323c17bf8 An international collaboration including contributions from TU Darmstadt and the ExtreMe Matter Institute (EMMI) at GSI solved a 50-year-old puzzle that explains why beta decays of atomic nuclei are slower than what is expected based on the beta decay of free neutrons. The findings, published in the scientific journal Nature Physics, fill a long-standing gap in our understanding of beta decay, an important process in nuclear physics applications and in the synthesis of heavy elements in stars. An international collaboration including contributions from TU Darmstadt and the ExtreMe Matter Institute (EMMI) at GSI solved a 50-year-old puzzle that explains why beta decays of atomic nuclei are slower than what is expected based on the beta decay of free neutrons. The findings, published in the scientific journal Nature Physics, fill a long-standing gap in our understanding of beta decay, an important process in nuclear physics applications and in the synthesis of heavy elements in stars.

Beta decay is the main decay channel of atomic nuclei: a conversion of a neutron inside the nucleus into a proton (or vice-versa), which produces a different element with proton number plus (or minus) one. In this way beta decay plays a central role in the synthesis of new elements in our universe. As an interplay of the strong force that binds neutrons and protons inside the nucleus and the weak interaction, beta decay also holds important clues for physics beyond the Standard Model and has been the focus of concentrated efforts in physics since the early 1900s.

However, a puzzle has withstood a first-principle understanding: the beta decay of neutrons bound within nuclei are significantly slower than what would be expected on the basis of decay times of free neutrons. In the past, this systematic discrepancy was taken care of by implementing a constant called ‘quenching’. This workaround was able to reconcile observed beta-decay rates of neutrons inside and outside the nucleus and realigned theoretical models with experimental measurements.

“For a long time, we have lacked a fundamental understanding of nuclear beta decay,” said EMMI professor Achim Schwenk from TU Darmstadt, who is part of the collaboration. “In complex microscopic computations we now demonstrated for the first time that strong correlations in the nucleus as well as the strong interaction with another neutron or proton slow down beta decay inside the nucleus. Such interaction effects are predicted in effective field theories of the strong and weak interactions.”

To demonstrate this, the theoretical physicists systematically calculated beta decays for a variety of light and medium-mass nuclei, starting from a nucleus with only three nucleons up to tin-100 with 50 protons and 50 neutrons. The beta decay of tin-100 was first observed at GSI in the year 2012. The results of the collaboration were in very good agreement with experimental data and demonstrate that the quenching factor is not needed when both the strong and weak interaction effects are considered consistently.

The advances in taking the weak interaction with single neutrons and protons to large atomic nuclei have been made possible by theoretical developments of effective field theory, as well as by great progress in many-body theory and powerful supercomputing capabilities.

In addition to a better understanding of beta decays for the synthesis of heavy elements in supernovae and neutron star mergers, the researchers also hope to gain new insights into double-beta decays, in particular neutrino-less double-beta decay, where an analogous quenching puzzle exists. (cp)

Further information:
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news-3431 Mon, 13 May 2019 11:04:32 +0200 “Outstanding Referee”: Honor for Professor Hans Feldmeier https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////outstanding_referee_hans_feldmeier0.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=bf6145ca01925c72d24a8d6ec7810af2 Professor Hans Feldmeier from the GSI’s Theory research department has been appointed as an “Outstanding Referee” by the American Physical Society (APS). Since 2008 this lifetime award is presented to scientists every year in recognition of their voluntary work as referees who provide peer reviews. The recognition as an Outstanding Referee honors exceptional service in reviewing manuscripts that had been submitted to the journals published by the APS. Professor Hans Feldmeier from the GSI’s Theory research department has been appointed as an “Outstanding Referee” by the American Physical Society (APS). Since 2008 this lifetime award is presented to scientists every year in recognition of their voluntary work as referees who provide peer reviews. The recognition as an Outstanding Referee honors exceptional service in reviewing manuscripts that had been submitted to the journals published by the APS.

Peer reviewers assess manuscripts to ensure they are suitable for publication in APS journals, and thus help to keep the standards of the journals at a high level. This often also helps authors improve the quality and readability of their articles. This year, the APS has selected 143 “Outstanding Referees” from a pool of around 71,000 active reviewers. The honorees come from 29 different countries including the USA, the United Kingdom, Canada, France, and Germany. The quality, quantity, and timely submission of the reviews are decisive factors in selecting an Outstanding Referee. Professor Hans Feldmeier is now also a member of this outstanding group.

Professor Hans Feldmeier studied physics in Darmstadt and earned his doctorate from the Technical University (TU) in Darmstadt in 1974. Subsequently he went to the Oak Ridge National Lab in the US state of Tennessee as a postdoc and later returned to the TU Darmstadt, where he qualified as a lecturer in theoretical physics in 1981. After spending two years as a Heisenberg Fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg he came GSI. Feldmeier took over an extraordinary professorship at the TU Darmstadt and became a leading scientist at GSI. From 2009 until 2013 he was the head of the GSI Theory department, of which he still is a member. The main subjects of his research include theoretical nuclear physics, nuclear structure, and nuclear astrophysics. (BP)

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news-3428 Thu, 09 May 2019 09:00:00 +0200 Members of the Bundestag get informed about GSI and FAIR https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////bundestagsabgeordnete_informieren_sich_ueber_gsi_und_fair0.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=7f339c3cb7eb53f1b7da5a6b5fcb323a The visit of René Röspel and Dr. Jens Zimmermann, both SPD Members of the Bundestag, to GSI and FAIR focused on the progress of the FAIR project and the current scientific activities on campus. The politicians were received by Jörg Blaurock, Technical Managing Director of GSI and FAIR, Professor Thomas Stöhlker, Deputy Research Director of GSI and FAIR, and Dr. Ingo Peter, Head of Press and Public Relations. The visit of René Röspel and Dr. Jens Zimmermann, both SPD Members of the Bundestag, to GSI and FAIR focused on the progress of the FAIR project and the current scientific activities on campus. The politicians were received by Jörg Blaurock, Technical Managing Director of GSI and FAIR, Professor Thomas Stöhlker, Deputy Research Director of GSI and FAIR, and Dr. Ingo Peter, Head of Press and Public Relations.

René Röspel is delegate from the Hagen - Ennepe-Ruhrkreis I district and member of the parliamentary Committee on Education, Research and Technology Assessment. He is also member of the Senate of the Helmholtz Association. Dr. Jens Zimmermann comes from the election district of Odenwald and is member of the Finance Committee and the Digital Agenda Committee of the Bundestag. The two politicians were accompanied by Anne Marquardt, SPD Member of the town council of Darmstadt and office manager of Jens Zimmermann.

After an introductory presentation and opportunity for discussion, the visitors were able to take a close view on the great progress on the mega construction site FAIR during a tour of the construction site, from the completed shell construction of the first tunnel segment for the large ring accelerator SIS100 to the excavation pit for the central transfer building. Information was also provided on the FAIR project organization and construction site logistics.

The visit concluded with a guided tour, which provided the politicians with insights into the existing research facilities on the GSI and FAIR campus. The also significant progress made with the components of the FAIR accelerator machine and the experiments was presented here. Among others, the guests visited the test facility for superconducting accelerator magnets, where high-tech components for FAIR are tested and the experimental storage ring ESR. The treatment unit for tumor therapy with heavy ions and the Hades experimental setup were also part of the visit. (BP)

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news-3423 Sun, 05 May 2019 15:01:00 +0200 New session for established international FAIR school: application phase under way https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////fair_schule_bewerbungsphase_laeuft0.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=5d288483ef98632399442b245bcbd54d The optimal support of top junior scientists is one of the decisive tasks for research institutions such as GSI and FAIR. An important instrument to achieve this goal is the international FAIR School. It is designed for young PhD students to get an overview on the whole FAIR science program. This summer, the established FAIR School will be held in its sixth edition and is currently open for application. The optimal support of top junior scientists is one of the decisive tasks for research institutions such as GSI and FAIR. An important instrument to achieve this goal is the international FAIR School. It is designed for young PhD students to get an overview on the whole FAIR science program. This summer, the established FAIR School will be held in its sixth edition and is currently open for application.

The international FAIR School will take place from September 8-13, 2019 in Castiglione della Pescaia in Italy. It will cover all scientific pillars of FAIR, i.e. APPA, CBM, NUSTAR, PANDA, as well as the accelerator complex and computing. As in previous years, the FAIR School will keep the highly successful format of lectures given by international FAIR experts in the morning and workshop sessions in the afternoon where the students will solve problems and tackle projects. It enables young scientists to participate in the international exchange and interaction with their fellow students from the FAIR partner countries.

The topics discussed at this event will cover the full range of FAIR relevant physics, covering fields from Atomic Physics, Plasma Physics, Heavy Ion Physics, Hadron Physics, Accelerator Physics, Nuclear Structure Physics and High Performance Computing. Here it will be made sure that the students also get the opportunity to see the big (global) picture, thus also projects similar to FAIR i.e. NICA and the RHIC Beam Energy Scan will be outlined.

The school will be organized jointly by the Frankfurt Institute for Advanced Studies (FIAS) – here especially the Frankfurt International Graduate School for Science (FIGSS) – and the FAIR Russia Research Centre (FRRC). Both institutes are renowned within the FAIR community. (BP)

Further information

More about the international FAIR School and the application deadline can be found here

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news-3421 Tue, 30 Apr 2019 16:00:00 +0200 International group of experts presents final report on the FAIR project https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////expertengruppe_abschlussbericht_zum_fair_projekt0.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=459fd9797b73feda61f52cdd2da068e0 The shareholders of FAIR GmbH had decided in 2015 to have the project re-evaluated in the spring of 2019. The international committee of experts charged of the evaluation has now presented its final report to the shareholders of FAIR GmbH. In addition to scientific and technical aspects, the experts also analyzed the currently foreseeable increase in the cost of the project as well as time delays and in-kind services provided by international partners and other risks. The shareholders of FAIR GmbH had decided in 2015 to have the project re-evaluated in the spring of 2019. The international committee of experts charged of the evaluation has now presented its final report to the shareholders of FAIR GmbH. In addition to scientific and technical aspects, the experts also analyzed the currently foreseeable increase in the cost of the project as well as time delays and in-kind services provided by international partners and other risks.

The team of high-level external experts was headed by the British physicist Lyndon Evans, who is an expert in the field of particle accelerators and was the project leader for the construction of the large particle accelerator LHC at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research. The committee, which consisted of particle accelerator experts, scientists, and construction project managers, has been assessing the project since November 2018 by means of accurate detail work, partly in subgroups focusing on specific aspects.

The report of the committee of experts has confirmed that the scientific program of FAIR is outstanding at the global level. The group of experts rated the FAIR project as a top international science project for decades, offering world class opportunities and outstanding potential for groundbreaking discoveries.

The experts’ report attests the effective and efficient organizational structures and processes of the project and the campus which have been established and implemented by the management over the recent years. The committee of experts is convinced of the reliable management and the successful realization of FAIR.

The report also includes an assessment of additional costs which confirm the estimates provided by the Management. According to this, the cost estimates are around € 850 million (equivalent to € 530 million based on price level of 2005) higher than planned for in 2015 if the project is to be fully realized. With € 550 million, a large part of the additional costs is attributable to civil construction, with the experts seeing cost drivers in the currently strong civil construction market. For the accelerator components, a working group of the FAIR Council has identified an additional requirement of € 215 million. Another € 85 million will be needed for personnel and administrative costs of FAIR GmbH by 2025. In addition, the experts concluded that it would be wise to foresee a contingency of at least 10% for the total construction cost. The experts also confirm that first cutting-edge experiments can be performed at the novel FAIR facility before the end of 2025.

The shareholders have agreed at their latest meeting that until the next Council meeting they will set in motion a political decision on how to handle the additional requirements necessary to realize FAIR in its scientific uniqueness.

The shareholders expressed the wish to make a political decision. The shareholders in the nine partner countries are now invited to discuss with their governments the further steps of the FAIR project and to decide how FAIR will be implemented. (red)

More information

Report of the international group of experts

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news-3419 Thu, 25 Apr 2019 09:30:00 +0200 Important milestone: Shell construction of the first tunnel segment of the FAIR ring accelerator completed https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////rohbau_fuer_den_ersten_tunnelabschnitt_des_fair_ringbeschleunigers0.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=e8ef8d6e1da7c6cfe492dfb245d59007 A next milestone has been achieved for the FAIR accelerator center, currently one of the largest construction projects for research. The first tunnel segment of the central ring accelerator SIS100 is completed in its shell construction. On this occasion, the management board of GSI and FAIR together with a team of responsible employees took a joint on-site inspection of the SIS100 construction site area. A next milestone has been achieved for the FAIR accelerator center, currently one of the largest construction projects for research. The first tunnel segment of the central ring accelerator SIS100 is completed in its shell construction. On this occasion, the management board of GSI and FAIR together with a team of responsible employees took a joint on-site inspection of the SIS100 construction site area.

The group which consisted of representatives of the project management team, the scientific and technical council and the works council could descend to the base in 18 meter depth. There they had a close look at the completed, about 25 meter long segment of shell construction for the accelerator and the supply tunnel which run next to each other. With the finalization of the load-bearing parts, the walls and the ceiling structure, the shell construction completion of the first tunnel segment marks an important milestone within the timeline of the entire FAIR project.

At the on-site inspection, the management board with the Scientific Managing Director Professor Paolo Giubellino, the Administrative Managing Director Ursula Weyrich and the Technical Managing Director Jörg Blaurock emphasized the significance of the constructive interaction of all participants. “Today, thanks to the commitment and the effort of our employees we stand here in the first tunnel segment of the FAIR accelerator SIS100”, says Jörg Blaurock. “Our major common goal is the realization of FAIR. Without the everyday dedication as a team it would not be possible to organize and implement such a mega project.”

At numerous locations at the large construction site the continuous progress in realizing the FAIR project is visible: The advancements are for example continuing in the next tunnel segments of the 1100 meter accelerator ring. The concrete pouring work for ground slabs, the walls and the ceiling structure are under way, while in further sections the casings and reinforcements are installed. Also, the construction works for the transfer building are significantly advanced. The transfer building is another crucial building for FAIR that will house the central hub for guiding the facility’s beam. For the experiment sites of FAIR the structural course is set, too, for example the excavation pit of the CBM experiment takes distinct shape. (LW / BP)

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news-3415 Wed, 24 Apr 2019 10:09:00 +0200 STRONG-2020: the new European project at the forefront of strong interaction studies https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////strong_2020_neues_eu_projekt_fuer_die_untersuchung_der_starken_wechselwirkung0.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=c5b27d85ad36e4d9d4312a7014231f4e The EU project STRONG-2020 with participation of GSI and FAIR has been approved by the EU commission and is planned to start in summer 2019. One aim of STRONG-2020 is to promote the access to the important large research infrastructures in Europe to study the properties of strongly interacting matter under extreme conditions and to transfer the resulting technical progress of the experiments into new applications. Open questions of the strong interaction will be addressed on theoretical and... The EU project STRONG-2020 with participation of GSI and FAIR has been approved by the EU commission and is planned to start in summer 2019. One aim of STRONG-2020 is to promote the access to the important large research infrastructures in Europe to study the properties of strongly interacting matter under extreme conditions and to transfer the resulting technical progress of the experiments into new applications. Open questions of the strong interaction will be addressed on theoretical and experimental level. In total 10 Million Euro will finance the project involving 44 participating institutions. GSI will use a part of the raised funds to enable more external scientists to do experiments at GSI in the context of FAIR Phase 0.

The theoretical and experimental studies of the strong interaction, a cornerstone of the Standard Model (SM) of particle physics, is the aim of the research of an active community of about 2500 researchers in Europe.  The list of open questions at the frontier of our present knowledge in this field is rich, and include a full understanding of: the tridimensional structure of the proton; the spectroscopy of hadrons and their exotic states; the properties of the hot and dense quark-gluon plasma; precision studies of the SM. These research topics are experimentally studied mostly by particle collisions at low (GeV range) and high (up to 14 TeV) energies, which require continuous developments in state-of-the-art detectors, data acquisition systems, beams and targets, as well as in the underlying theory.

The STRONG-2020 project, a European Integrating Activity for Advanced Community, recently approved by the European Community within the Horizon-2020 – Research and Innovation Framework Programme, is a structured enterprise to address the open questions in the strong interaction studies in theory and experiment, building upon and going beyond the previous Hadron Physics HP, HP2 and HP3 projects in the framework programmes of FP6 and FP7.

STRONG-2020, strongly supported by NuPECC (the Nuclear Physics European Collaboration Committee), brings together many of the European leading research groups and infrastructures presently involved in the forefront research in strong interaction. It provides transnational access to six world-class research infrastructures in Europe, which complement each other in particle beams characteristics (COSY, MAMI, LNF-INFN, ELSA, GSI, CERN) and virtual access to open-source codes and automated/simulation tools. STRONG-2020 fosters the synergy between theoreticians and experimentalists, supporting the activities of the European Centre for Theoretical Studies in Nuclear Physics and Related Areas (ECT*, Trento).

The STRONG-2020 Consortium includes 44 participant institutions, among which are GSI and FAIR, embracing 14 EU Member States, one International EU Interest Organization (CERN) and one EU candidate country (Montenegro). Together with host institutions of other 21 countries, participating in the activities without EU benefits, STRONG-2020 involves research in 36 countries. The project  is structured in 32 Work Packages (WP):  Project Management and Coordination, Dissemination and Communication, 7 Transnational Access Activities, 2 Virtual Access Activities, 7 Netwoking Activities and 14 Joint Research Activities.

The STRONG-2020 results will have a significant impact in the study of the strong interaction and the SM. The project will also contribute to fundamental research for physics beyond SM, impacting in other scientific sectors, such as astrophysics and theories of strongly coupled complex systems in condensed matter. The tools and methodologies for the new-cutting-edge experiments within STRONG-2020 will provide upgrades to the European Research Infrastructures, enhancing their competitiveness. The developed technologies will also impact in medicine (diagnostic tools, cancer treatment) and industry (line-scan cameras, 3D-magnets technology) and may also lead to advances in computing/machine learning.

STRONG-2020 will promote training and education activities, including students and postdocs, which will bring qualified personnel to the job market, as well as dissemination activities at current state of the art in science communication. (LW)

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news-3417 Thu, 18 Apr 2019 09:19:04 +0200 Rector of Heidelberg University visits FAIR and GSI https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////besuch_rektor_eitel0.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=db49103d498926404aa187657b98b934 The head of the Ruprecht-Karls-University Heidelberg, Rector Professor Bernhard Eitel, used a visit to FAIR and GSI to gain an insight into the ongoing construction work of FAIR and the existing accelerator facility and experiments of GSI. He was accompanied by Professor Hans-Christian Schultz-Coulon, Dean of the Faculty of Physics and Astronomy. The head of the Ruprecht-Karls-University Heidelberg, Rector Professor Bernhard Eitel, used a visit to FAIR and GSI to gain an insight into the ongoing construction work of FAIR and the existing accelerator facility and experiments of GSI. He was accompanied by Professor Hans-Christian Schultz-Coulon, Dean of the Faculty of Physics and Astronomy.

After the welcome, Professor Paolo Giubellino, Scientific Director of FAIR and GSI, accompanied the two guests on a tour of the FAIR construction site, focusing in particular on the progress of the tunnel construction work for the FAIR ring accelerator SIS100 and for the experiment on compressed nuclear matter CBM.

In a subsequent tour of the existing facility, Professor Norbert Herrmann, who teaches at the Heidelberg University and is spokesperson of the CBM collaboration, explained the large-scale detector HADES and the preparatory setup of miniCBM at GSI. Professor Silvia Masciocchi, also from Heidelberg University and head of the research department ALICE at GSI, gave an insight into the current tasks of the measurement setup located at the European research center CERN in Geneva, Switzerland, in which GSI plays an important role. Professors Yury Litvinov, Heidelberg University, and Thomas Stöhlker, Deputy Research Director of FAIR/GSI, presented the storage rings ESR and CRYRING as well as the experiments in atomic physics. Professor Christina Trautmann, head of the Materials Research department, and Dr. Ulrich Weber and Dr. Walter Tinganelli, group leaders within the Biophysics research department, informed the guests about the efforts of the two disciplines.

After the tour, the rector and dean met with the management and the research representatives for a joint discussion in order to explore further opportunities for cooperation. GSI/FAIR and the of University have been linked in their research work since the foundation of GSI 50 years ago and work closely together through various projects and joint professorships/department heads. (cp)

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news-3413 Mon, 15 Apr 2019 10:13:11 +0200 Prestigious Stern-Gerlach Medal goes to Peter Braun-Munzinger and Johanna Stachel https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////stern_gerlach_medaille0.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=52a1c3d6ee4df393019b387c76c4b314 Professor Peter Braun-Munzinger, the Scientific Director of the ExtreMe Matter Institute EMMI at the GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung, and Professor Johanna Stachel from Heidelberg University have been jointly awarded the prestigious Stern-Gerlach Medal by the German Physical Society (DPG). Professor Peter Braun-Munzinger, the Scientific Director of the ExtreMe Matter Institute EMMI at the GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung, and Professor Johanna Stachel from Heidelberg University have been jointly awarded the prestigious Stern-Gerlach Medal by the German Physical Society (DPG). The award comes in recognition of their outstanding role in the construction and operation of the central detectors for the ALICE experiment at the CERN Large Hadron Collider and of their outstanding contribution to the interpretation of heavy-ion collisions and the understanding of the phase structure of matter under extreme conditions. The award was presented at the DPG annual conference, in Rostock.

The nuclear physicist Peter Braun-Munzinger is 72 years old. His work focuses primarily on ultrarelativistic heavy-ion collisions and the resulting quark-gluon plasma. In the period from 1996 to 2011, he was head of the ALICE department at GSI and also held a chair at TU Darmstadt.  From the very earliest days of the project, GSI has played a leading role in the construction of ALICE — one of the largest experiments at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research — and in shaping the associated scientific program of research. The prime purpose of ALICE is to investigate the quark-gluon plasma, a state of matter that existed in the first few fractions of a second after the Big Bang.

Professor Braun-Munzinger studied physics at Heidelberg University, where he was awarded a doctorate summa cum laude. As a doctoral candidate, he held a scholarship of the Studienstiftung des Deutschen Volkes, following which he worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg. In 1976, Braun-Munzinger joined the State University of New York at Stony Brook, where he became a full professor in 1982. After his return to Germany, he served as project manager for the time projection chamber of the ALICE experiment at CERN from 1998 until 2010. He was also chair of the collaboration board of ALICE from 2011 to 2016 and Helmholtz professor at GSI from 2011 to 2014. He has held an honorary chair at Heidelberg University since 2014.

In the periods from 1984 to 1987 and 2000 to 2002, Braun-Munzinger was an editor of Physical Review Letters. Published by the American Physical Society, this is one of the world’s oldest and most renowned academic journals in the field of physics. Braun-Munzinger’s scientific work has attracted numerous awards. In 1994, for example, he was made a fellow of the American Physical Society, and in 2011 a member of the Academia Europaea. In 2014, he was awarded the Lise Meitner Prize and has now, most recently, been awarded the Stern Gerlach Medal for 2019.

Professor Johanna Stachel is likewise linked to GSI via the ALICE experiment. The 64-year-old nuclear and particle physicist is the first woman to receive the Stern Gerlach Medal. Stachel studied chemistry and physics at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, where she was awarded a doctorate summa cum laude. Her work focuses on understanding collisions of atomic nuclei at ultrarelativistic energies.  She teaches at Heidelberg University. At CERN in Geneva, she is involved in experiments with the Large Hadron Collider to investigate the quark-gluon plasma and heads the transition radiation detector project at ALICE. She is also spokesperson for the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research’s ALICE research program. From 2012 to 2014, she was President of the DPG. Her work has likewise attracted numerous honors and awards. For example, she is a member of the Leopoldina German National Academy of Sciences and has been awarded the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany and also the Lise Meitner Prize.

Professor Paolo Giubellino, the Scientific Managing Director of GSI and FAIR, expressed his delight at the latest honor for Braun-Munzinger and Stachel. “They both have made outstanding contributions to the physics of Heavy Ion collisions,” said Giubellino, who until 2016 was spokesperson for the ALICE experiment. “And I’m very happy that GSI is able to benefit from the great expertise of Professor Peter Braun-Munzinger, as Scientific Director of the ExtreMe Matter Institute EMMI. His work makes a fundamental contribution to the discovery and understanding of new aspects of extreme matter. Furthermore, his scientific work is of enormous importance for the scientific program of the future FAIR facility.”

The Stern Gerlach Medal is the DPG’s highest award for outstanding achievements in the field of experimental physics. It is awarded annually and consists of a handwritten parchment certificate and a gold medal with engravings of the two physicists Otto Stern and Walther Gerlach, who also gave their name to the Stern-Gerlach experiment, a fundamental experiment in physics. (BP)

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news-3411 Fri, 12 Apr 2019 11:08:23 +0200 High-tech for FAIR: GSI and CERN jointly test components https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////hightech_fuer_fair_gsi_und_cern_testen_gemeinsam_komponenten0.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=9e1782c49bb5663a1592984fdcc1ebd3 With the focus on producing the highest quality equipment, the European Organization for Nuclear Research CERN in Switzerland and the GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung in Darmstadt work closely together on testing accelerator magnets. To this purpose, they have convenated a cooperation agreement, under which the test operation has started. The first magnet has been delivered to CERN and will be subjected to detailed quality tests. With the focus on producing the highest quality equipment, the European Organization for Nuclear Research CERN in Switzerland and the GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung in Darmstadt work closely together on testing accelerator magnets. To this purpose, they have convenated a cooperation agreement, under which the test operation has started. The first magnet has been delivered to CERN and will be subjected to detailed quality tests both for the operational parameters and the magnetic field quality. The magnet is the first-of-series for the future accelerator center FAIR currently under construction at GSI.

The cooperation between CERN and GSI provides for the testing of magnets weighing more than 50 tons and to qualify them for operation in the superconducting fragment separator (Super-FRS), which is an important part of the FAIR facility. Precise production of the high-tech components for FAIR isn’t the only decisive step; the testing and quality assurance of the individual parts and magnets is also crucial.

As part of the cooperation, the partners have created a test facility containing three magnet test benches at CERN, where the first tests are starting now. First, the facility will allow for intense endurance tests of the so-called multiplets, which are superconducting magnet units with corrective lenses. Moreover, it will be examined if the magnets behave flawlessly in accordance with high quality standards during operation. The multiplets, each up to seven meters long, will later be used in FAIR's Super-FRS for beam focusing in order to achieve a high-precision particle beam.

The Super-FRS of the future FAIR accelerator center is an important component of the entire facility with great potential for scientific discovery: This part of the accelerator complex will be used for experiments on the fundamental structure of extremely rare exotic nuclei. For these experiments, ions of the heaviest elements will be shot at a target, where they will shatter upon impact. The resulting fragments will include exotic nuclei that the Super-FRS can separate and supply for further experiments. With the new separator, nuclei up to uranium can be produced at relativistic energies and can be separated into pure isotopes. Because this entire process lasts for only a few hundred nanoseconds, the Super-FRS provides researchers access to very short-lived nuclei.

The multiplets, which were manufactured in La Spezia, Italy, as well as the subsequent testing procedure are an important in-kind contribution from GSI to the FAIR project. GSI is the German shareholder of the international FAIR GmbH. All of the superconducting magnets required for the Super-FRS will be tested in alternating sequence in the new test facility at CERN. This includes both the total of 32 multiplet units and 24 superconducting dipole magnets that will be needed for deflecting the particle beam. (BP)

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news-3409 Thu, 11 Apr 2019 09:36:38 +0200 Masterclass 2019 — High-school students on a hunt for particles https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////masterclass_20190.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=c3fcd3c3217f0b8ddf8c82e57b7f4af3 In April 2019 the 9th International Masterclass took place at FAIR and GSI. 17 high-school students were invited to become scientists for a day and to analyze data from the ALICE experiment at the LHC accelerator at CERN in Geneva. GSI has had a major part in the construction and the scientific program of ALICE from the beginning. In April 2019 the 9th International Masterclass took place at FAIR and GSI. 17 high-school students were invited to become scientists for a day and to analyze data from the ALICE experiment at the LHC accelerator at CERN in Geneva. GSI has had a major part in the construction and the scientific program of ALICE from the beginning.

The young people were asked to analyze and interpret data of the ALICE experiment. Under professional supervision of scientists they autonomously analyzed recent data recorded in proton-proton and lead collisions. In the lead collisions a so-called quark-gluon plasma is generated — a state of matter which existed in the universe shortly after the big bang. This plasma undergoes a phase transition back to normal matter in fractions of seconds. The particles produced in the process can give insight into the properties of the quark-gluon plasma.

Two introductory lectures on the quark gluon plasma, held by Masterclass organizer Dr. Ralf Averbeck, and the investigation of heavy ion collisions at the ALICE experiment, held by Michael Habib, put the students in the mood for the analysis. Subsequently, they visited the large-scale experiment HADES, one of the current experiments at the GSI accelerator facility that will also become a part of the future FAIR accelerator. Afterwards they started the data analysis.

The basic idea of the program is to allow the students to work in the same fashion as the scientists. This includes having a videoconference at the end of the day. In a conference connection with groups from the universities in Frankfurt and Münster, as well as CERN they presented and discussed their results.

This year 225 universities and research institutes from 55 countries participate in the International Masterclasses. They are organized by the International Particle Physics Outreach Group (IPPOG). All events in Germany are held in cooperation with the "Netzwerk Teilchenwelt", of which GSI is a member. The nationwide network committed to the communication of particle physics to youngsters and teachers aims to make particle physics accessible to a broader public.

ALICE is one of the four large international experiments at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). It is the experiment specifically designed to investigate collisions of heavy nuclei at high energies. Scientists of GSI and of German universities were involved in the development of new detectors and in the scientific program of ALICE from the beginning. The GSI computing center is an inherent part of the computing grid for data analysis of ALICE. (cp)

Further information:
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news-3405 Thu, 04 Apr 2019 14:00:00 +0200 Member of the Bundestag Norbert Altenkamp visits FAIR and GSI https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////bundestagsabgeordneter_norbert_altenkamp_zu_besuch_bei_fair_und_gsi0.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=c102298122b54c07d5fe561756256735 Norbert Altenkamp, member of the Bundestag, visited GSI and FAIR. The CDU politician from the Main-Taunus district is a member of the Committee on Education, Research and Technology Assessment. Important topics during his visit on Thursday 28 March 2019 were the progress of the FAIR project and the current scientific activities on campus. Norbert Altenkamp, member of the Bundestag, visited GSI and FAIR. The CDU politician from the Main-Taunus district is a member of the Committee on Education, Research and Technology Assessment. Important topics during his visit on Thursday 28 March 2019 were the progress of the FAIR project and the current scientific activities on campus. He was welcomed by Professor Paolo Giubellino, Scientific Managing Director, Administrative Managing Director Ursula Weyrich and Technical Managing Director Jörg Blaurock, as well as Ingo Peter, Head of Public Relations Department.

The politician and former mayor of the town of Bad Soden am Taunus was able to take a close view on the progress of the mega construction site FAIR during a tour of the construction site, from the continuously progressing shell construction for the SIS100 central ring accelerator to the excavation pit for the CBM experiment, one of the future large-scale experimental caves. Afterwards, Norbert Altenkamp was able to gain insights into the existing research facilities during a guided tour on the GSI and FAIR campus. For example he visited the test facility for superconducting accelerator magnets and the Hades experimental setup. (BP)

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news-3401 Tue, 02 Apr 2019 10:00:00 +0200 Czech Republic joins FAIR as “Aspirant Partner” https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////tschechische_republik_tritt_fair_als_aspirant_partner_bei0.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=8fe47bb190b92cb6bfb3295daf6e082c It is a significant moment for the FAIR-Project: A new partner comes aboard. The FAIR international laboratory welcomes the Czech Republic as new partner state. The Czech Republic joins FAIR as an “Aspirant Partner”, a new type of participation which the FAIR Council, the shareholders' meeting of FAIR GmbH, has created in 2017 to offer new countries interested in being part of FAIR a progressive path to membership. It is a significant moment for the FAIR-Project: A new partner comes aboard. The FAIR international laboratory welcomes the Czech Republic as new partner state. The Czech Republic joins FAIR as an “Aspirant Partner”, a new type of participation which the FAIR Council, the shareholders' meeting of FAIR GmbH, has created in 2017 to offer new countries interested in being part of FAIR a progressive path to membership.  The FAIR Council decided in December 2018 to recognise the Czech Republic as the first FAIR “Aspirant Partner”. A corresponding agreement has now been concluded between FAIR GmbH and the Nuclear Physics Institute (NPI) of the Czech Academy of Sciences and was honoured with a ceremony at the GSI and FAIR campus in Darmstadt.

The contract has been signed by the managing directors of GSI and FAIR, Professor Paolo Giubellino, Ursula Weyrich and Jörg Blaurock, as well as by Dr. Petr Lukáš, Director of the NPI. The NPI has been delegated by the Czech Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport to represent the Czech Republic in FAIR and to coordinate the work of the Czech scientific community contributing to FAIR. The partnership is a first step towards a full membership.

"I am extremely pleased that we can warmly welcome the Czech Republic as our new partner state. The partnership can build on a long-standing, very good working collaboration between Czech research institutions and GSI/FAIR. Researchers from the Czech Republic are already making excellent contributions in a variety of scientific and technical fields at GSI and FAIR“, said Professor Paolo Giubellino, Scientific Managing Director at GSI and FAIR.

Czech scientists are involved, for example, in the large detector HADES and in nuclear astrophysics as well in as developments and research for the CBM and PANDA experiments. They are active in all four FAIR research pillars, and intend to also contribute to the construction of components for the FAIR accelerators. The commitment of the Czech scientific community to FAIR is growing rapidly: In 2016, 37 scientists from four scientific institutions in the Czech Republic worked on topics related to the FAIR project, this year it will be more than 60 from six different institutions.

„It is a great pleasure for us to become partner of FAIR with its worldwide unique research opportunities. The new agreement paves the way to a strong long-term collaboration between the Czech research community and FAIR. The membership will further intensify relationships of our scientists with GSI and FAIR and create opportunities for an even more fruitful cooperation in areas such as research, education and innovation“, said NPI director Dr. Petr Lukáš.

When signing the agreement, the partners underlined their wish to strengthen sharing of scientific knowledge between the Czech and other European research communities and emphasized the breakthrough value of science to be performed at FAIR.

In addition, the new cooperation once again shows the attractiveness of the FAIR experimental program and the trust of the international research community in the FAIR project. The current signing of the contract has great appeal for encouraging other countries to join the FAIR project with its great scientific and technical significance. (BP)

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news-3403 Fri, 29 Mar 2019 10:38:00 +0100 Girls’Day 2019 record: More than 50 girls explore research and technology at FAIR and GSI https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////girls_day_20190.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=bcacdfc6e133097991c55653f362cdca A total of 57 girls from grades 5 through 9 had the opportunity to find out about the work at FAIR and GSI on Thursday, 28 March 2019. They took advantage of the nation-wide Girls’Day to gain an insight into the many activities that are pursued at an international research institution, especially in professions where women have seldom been represented so far. With this number, the organizers broke the previous record of participants. A total of 57 girls from grades 5 through 9 had the opportunity to find out about the work at GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung and the accelerator facility FAIR, currently under construction, in Darmstadt on Thursday, 28 March 2019. They took advantage of the nation-wide Girls’Day to gain an insight into the many activities that are pursued at an international research institution, especially in professions where women have seldom been represented so far. With this number, the organizers broke the previous record of participants.

At the beginning of Girls' Day, the participants were welcomed by Dorothee Sommer, Head of Human Resources. "We strive for equality in all areas of our work," explained Sommer. "Equality begins in childhood, where stereotypes can and should be broken early. We strive to inspire the girls to be enthusiastic about research and technology and motivate them to consider a career choice in this area. We would like to see some of them return to us as employees after training or studies."

Following a tour of the particle accelerator and experiment facilities on the research campus, the girls could gain practical experiences in various technical and scientific working areas at workshops, technical laboratories, and research departments. Many departments had prepared for the girls’ visit by creating a special program, and they provided plenty of support for their young visitors. For example, the girls could try metal work in the mechanical workshops, soldered electronics and or produce material samples, so-called targets, for the irradiation at the accelerator. One of the groups was also given a tour of the construction site of the future FAIR particle accelerator, which will be unequaled anywhere else in the world.

At the end of the day, the girls could look back on an exciting experience during which they had achieved many practical results. All groups presented their results in a large plenum discussion. “We built an instrument to measure temperature. It measures in degree Celsius and in Kelvin,” explained one of the participants. “In this room we have 25 degrees Celsius, that equals 298 Kelvin.” Other teams had produced metallic discs, made a magnet float with liquid nitrogen, controlled bikes for their safety equipment or soldered electronic components. One group analyzed LEDs for their properties, another produced samples made of plaster and x-rayed them.

“We can rely on our enthusiastic employees who live and love their research work. They also pass this enthusiasm on to the girls on Girls' Day,” said organizer Carola Pomplun from the PR department, who is also a physicist. “The demand for participation in our institute is very high. Thanks to the great support of my colleagues, we were able to welcome more girls this year than ever before. Our goal is to inspire them to a career in technology and science."

Girls’Day is a day of action all over Germany. On this day, businesses, universities, and other institutions all over Germany open their doors to schoolgirls from grade 5 and above. The girls learn about courses of study and trained professions in the areas of IT, the skilled trades, the natural sciences, and technology — areas in which women have rarely been employed in the past. (cp)

Further information
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news-3407 Fri, 29 Mar 2019 10:00:00 +0100 GET_INvolved Agreement with indian university signed https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////get_involved_abkommen_mit_indischer_universitaet_unterzeichnet0.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=999cfb4101e8f37536f3ae8e56066a89 Female students and young researchers from Mody University of Science and Technology (MUST) in Lakshmangarh, Rajasthan, India, may soon apply for a scholarship to enable them an internship, traineeship or research stay at GSI and FAIR in Darmstadt, Germany. The respective bi-lateral agreement between GSI and MUST - a university exclusively for women – was now signed by GSI and MUST representatives. Female students and young researchers from Mody University of Science and Technology (MUST) in Lakshmangarh, Rajasthan, India, may soon apply for a scholarship to enable them an internship, traineeship or research stay at GSI and FAIR in Darmstadt, Germany. The respective bi-lateral agreement between GSI and MUST – a university exclusively for women – was now signed by GSI and MUST representatives.

Since 2011, several MUST students have already benefited from educational training and research experience at GSI Helmholtz Centre for Heavy Ion Research and FAIR (Facility for Antiproton and Ion Research in Europe) in Darmstadt.

The new GET_INvolved agreement now marks the beginning of a dedicated training programme focused on students and researchers from MUST. The programme will support up to four female students and young researchers per year. They will work within research projects, mostly connected with the new nuclear and particle physics research facility FAIR, which is being constructed in Darmstadt.

MUST is committed to excellence. Founded in 2004, the university seeks to impart knowledge and develop skills in women to become professionals, well versed in modern technology and management practices while imbibing social sensitivity and environmental consciousness for the betterment of self and society. MUST was the first institution which sent students to GSI and FAIR in the frame of a pilot project for the by then new GET_INvolved programme.

Prof. Paolo Giubellino, Scientific Managing Director of GSI and FAIR, said: ”FAIR will offer exciting research opportunities to the next generation of scientists in the whole world and in particular to India, which is the third largest shareholder of FAIR. We are extremely happy that by inviting MUST, we could gain a collaboration partner who specifically educates and promotes talented women and thus contributes to the development of equality between women and men in our scientific field.

Prof. R. K. Shivpuri, Fellow of the National Academy of Science and Director International Relations at MUST, stated: “MUST is very proud to be part of GET_INvolved Programme. We look forward to benefit from dedicated training and research activates together with GSI and FAIR. Engineering students from MUST will now have more opportunities to be trained at world-class facilities, with forefront technologies in an international environment, and gain a project-oriented mind-set early in their career. We hope this will further advance our efforts to promote young women into research and applied sciences." (mbe)

Further information:

More about GET_INvolved

More about MUST

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news-3399 Mon, 25 Mar 2019 11:00:00 +0100 Researching cosmic radiation: ESA and FAIR establish joint Summer School https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////erforschung_kosmischer_strahlung_esa_und_fair_richten_gemeinsame_summer_school_ein0.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=48c2f075ae5fb42c5416459006a1047a It is a new high-quality offer for international young scientists and at the same time a further important step for cosmic radiation research: The European Space Agency (ESA) and the international accelerator center FAIR (Facility for Antiproton and Ion Research), which is currently being built at GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung in Darmstadt, will establish a joint Summer School for Radiation Research. It is a new high-quality offer for international young scientists and at the same time a further important step for cosmic radiation research: The European Space Agency (ESA) and the international accelerator center FAIR (Facility for Antiproton and Ion Research), which is currently being built at GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung in Darmstadt, will establish a joint Summer School for Radiation Research. The "ESA-FAIR Radiation Summer School" has now been initiated by decision of both institutions.

One of the key questions that need to be addressed regarding the future of human spaceflight is how high-energy radiation affects human beings. The detailed investigation of this topic is one of the central tasks to be accomplished in order to provide astronauts with effective protection, but it also contributes to more detailed knowledge about the risks of radiation exposure on earth. Just over a year ago, ESA and FAIR decided to cooperate closely and signed a cooperation agreement on cosmic radiation research. Young researchers can now particularly benefit from this international cooperation: The new Summer School is a direct result of the joint activities of the two partners agreed at the time.

Up to now, the opportunities for students in space radiation research to gain experience and study are limited. This is now going to change. The "ESA-FAIR Radiation Summer School" wants to attract the best international young scientists with an attractive offer and thus also sharpen Darmstadt's profile as a space research location. The Summer School will be held at ESA´s European Space Operations Centre ESOC as well as at the GSI/FAIR campus in order to train students in basic heavy ion biophysics for both terrestrial applications (e.g. medical therapies) and space applications (e.g. space radiation detection, monitoring and protection).

Every year in late summer, 15 Ph.D. students and postdocs from various radiation-related disciplines — such as physics, medicine or biology — can come to Darmstadt. The application phase starts each spring. The offer is aimed primarily to young scientists from ESA Member States, but also beyond. The Summer School's top-class scientific program includes lectures from experts in the field, site visits to facilities in Darmstadt and practical training and research opportunities at GSI/FAIR. The participants can commute between the two locations ESOC and GSI/FAIR Campus. During practical training, the students also have the possibility to continue developing on their own experiment ideas, using available beamtime at GSI accelerators in the framework of the „FAIR Phase 0“ user program.

The existing GSI accelerator facility already is the only one in Europe that can generate all of the ion beams that occur in our solar system, which range from the lightest one, hydrogen, to the heaviest, uranium. The research opportunities will be expanded even further by the future FAIR accelerator center. FAIR will enable researchers to conduct experiments with an even wider spectrum of particle energies and intensities, and to simulate the composition of cosmic radiation with a precision that no other accelerator facility will be able to match.

Professor Marco Durante, Director of the GSI Biophysics Department, is looking forward to the new school: “Radiation is the main hurdle toward the human colonisation of the Solar System. We need to train the young students to tackle this problem. The Biophysics Department is working with ESA since many years to simulate cosmic rays on Earth using our accelerator and to study the effects and the possible countermeasures, such as shielding. The students will gain a tremendous expertise in particle radiation physics and biology. They will be the future leaders in the field, hopefully finding strategies to allow a safe space exploration”.

ESA Interagency Coordinator Thomas Reiter also expects that research on cosmic radiation will benefit from the Summer School and emphasizes: "The Summer School will highlight ESA’s commitment to stimulate the pursuit of education in science, technology, engineering and mathematics disciplines as well as to generate expertise relevant to human spaceflight activities. The ESA-FAIR Radiation Summer School will be unique in the world and is expected to attract large attention from the international research community”. (BP)

More information

Website about ESA-FAIR Radiation Summer School

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news-3397 Tue, 19 Mar 2019 10:54:06 +0100 Scholarship Programme: GET_INvolved Agreement with SUT Thailand concluded https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////stipendienprogramm_get_involved_abkommen_mit_technischer_universitaet_suranari_unterzeichnet0.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=10f54295bbf63ef6dcd335ea87701045 Students and young researchers from SUT Thailand may soon profit from a new GET_INvolved programme, which will award scholarships to perform internships, traineeships and research experience at GSI and FAIR. Representatives of GSI and Suranaree University of Technology (SUT) in Thailand signed the respective bilateral agreement. Students and young researchers from SUT Thailand may soon profit from a new GET_INvolved programme, which will award scholarships to perform internships, traineeships and research experience at GSI and FAIR. Representatives of GSI and Suranaree University of Technology (SUT) in Thailand signed the respective bilateral agreement.

The programme aims in creating synergies between the partner institutes GSI and SUT by allowing mobility opportunities for students and young researchers and contribute to the FAIR project in research and development. Moreover, the programme will help building capacities for the research groups that are already collaborating within the framework of the FAIR project.

Within the framework of the GET_INvolved Programme, host laboratory GSI will provide an opportunity to these students with an internship and training programme and research experience opportunities for early-stage researchers to work in all areas of the laboratory on technical or scientific projects related to research at GSI and FAIR. Joint technical and research projects amidst common interests will be identified and proffered to the students and researchers of SUT Thailand.

Applications will be open to students/researchers enrolled in university’s higher education programme or in a Ph.D. programme. For an internship, students usually will stay up to six months, whereas a sandwich Ph.D.-stay for research experience may last one year.

The partner institute SUT was founded in 1990 as the first public, autonomous university in Thailand. It is empowered to govern its own overall administration, receiving regular budget allocations from the government. Over 15,000 students attend now the university, which is organized around seven academic institutes specializing in science, engineering, medicine, nursing, agricultural technology, social technology and dentistry. Thanks to its glowing reputation for education and research, SUT was granted National Research University status by the Thai Government in 2010. The Thailand Research Fund has evaluated the School of Physics, SUT as Excellent since 2008. (mbe)

Further Information:

More about GET_INvolved

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FAIR
news-3393 Tue, 12 Mar 2019 09:30:00 +0100 Investigating the formation of elements in the universe ― Slow ion beams at the GSI experimental storage ring https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////protoneneinfang0.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=b15ee56ed058ebcf3e30813a059d10e0 Chemical elements are produced in the cosmos, e.g. in stellar explosions or on the surface of neutron stars. A key process in the formation of elements is the capture of hydrogen nuclei (protons), which transforms one element of the periodic table into another element. This process takes place at extreme temperatures – albeit at relatively low energies of the particles involved. An international research team has now succeeded in studying proton capture at the GSI experimental storage ring. Chemical elements are produced in the cosmos, e.g. in stellar explosions or on the surface of neutron stars. A key process in the formation of elements is the capture of hydrogen nuclei (protons), which transforms one element of the periodic table into another element. This process takes place at extreme temperatures – albeit at relatively low energies of the particles involved. An international research team has now succeeded in studying proton capture at the experimental storage ring of the GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung. The aim was to more precisely determine the probability of proton capture occuring in astrophysical scenarios. The results were published in the journal Physical Review Letters.

In the experiment, the researchers first brought the noble gas xenon to high speeds using the GSI accelerator in order to strip off all the electrons of the atomic shell. The leftover atomic nuclei were then fed into the experimental storage ring ESR and slowed down. The xenon nuclei were then induced to interact with hydrogen nuclei at a material sample known as the gas target, which is built into the ring. This resulted in reactions, in which xenon nuclei captured a proton and were transformed into the heavier element caesium – a process that is also expected in astrophysical scenarios.

In the investigation of these phenomena, the researchers are faced by two challenges, as Dr. Jan Glorius from the GSI Atomic Physics research department explains: "The energy interval, in which the reactions are most likely to occur under astrophysical conditions, is known as the Gamow window. Within the Gamow window, the atomic nuclei possess relatively low energies of the order of several megaelectronvolts or less. In other words: they are rather slow and thus difficult to handle in the intensity required. Furthermore, the cross-section, i.e. the probability of an interaction of both partners involved, dramatically decreases with the energy. Until now, it has been hardly possible to create suitable conditions for such reactions in the laboratory. These are the two main reasons for the fact that experimental data in this area – particularly involving heavy nuclei – has been extremely rare."

"For such an experiment a powerful accelerator system, as the chain of linear accelerator UNILAC and ring accelerator SIS at GSI, is required just to provide the heavy reaction partner as a particle beam. Subsequently, a suitable storage ring has to be available to slow down the beam to the energies of the Gamow window, to permanently store it and to facilitate the reaction with the light partner", states Professor Yuri Litvinov, head of the substantially involved ASTRUm research project at GSI, which is funded by the European Union. "In the case of the experiment conducted, we succeeded in demonstrating that the ESR storage ring — although in fact designed for higher energies — can be used for this purpose." In particular, an extremely good vacuum is necessary in the system. Otherwise, the low energy ions would capture electrons from the residual gas in the storage ring at a high rate and thereby would be lost for the experiment.

The scientists have even gone a step further and make use of this actually undesired effect. Interactions also occur between the xenon nuclei and electrons of the hydrogen gas in the target, and these can be identified from the ensuing X-ray radiation. As this atomic process is not only very dominant but also extremely well understood, it is possible to derive from it the number of potential xenon reaction partners that were available for proton capture. Their different, mass-dependent deflection in the magnetic field of the storage ring enables the newly created caesium nuclei behind the target to be separated from the remaining xenon nuclei and to be measured. From the ratio of potential reaction partners and actual reactions, it is possible to determine the probability of proton capture.

"In addition to improving the experimental technique to attain the lower energies of the heavy collision partner, the experiment also provides important restrictions of the hitherto only theoretically predicted reaction rates used to model the formation of elements", states René Reifarth, Professor of Experimental Astrophysics at the Goethe University in Frankfurt and spokesperson of the experiment. "This experiment makes a decisive contribution to furthering our understanding of nucleosynthesis in the cosmos."

As a result of the success of the experiment, further studies of similar reactions are planned in the coming experiment periods at the ESR. In order to better reproduce the conditions existing in astrophysical scenarios, even unstable elements could be created, then sorted out using the GSI fragment separator and fed into the storage ring. A further sign of progress in this research program is the imminent commissioning of the dedicated low-energy storage ring CRYRING, part of the future international particle accelerator FAIR (Facility for Antiproton and Ion Research), which is currently under construction at GSI. It is particularly suitable for making ion beams available at low energies.

The experiments were conducted within the framework of the SPARC research collaboration (Stored Particles Atomic Physics Research Collaboration), which is part of the FAIR research programme. Equipment used in this project was funded by the Collaborative Research Network of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research. (cp)

Further information:
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news-3395 Mon, 11 Mar 2019 09:06:00 +0100 The FAIR construction site in time lapse https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////die_fair_baustelle_im_zeitraffer0.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=c65cfd137b3b2374baef9a4740c3c795 Since the groundbreaking in July 2017 a lot has been going on at the FAIR construction site. With a new filming technique a drone time lapse video has been produced that shows the progress. Since the groundbreaking in July 2017 a lot has been going on at the FAIR construction site. With a new filming technique a drone time lapse video has been produced that shows the progress.

With a new technique an aerial time-lapse video was shot which shows the development of a complete year: For this so-called Longterm Dronelapse the same routes across the construction site were flown with a drone in regular intervals. The recorded motion time lapse videos have now been combined to one single video.

Several videos that were taken within one year could be super-imposed thanks to GPS support so that the progress of the construction activities is clearly visible. (LW)

Video auf YouTube

FAIR Construction Site Time Lapse - Lonterm Dronelapse

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news-3391 Fri, 08 Mar 2019 08:30:00 +0100 GET_INvolved Agreement with South Africa signed https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////get_involved_abkommen_mit_suedafrika_unterzeichnet0.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=dd0e1485471438e6ac036d0d314ff65a South African students may now profit from the new GET_INvolved programme which will award scholarships to perform internships and research experience at GSI and FAIR. The respective tri-lateral agreement was now signed by GSI, FAIR and iThemba Laboratory for Accelerator Based Sciences (iThemba LABS, Cape Town) representatives. South African students may now profit from the new GET_INvolved programme which will award scholarships to perform internships and research experience at GSI and FAIR. The respective tri-lateral agreement was now signed by GSI, FAIR and iThemba Laboratory for Accelerator Based Sciences (iThemba LABS, Cape Town) representatives.

Early-stage researchers from South Africa may soon apply for a scholarship to enable them a research stay of three to six months at GSI/FAIR Campus. The students will work within research projects, mostly connected with the new accelerator facility FAIR, which is being constructed in Darmstadt. In addition, the students will have the opportunity to participate into lectures, symposia and scientific activities on the common campus of GSI and FAIR.

Professor Paolo Giubellino, Scientific Managing Director of GSI and FAIR, was very pleased about the agreement: “This year, we will celebrate 50 years of our GSI laboratory, which is proud to work in connection with the scientific community all over the world. With our emerging Facility for Antiproton and Ion Research, we are building the foundation for the scientific future in our field, and we seek to inspire young, talented students and scientists from all countries to form the next generation of scientists that will use the exceptional research opportunities FAIR will offer.“

The iThemba Laboratory for Accelerator Based Sciences (iThemba LABS) in South Africa is a multidisciplinary research facility that is based on the development, operation and use of particle accelerators and related research equipment. It is sustained by the South African National Research Foundation (NRF). The facilities provide opportunities for research in subatomic physics, material research, radiobiology, and the research and development of unique radioisotopes for nuclear medicine and industrial applications. In November 2018, the South African Ministry, iThemba LABS and FAIR decided to develop a plan for closer collaboration.  

Dr. Clifford Nxomani, Deputy CEO of the South African National Research Foundation, added about the GET_INvolved Agreement: “International collaborations are a key element of promoting science in South Africa. We therefore welcome that talented young researchers now have the opportunity to get trained at one of the top labs in the world. This is an important step towards a closer collaboration of iThemba LABS with the future FAIR facility.”

Dr. Faiҫal Azaiez, Director of iThemba LABS, pointed out: “The education of well-trained scientists is a central mission of iThemba LABS. I am very glad that the agreement with GSI and FAIR allows our young students to get involved with the exciting science at one of the premier accelerator laboratories in the world.“ (mbe)

Further information:

More about GET_INvolved

More about iThemba LABS

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news-3389 Tue, 05 Mar 2019 10:10:48 +0100 FAIR GENCO Award for Dr. Moritz Pascal Reiter https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////fair_genco_nachwuchspreis_fuer_dr_moritz_pascal_reiter0.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=09f3c04b8c1e1eff273a0a7603116fc2 This year, Dr. Moritz Pascal Reiter from the II. Physikalisches Institut of the Justus Liebig University in Gießen received the FAIR GENCO Award for young scientists. The award is sponsored by the FAIR-GSI Exotic Nuclei Community (GENCO) and endowed with 1,000 Euro. The bestowal by GENCO president Professor Christoph Scheidenberger and vice-president Professor Wolfram Korten took place in February in a special colloquium in the framework of the yearly GENCO meeting at FAIR and GSI. This year, Dr. Moritz Pascal Reiter from the II. Physikalisches Institut of the Justus Liebig University in Gießen received the FAIR GENCO Award for young scientists. The award is sponsored by the FAIR-GSI Exotic Nuclei Community (GENCO) and endowed with 1,000 Euro. The bestowal by GENCO president Professor Christoph Scheidenberger and vice-president Professor Wolfram Korten took place in February in a special colloquium in the framework of the yearly GENCO meeting at FAIR and GSI. Every year, the FAIR-GSI Exotic Nuclei Community (GENCO) presents its Young Scientist Award to a young researcher at the beginning of their scientific career. The international GENCO jury, composed of seven renowned nuclear scientists, elects the winner in a competitive procedure, where several candidates, working in theory or experiment, are evaluated. Furthermore two scientists were honored with a GENCO Membership Award.

Dr. Moritz Pascal Reiter received the FAIR GENCO Award for his impressive research achievements in the areas of nuclear astrophysics and nuclear structure physics. He used a  multiple-reflection time-of-flight mass spectrometer, which he implemented at the TITAN experiment at the Canadian research facility TRIUMF in Vancouver. It is a game-changer, opening-up multiple new venues for exciting mass measurements, especially on very short-lived nuclei. Already in the first two years of operation, about 200 isotopes could be studied.

The two scientists assigned with the GENCO Membership Award are:

  • Professor Dolores Cortina-Gil for her significant involvement in pioneering reaction experiments with relativistic radioactive beams to pin down single particle structure information of exotic nuclei from the study of weakly and deeply bound nucleons and for her exceptional contributions to the realization of the CALIFA detector.
  • Professor Andrey Popeko for his essential contributions to the discovery of the elements darmstadtium, roentgenium, and copernicium at the SHIP detector of GSI/FAIR, the development of a long-term strategy for superheavy element research, for the design of a second-generation in-flight separators for the superheavy element factory in Dubna, and many important findings on nuclear structure and chemical properties of superheavy elements. (cp)
Further information:
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news-3387 Mon, 25 Feb 2019 09:51:41 +0100 A Field of Allure and Romance — Criteria for the Addition of Superheavy Chemical Elements to the Periodic Table https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////ein_feld_voller_reiz_und_romantik_kriterien_zur_aufnahme_superschwerer_chemischer_elemente_in_das_pe.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=5f4baf6e4cebca54e1b28a63d64e66ce When exactly does a newly created element really exist? What requirements must be fulfilled for its measurement to be recognized and for the element to be added to the periodic table of chemical elements? And in the case of several claims, to whom is the discovery attributed, and thus the right to name it? In order to answer these questions, the criteria for element discovery have been revised and published in a preliminary report. When exactly does a newly created element really exist? What requirements must be fulfilled for its measurement to be recognized and for the element to be added to the periodic table of chemical elements? And in the case of several claims, to whom is the discovery attributed, and thus the right to name it? In order to answer these questions in a field of rapidly advancing technology and friendly international competition, the criteria for element discovery have been revised and published in a preliminary report. This means that specified standards exist now for scientists in search of new heavy elements that their measurements and publications have to meet. The report provides assistance in a field of research that Professor Sigurd Hofmann, co-author, element discoverer and longtime head of the search for heavy elements at the GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung in Darmstadt, describes as a "field of allure and romance".

“The terms ‘allure’ and ‘romance’ are not what one would expect in such a technical field," explains Hofmann, who is no longer an active scientist, but continues to support the research community with great enthusiasm in a voluntary capacity. "Already the authors of this report's predecessor, which was published back in 1991, described an element discovery as an event of particular importance. It cannot be compared with discovering a comet or a new kind of beetle as numerous of those findings can still be expected in the future. With elements, however, we know that there can be only a limited number. What we don't know is how many there will be. That makes an element discovery something special, and nothing has changed about that to this day." In this field, Hofmann is an expert, as he belongs to the discoverers of a total of six elements with atomic numbers 107 to 112 which were produced at GSI in Darmstadt and, among others, named after the state of Hesse and the city.

The report gives a definition of exactly what a new element is, and when a discovery is to be classified as such. The decisive criterion here is the proof that the element has a different number of protons in the nucleus than other previously known nuclides. As the newly generated heavy elements are usually unstable, the obvious — though not the only — way is to measure the element's decay chain which ends in known nuclides. Here the new element is directly connected with nuclei that have previously been identified in a so-called genetic relationship.

It is highly probable that the researchers will also produce future elements with the aid of fusion experiments at particle accelerators, as was in fact the case with the latest additions to the periodic table. The technical evidence can be brought using physical or chemical methods. These include, for example, separators, precision mass measurements or measurements of the characteristic x-ray radiation specific to an element. The boundary conditions for a discovery are described in detail in the report. Notes on the systematics of the measurements and measurement errors are also considered.

In case of more than one legitimate claim to the discovery of a new element, according to the criteria, it is crucial who was the first to hand in a contribution on their find to a recognized scientific journal. In other words, it is neither the date of production of the element nor the time of publication of the article that is decisive, but rather the date of submission. Additional assessment of the scientific content may be necessary so that even results published at a later point can potentially lead to a co-discovery.

Two international institutions are responsible for the recognition of an element: The International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) and Physics (IUPAP). Experts evaluate the scientific publications on new elements on the basis of the defined criteria. They grant the right of discovery, which goes hand in hand with permission to name the new element within the framework of the specified naming criteria. An element may only be named after an existing location, a substance property, a mythical term or a scientist.

At present, however, IUPAC and IUPAP are in stand-by position in this respect. Currently all artificially produced elements up to element 118 have been recognized and named. The research community must be patient until a new element is produced or discovered in order to apply the newly established criteria for the first time. "It is very likely that the next elements will be 119 and 120. They are next in line in the periodic table and thus the most likely to be produced," says Hofmann. "We are all curious to see when this will happen." (cp)

Weitere Informationen:

Provisional report "On the discovery of new elements" in the scientific journal Pure and Applied Chemistry

Article about criteria for new elements in the scientific journal Chemistry International (Englisch)

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news-3383 Fri, 22 Feb 2019 10:00:00 +0100 Finger prints of heavy elements in neutron star collisions https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////fingerabdruecke_von_schweren_elementen_in_neutronensternkollisionen0.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=8fc7ba72b588986e09c53e7fc24370ce Do some of the heaviest elements in our universe come from the collision of neutron stars? The answer may be gained from how the luminosity of such an event evolves over several weeks. A group of scientists from GSI and FAIR, TU Darmstadt, the National Academy of Sciences of Taiwan and Columbia University, USA, recently published the respective results in the journal Physical Review Letters. Do some of the heaviest elements in our universe come from the collision of neutron stars? The answer may be gained from how the luminosity of such an event evolves over several weeks. A group of scientists from GSI and FAIR, TU Darmstadt, the National Academy of Sciences of Taiwan and Columbia University, USA, recently published the respective results in the journal Physical Review Letters.

The first observation of a neutron star collision in 2017, which was detected by gravitational wave detectors, caused a sensation also in the field of nuclear physics. As predicted by GSI scientists, there were clear indications that heavy atomic nuclei would be produced in these extreme cosmic events. But exactly which nuclei are produced in neutron star collisions is still unclear.

"The luminosity of the neutron star collision reveals which elements are formed during this event," says GSI scientist Professor Gabriel Martínez-Pinedo, who contributed substantially to this publication and also was involved in the predictions on nuclei synthesis in neutron star collisions. "At the event in 2017 we couldn’t observe this as the neutron star collision disappeared behind the sun. That’s why we couldn’t fully observe the light emissions at a crucial stage.” But the next observations of neutron star collisions are expected soon. In order to be able to analyze them, Martínez-Pinedo and his colleagues have made predictions about how the luminosity of the neutron star collision will evolve, depending on which nuclear-physical processes take place during the fusion and which heavy elements are produced.

About one month after the event, there are only about 30 different nuclei left to influence the luminosity, because nuclei with short lifetimes already decayed. Some heavy isotopes dominate the energy output and thus influence the intensity and duration of luminosity, for example Californium-254, followed by Radium-223, Actinium, and lastly, Radium-225. “When telescopes record the next neutron star collision in high resolution, thanks to our model we can probably conclude from the luminosity changes over weeks which heavy elements have been formed and how the nuclear synthesis process unfolds," says Martínez-Pinedo.

The models that are used to predict luminosity and duration contain many nuclear properties that are not yet fully understood. This is where research at the FAIR accelerator facility, which is currently under construction, comes into play. The experiments of the FAIR collaboration NUSTAR are mainly aimed at generating and investigating the heavy nuclei produced by neutron star collisions or supernovae. At FAIR, this can be done in the laboratory with the help of particle accelerators. "With FAIR, we will be able to explore the universe in the laboratory," says Professor Karlheinz Langanke, Research Director of GSI and FAIR. "FAIR will be a unique facility worldwide, allowing researchers to bring the diversity of the universe into the lab to investigate fundamental questions such as the origin of chemical elements in the universe.” (LW)

More information

Original publication: Fingerprints of Heavy-Element Nucleosynthesis in the Late-Time Lightcurves of Kilonovae

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news-3385 Wed, 20 Feb 2019 09:08:10 +0100 Chemistry Olympians visit FAIR and GSI https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////chemieolympioniken_zu_gast_bei_fair_und_gsi0.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=5cb1df9c5431533f2c4e82a86002ed95 In the International Year of the Periodic System, 20 school students who are enthusiastic about the exciting world of chemistry visited the FAIR and GSI facilities. These are the participants of the Chemistry Olympiad from Hesse and Thuringia with their tutors. In the International Year of the Periodic System, 20 school students who are enthusiastic about the exciting world of chemistry visited the FAIR and GSI facilities. These are the participants of the Chemistry Olympiad from Hesse and Thuringia with their tutors. After an introductory talk, the group gained insight into the existing accelerators and experiments and the current GSI scientific research projects in a guided tour, as well as an overview of the construction of the future international accelerator center FAIR. Thomas Neff from GSI's Theory department accompanied the program for in-depth scientific discussions on current research. About 25 years ago he was also a member of the German team at the Chemistry Olympiad.

The visit took place within the scope of a regional seminar in Darmstadt lasting several days, for which the participants qualified by reaching the second stage of a four-stage selection process for the International Chemistry Olympiad IChO. GSI has been part of the program since last year, and is embedded in the seminar as a regular component on account of the positive feedback it has received. (JL)
 

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news-3379 Wed, 13 Feb 2019 08:38:00 +0100 Merging neutron stars — How cosmic events give insight into fundamental properties of matter https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////verschmelzende_neutronensterne0.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=87a2e8ec2ccf16425a727508bafdc9d9 The option to measure the gravitational waves of two merging neutron stars has offered the chance to answer some of the fundamental questions about the structure of matter. At the extremely high temperatures and densities in the merger scientists conjecture a phase-transition where neutrons dissolve into their constituents: quarks and gluons. In the current issue of Physical Review Letters, two international research groups report on their calculations of what the signature of such a phase transition in a The option to measure the gravitational waves of two merging neutron stars has offered the chance  to answer some of the fundamental questions about the structure of matter. At the extremely high temperatures and densities in the merger scientists conjecture a phase-transition where neutrons dissolve into their constituents: quarks and gluons. In the current issue of Physical Review Letters, two international research groups report on their calculations of what the signature of such a phase transition in a gravitational wave would look like.

Quarks, the smallest building-blocks of matter, never appear alone in nature. They are always tightly bound inside the protons and neutrons. However, neutron stars, weighing as much as the Sun, but being just the size of a city like Frankfurt, possess a core so dense that a transition from neutron matter to quark matter may occur. Physicists refer to this process as a phase transition, similar to the liquid-vapor transition in water. In particular, such a phase transition is in principle possible when merging neutron stars form a very massive meta-stable object with densities exceeding that of atomic nuclei and with temperatures 10,000 times higher than in the Sun's core.

The measurement of gravitational waves emitted by merging neutron stars could serve as a messenger of possible phase transitions in outer space. The phase transition should leave a characteristic signature in the gravitational-wave signal. The research groups from Frankfurt, Darmstadt and Ohio (Goethe University/FIAS/GSI/Kent University) as well as from Darmstadt and Wroclaw (GSI/Wroclaw University) used modern supercomputers to calculate what this signature could look like. For this purpose, they used different theoretical models of the phase transition.

In case a phase transition takes place more after the actual merger, small amounts of quarks will gradually appear throughout the merged object. “With aid of the Einstein equations, we were able to show for the first time that this subtle change in the structure will produce a deviation in the gravitational-wave signal until the newly formed massive neutron star collapses under its own weight to form a black hole,” explains Luciano Rezzolla, who is a professor for theoretical astrophysics at the Goethe University.

In the computer models of Dr. Andreas Bauswein from GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung in Darmstadt a phase transition already happens directly after the merger — a core of quark matter forms in the interior of the central object. “We succeeded to show that in this case there will be a distinct shift in the frequency of the gravitational wave signal,” says Bauswein. “Thus, we identified a measurable criterion for a phase transition in gravitational waves of neutron star mergers in the future.”

Not all of the details of the gravitational-wave signal are measurable with current detectors yet. However, they will become observable both with the next generation of detectors, as well as with a merger event relatively close to us. A complementary approach to answer the questions about quark matter is offered by two experiments: By colliding heavy ions at the existing HADES setup at GSI and at the future CBM detector at the Facility for Antiproton and Ion Research (FAIR), which is currently under construction at GSI, compressed nuclear matter will be produced. In the collisions, it might be possible to create temperatures and densities that are similar to those in a neutron-star merger. Both methods give new insights into the occurrence of phase transitions in nuclear matter and thus into its fundamental properties. (cp)

Further information
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news-3381 Tue, 12 Feb 2019 10:00:00 +0100 Student’s visit: CURIEosity Team from Greece at GSI and FAIR https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////schuelerbesuch_curieosity_team_aus_griechenland_bei_gsi_und_fair0.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=882675b0e060ed07b102c4f7a01a6b79 17 Greek high school students profoundly interested in science from the Senior High School (Lyceum) of Gazi, Heraklion, Crete, visited GSI and FAIR. Since 2016, these students call themselves the CURIEosity Team and aim to promote science within their schoolmates’ community. 17 Greek high school students profoundly interested in science from the Senior High School (Lyceum) of Gazi, Heraklion, Crete, visited GSI and FAIR. Since 2016, these students call themselves the CURIEosity Team and aim to promote science within their schoolmates’ community, for example by running a workshop on atoms for younger pupils. The team also participates into contests like “Beamline For Schools” and “Science on Stage in Greece”. The students are assisted and encouraged by their teacher Astrinos Tsoutsoudakis.

On a tour to outstanding sciences labs in Germany, they spent one day at GSI and FAIR, where they got guided tours to the ion sources, the linear accelerator UNILAC, the ring accelerator SIS18, the experimental storage ring ESR, the superconducting magnet testing facility, biophysics laboratories, the ion beam therapy cave and the FAIR construction site. (mbe)

Further information

The CURIEosity-Team

 

 

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news-3377 Fri, 08 Feb 2019 08:50:00 +0100 Order in the periodic table — Measurement of ionization potentials of heavy elements confirms: actinide series ends with lawrencium https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////ionisierungsenergien_actinoide0.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=5e3f73cc2bf6e2e0a22576c059b08c44 An international group of researchers including participants from GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung in Darmstadt and its two branches, the Helmholtz Institutes Mainz and Jena, have determined the first ionization potentials of the artificially created elements fermium, mendelevium, nobelium, and lawrencium. The data unambiguously show that the actinide series ends with lawrencium. The results have been published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society (JACS). An international group of researchers including participants from GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung in Darmstadt and its two branches, the Helmholtz Institutes Mainz and Jena, have determined the first ionization potentials of the artificially created elements fermium, mendelevium, nobelium, and lawrencium. The data unambiguously show that the actinide series ends with lawrencium. The results have been published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society (JACS).

The chemical elements fermium, mendelevium, nobelium, and lawrencium have the atomic numbers 100 to 103 in the periodic table of the elements. They do not occur naturally on earth, but can be artificially created, in nuclear fusion reactions at particle accelerators, for example. This process features low rates of production — at most a few atoms per second. All are unstable, decaying again within seconds to minutes. This renders studies of their chemical properties difficult, requiring complex experimental investigations of individual atoms.

In the current experiments the scientists looked at the first ionization potentials of the elements. This quantity measures the energy required to remove the least tightly bound electron from the outer shell of a neutral atom. The researchers expected the ionization potential to increase until nobelium is reached, which would correspond to a completely filled electron shell. For the following element, lawrencium, which possesses only a single, less strongly bound electron, a decrease in the ionization potential was expected.

Corresponding values for nobelium and lawrencium were already available from previous experiments. The present work expands the data set to the heaviest four members of the actinide elements, thus completing the data set of 14 elements of the whole actinide series. “The measured values are in agreement with the predictions of current relativistic calculations that were carried out in parallel with the experiment, and with the measurements carried out on nobelium using laser spectroscopy by a further collaboration working at GSI,” explained Professor Christoph Düllmann, head of the Superheavy Elements Chemistry departments at GSI and the Helmholtz Institute Mainz. “With this experiment we were able to unequivocally demonstrate that the actinide series ends with lawrencium, in analogy to the lighter lanthanide series, which is located above the actinides in the periodic table.”

The researchers were able to create and measure the artificial elements at the Tandem accelerator and the attached isotope separator at the Japanese research organization JAEA in Tokai, Japan. The first ionization potentials were determined using a surface ionization process. A gas stream in a Teflon tube carried the elements to a tantalum chamber with a surface heated to up to 3,000°C, where they could be ionized. Comparing the number of atoms fed in with that of ionized atoms provided a value for the efficiency of the ionization, from which the first ionization potential of the elements could be determined.

Research institutes from Germany, the Netherlands, Japan, Israel, and Switzerland participated in this work. (cp)

Further information:
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news-3373 Fri, 01 Feb 2019 11:30:00 +0100 FAIR and GSI inform members of the Bundestag in Berlin https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////fair_und_gsi_informieren_bundestagsabgeordnete_in_berlin0.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=4a52ed403431597582663635e4beed47 "Megaproject aktuell - Realisierung des internationalen Teilchenbeschleunigerzentrums FAIR in Deutschland" was the topic of a parliamentary breakfast in Berlin at 16. January 2019, to which the management of FAIR and GSI had invited in cooperation with Dr. Astrid Mannes, member of the Bundestag of Darmstadt. Numerous members of the Bundestag, employees of the parliamentary offices and speakers from all parliamentary groups accepted the invitation to the event. "Megaproject aktuell - Realisierung des internationalen Teilchenbeschleunigerzentrums FAIR in Deutschland" was the topic of a parliamentary breakfast in Berlin at 16. January 2019, to which the management of FAIR and GSI had invited in cooperation with Dr. Astrid Mannes, member of the Bundestag of Darmstadt. Numerous members of the Bundestag, employees of the parliamentary offices and speakers from all parliamentary groups accepted the invitation to the event, which was held under the patronage of the former Federal Research Minister Professor Heinz Riesenhuber.

After the welcome by Dr. Astrid Mannes, the Scientific Managing Director of FAIR and GSI, Professor Paolo Giubellino, the Administrative Managing Director of FAIR and GSI, Ursula Weyrich, and the Technical Managing Director of FAIR and GSI, Jörg Blaurock, presented the FAIR project. In addition, Dr. Ingo Peter, Head of Press and Public Relations department, also introduced details of the topic.

The FAIR accelerator center (Facility for Antiproton and Ion Research) is one of the world's largest construction projects for cutting edge international research and is currently being built at the GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung in Darmstadt. It will enable scientists from all over the world to explore the universe in the laboratory.

The members of the Bundestag were able to get first-hand information about FAIR and took the opportunity to discuss the unique particle accelerator facility in detail with the FAIR and GSI management. Professor Paolo Giubellino, Ursula Weyrich and Jörg Blaurock answered questions about the current status of the project, provided background information and offered a compact overview of science, structural and technical progress, strategic goals and special challenges and developments at the site in Darmstadt.

The social contribution of the megaproject FAIR was also an important topic. FAIR generates new knowledge for mankind and makes value contributions to society on many levels, whether as a driver of innovation, provider of highly qualified and high quality jobs and in education of young scientists and engineers or in the development of new medical applications and the education of young scientists and engineers. The FAIR and GSI management emphasized: "FAIR will be an important building block for securing the long-term sustainability of Germany as a research location in an international context and at the same time a strong pillar of our research landscape in global competition. A central challenge of modern research is to think ahead over long periods of time. FAIR will not only be built for the coming years, but for the coming decades."

Dr. Astrid Mannes, who has a focus of her work as member of the Bundesausschuss für Bildung, Forschung und Technikfolgenabschätzung (Federal Committee for Education, Research and Technology Assessment), was pleased about the visit of the representatives of the Darmstadt research institution to Berlin. "It is good when research institutions that receive public funding present themselves directly to politicians. In addition, the topics addressed are of great importance. It was therefore valuable and important for the members of parliament present to receive background information on the major scientific project," said the member of the Bundestag. (BP)

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news-3375 Thu, 31 Jan 2019 11:30:00 +0100 Darmstadt magistrate visits FAIR and GSI https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////darmstaedter_magistrat_besichtigt_fair_und_gsi0.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=29d2e2f37ff1d009b889f4524e6feb54 The magistrate of the city of Darmstadt was a guest of FAIR and GSI. First there was an information program about the current development of the accelerator facility FAIR, before the magistrate held its working session on site. The guests were welcomed by Jörg Blaurock, Technical Managing Director of GSI and FAIR, FAIR Site Manager Harald Hagelskamp and Ingo Peter, Head of Public Relations. The magistrate of the city of Darmstadt was a guest of FAIR and GSI. First there was an information program about the current development of the accelerator facility FAIR, before the magistrate held its working session on site. The guests were welcomed by Jörg Blaurock, Technical Managing Director of GSI and FAIR, FAIR Site Manager Harald Hagelskamp and Ingo Peter, Head of Public Relations.

The members of the magistrate, headed by the Lord Mayor of Darmstadt, Jochen Partsch, first received an introductory presentation on the research and realization of FAIR. The focus was on current scientific activities and the progress of the FAIR project, which is one of the largest research projects worldwide.

Afterwards a bus tour led over the FAIR construction site in the east of GSI. The construction progress included the shell construction of the large SIS100 ring accelerator and the excavation pits for the transfer building, the central hub for guiding the facility´s beam, and for the CBM experimental site. CBM is one of the four research pillars of the future accelerator center. (BP)

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news-3371 Wed, 23 Jan 2019 13:45:00 +0100 Korean delegation visits FAIR and GSI https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////koreanische_delegation_besucht_fair_und_gsi0.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=47744a55b5b68ca7faa14998432f91e4 A Korean delegation consisting of representatives from the government and from science institutions visited the FAIR and GSI facilities recently. Following an introductory talk about the research and the construction of the international FAIR facility, the group had the opportunity for in-depth discussions with Research Director Professor Karlheinz Langanke and with Professor Marco Durante, Head of the Biophysics research department. A Korean delegation consisting of representatives from the government and from science institutions visited the FAIR and GSI facilities recently. Following an introductory talk about the research and the construction of the international FAIR facility, the group had the opportunity for in-depth discussions with Research Director Professor Karlheinz Langanke and with Professor Marco Durante, Head of the Biophysics research department.

On the subsequent tour through the facility, the participants visited, among other stations, the main control room, the facility for the production of superheavy elements and the treatment facility for tumor therapy with carbon ions. On the viewpoint platform of the FAIR construction site the group gained an overview of the building measures and the progress of the construction works. (cp)

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news-3369 Mon, 14 Jan 2019 10:00:00 +0100 Research on tumor therapy with oxygen ions: GSI doctoral candidate is honored https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////tumor_therapy_with_oxygen_ions.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=1f1a780adf859a9d6be346e0a6b82093 Clinical and radiobiological studies for tumor therapy with heavy ions began at GSI over 20 years ago. Today the objective of such research at GSI and FAIR is to continue improving this successful therapy and to use it in increasingly customized ways in medical applications. One of the researchers with this objective is Dr. Olga Sokol, a scientist in the Biophysics Department at GSI. One of the focuses of her research is the use of oxygen ions in tumor treatment. Clinical and radiobiological studies for tumor therapy with heavy ions began at GSI over 20 years ago. Today the objective of such research at GSI and FAIR is to continue improving this successful therapy and to use it in increasingly customized ways in medical applications. One of the researchers with this objective is Dr. Olga Sokol, a scientist in the Biophysics Department at GSI. One of the focuses of her research is the use of oxygen ions in tumor treatment. This was the main thrust of her doctoral dissertation, for which she was recently honored with the Giersch Award for outstanding doctoral dissertations in 2018.

Ion beam therapy is a rapidly developing branch of tumor therapy. Because ions release the largest proportion of their energy at the end of their range, they are good candidates for the effective treatment of deep-seated tumors. In addition, they make it possible to efficiently spare the healthy tissue surrounding the tumor. The tumor therapy with accelerated carbon ions that was developed at GSI is now being used in clinical procedures on a broad scale at institutions including the Heidelberg Ion-Beam Therapy Center (HIT). In current research, scientists are looking to find out which kinds of heavy ions — such as carbon, oxygen or helium ions — are the most effective for specific tumor diseases. For some types of tumors the most effective ions have already been clearly demonstrated; for others, further physical and radiobiological studies are necessary.

This is the area where Sokol is doing her research. Her dissertation, “Oxygen ions as a single and combined modality in radiotherapy,” at the Physics Department of Technische Universität Darmstadt was based on an experimental investigation of the relevant properties of oxygen (16O) ions and an analysis of the possibility of introducing them into clinical practice mainly for the treatment of hypoxic tumors. Many tumors have a poor blood supply and therefore have an oxygen concentration that is lower than normal — a condition known as hypoxia. As a result of their lack of oxygen, these tumors respond poorly to radiotherapy and chemotherapy as well as being predisposed to metastases. In such cases, treatment with oxygen ions could bring progress, due to their specific physical properties, namely an increased linear energy transfer. Sokol’s dissertation presents the first comprehensive description and experimental characterization of oxygen-16 ions from the standpoints of physics and radiation biology, as well as the subsequent treatment planning studies. She carried out this work at GSI and HIT.

Sokol was able to provide the first experimental demonstration that oxygen ions could be more effective than carbon ions in treatments of certain cases of hypoxic tumors. Her comparison of radiotherapy plans with oxygen and with lighter ion beams showed that the use of oxygen ions for hypoxic tumors resulted in optimally uniform target recognition and also in certain cases might lead to the reduction of the radiation damage to normal tissue and critical organs. The recommended use of a tumor therapy with oxygen ions could thus improve therapeutic success for some cases of hypoxic tumors. Dr. Sokol’s dissertation was supported and assessed by Professor Marco Durante, Director of the Biophysics Department at GSI, and Professor Thomas Aumann, head of the Nuclear Reactions Research Division at GSI. (BP)

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news-3366 Wed, 02 Jan 2019 10:56:00 +0100 Frigate „Hessen“ visits FAIR and GSI https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////fregatte_hessen0.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=7a9a92af695a2d8b928466d88777c7f8 In the framework of a visiting tour through the Federal State of Hesse the crew of the frigate “Hessen” under command of frigate captain Olliver Pfennig visited the campus of FAIR and GSI. The group was welcomed by Jörg Blauroch, Technical Managing Director of FAIR and GSI. Subsequently, the participants received an overview of the accelerators and experiments, the scientific highlights and the construction of the international FAIR facility in an introductory talk. In the framework of a visiting tour through the Federal State of Hesse the crew of the frigate “Hessen” under command of frigate captain Olliver Pfennig visited the campus of FAIR and GSI. The group was welcomed by Jörg Blauroch, Technical Managing Director of FAIR and GSI. Subsequently, the participants received an overview of the accelerators and experiments, the scientific highlights and the construction of the international FAIR facility in an introductory talk.

On a guided tour of the campus the group visited the control center of the accelerator and the storage ring CRYRING. Also they learned more about the discovery of new elements at the SHIP experiment, the tumor therapy with carbon ions and the large-scale experiment HADES. A view onto the FAIR construction site showed them the progress of the construction works and concluded the tour.

The Hesse frigate belongs to the German Navy and was officially commissioned in Wilhelmshaven in 2006 as the third ship of the Saxony class. She is the godfather ship of the Federal State of Hesse. Many ships and boats of the navy maintain sponsorships to a federal state or to a city. These sponsorships are based on many years of tradition and illustrate the close and friendly relations between communities and politics and the armed forces in Germany. In order to further deepen this friendly connection to the federal state of Hesse, the crew of the frigate is currently travelling through the state to obtain information about culturally, scientifically and industrially outstanding facilities. (cp)

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news-3364 Thu, 20 Dec 2018 10:30:00 +0100 "target" magazine issue 17 published https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////target_170.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=8473ab4a5112bf130dccd7ce45b02a4b In the 17th issue of our magazine "target" we report our close cooperation with the European Space Agency ESA. Furthermore, a lot of progress has been accomplished in the construction of FAIR. At our research facilities liquid water at spectacularly low temperatures could be measured. Several experiments used our laser system PHELIX, which celebrates its 10th anniversary this year. And also scientists have made another step to realize a nuclear clock. In the 17th issue of our magazine "target" we report our close cooperation with the European Space Agency ESA. Furthermore, a lot of progress has been accomplished in the construction of FAIR. At our research facilities liquid water at spectacularly low temperatures could be measured. Several experiments used our laser system PHELIX, which celebrates its 10th anniversary this year. And also scientists have made another step to realize a nuclear clock. (cp)

Download of "target" – Issue 17, December 2018 (PDF, 8,2 MB)

Further information:

Registration and target archive

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news-3362 Mon, 17 Dec 2018 10:57:52 +0100 A guest professorship in China for Takehiko Saito https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////gastprofessur_saito_en.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=cb6f22585ff397c52426fdcbe52256a8 Dr. Takehiko Saito has been invited to serve as a guest professor at the Institute of Modern Physics (IMP) in Lanzhou, China for a period of three years. In a ceremony at the IMP, the GSI scientist was presented with a certificate identifying him as a Visiting Professor at the Institute of Modern Physics of the Chinese Academy of Science (CAS). Dr. Takehiko Saito has been invited to serve as a guest professor at the Institute of Modern Physics (IMP) in Lanzhou, China for a period of three years. In a ceremony at the IMP, the GSI scientist was presented with a certificate identifying him as a Visiting Professor at the Institute of Modern Physics of the Chinese Academy of Science (CAS).

During the ceremony, Dr. Saito thanked the Institute for the certificate and promised to further promote and intensify the two research institutes’ scientific cooperation in the future. The three-year guest professorship will include conducting his researches and supervising students and young researchers at the IMP.

After receiving his master degree in physics from the University of Tsukuba in Japan, Takehiko Saito received his doctorate from the Niels Bohr Institute/University of Copenhagen in Denmark in 1999. The subject of his doctoral dissertation was the nuclear structure of A~180 nuclei. He did postdoctoral work at the Brookhaven National Laboratory in the USA and subsequently moved on to the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg and then to GSI in order to conduct research with high-energy rare-isotope beams. From 2006 to 2012 he also headed a Helmholtz Young Investigators Group at GSI and took over a professorship at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz. He is currently the Head of the Hypernuclear Group at GSI, conducts research on exotic hypernuclei, and is working for Nustar, one of the four major experiment pillars of the future FAIR accelerator center. He is also taking on a position as Head Scientist at the RIKEN research institute in Japan since September 2018.

The honor from CAS is also a recognition of the success and significance of the many years of scientific cooperation between the Institute of Modern Physics in Lanzhou and the GSI Helmholtzzentrum in Darmstadt. The partnership between CAS and GSI in the areas of accelerator physics and research fields such as atomic, nuclear, and astrophysics as well as materials research can look back on a long tradition. Both research institutes operate heavy ion accelerators, and both are planning the construction of next-generation accelerators: FAIR in Darmstadt and HIAF in Huizhou. (BP)

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news-3359 Sat, 08 Dec 2018 13:00:00 +0100 Saturday Morning Physics: Excursion leads to FAIR and GSI https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////saturday_morning_physics_excursion_leads_to_fair_and_gsi.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=beea28f93d349baf5a4256838495e60d It's a success story with 20 years of tradition: On Saturday, December 8, more than 210 high school students from all over the state of Hesse had the opportunity to gain an insight into current physical research at FAIR and GSI. During tours of the research facilities, the participants explored the accelerators and experiments on the GSI and FAIR campus. They also learned about the construction of the international accelerator facility FAIR and had the opportunity to take a closer look at the current progress on the construction site. At the beginning, there was traditionally a small breakfast together. It's a success story with 20 years of tradition: On Saturday, December 8, more than 210 high school students from all over the state of Hesse had the opportunity to gain an insight into current physical research at FAIR and GSI. During tours of the research facilities, the participants explored the accelerators and experiments on the GSI and FAIR campus. They also learned about the construction of the international accelerator facility FAIR and had the opportunity to take a closer look at the current progress on the construction site. At the beginning, there was traditionally a small breakfast together.

"Saturday Morning Physics" is a project of the physics department of the TU Darmstadt. The series of lectures is held annually and aims to increase the interest of young people in physics. In lectures and experiments on seven consecutive Saturdays between autumn and Christmas holidays the high school students learn about the latest developments in physical research at university. Those who take part in six of seven courses receive the "Saturday Morning Physics" diploma. The visit to FAIR and GSI takes place as an excursion within the series. GSI has been one of the sponsors and supporters of this project since the start. (BP)

More Information

Website of Saturday Morning Physics

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news-3357 Thu, 06 Dec 2018 13:26:09 +0100 Anniversary Calender "50 Years GSI" https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////anniversary_calender_50_years_gsi.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=c11e17138234d0612cc136174d538f3b In 2019 the GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung celebrates its 50th birthday. On 17 december 1969, the former Gesellschaft für Schwerionenforschung was founded. In the anniversary year several activities are planned. For the kick-off into the anniversary we offer the photo calendar “50 years GSI”. We send one calendar for free to the first 500 people who send us their address by email. In 2019 the GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung celebrates its 50th birthday. On 17 december 1969, the former Gesellschaft für Schwerionenforschung was founded. In the anniversary year several activities are planned. For the kick-off into the anniversary we offer the photo calendar “50 years GSI”. We send one calendar for free to the first 500 people who send us their address by email. If you would like to get a copy, please send your postal address to fotokalender(at)gsi.de (Data Protection). Please note: Due to the shipping costs we can only send the calendar to addresses in Germany! Only as long as supplies last. (LW)

More information

On the anniversary website we will keep you updated on the planned activities throughout the year:

www.gsi.de/50years

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news-3343 Mon, 03 Dec 2018 17:47:00 +0100 Young German Physical Society visits FAIR and GSI https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////young_german_physical_society_visits_fair_and_gsi.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=6449847b8e7aae909c539de738ed8d44 In November the regional section Darmstadt of the young German Physical Society (jDPG), which was founded in spring 2018, visited the accelerators and experiments of FAIR and GSI with a group of 23 students of the Technical University of Darmstadt. The guided tour followed the path of the ions starting at the ion sources and moving along linear accelerator, main control room, experimental storage ring, ion traps and the treatment facility for tumor therapy, ending at the FAIR construction site. In November the regional section Darmstadt of the young German Physical Society (jDPG), which was founded in spring 2018, visited the accelerators and experiments of FAIR and GSI with a group of 23 students of the Technical University of Darmstadt. The guided tour followed the path of the ions starting at the ion sources and moving along the linear accelerator, main control room, experimental storage ring, ion traps and the treatment facility for tumor therapy, ending at the FAIR construction site. The students showed great interest during their stay, and thus the visit contributed to enhance the collaboration with the Technical University of Darmstadt. Thanks to the visit, discussions about possible bachelor, master and PhD theses took place, which could be carried out at FAIR and GSI.

The jDPG is a working group within in the German Physical Society (DPG). It is organized in 33 regional branches throughout Germany and offers physics students and also interested pupils more than 200 regional, nationwide and international events each year. (cp)

Further information:
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news-3353 Thu, 29 Nov 2018 14:30:00 +0100 Open research platform as goal: GSI and FAIR awarded EU funding https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////open_research_platform_as_goal_gsi_and_fair_awarded_eu_funding.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=7a45601cce292354b18319da4cfd6eed To create a European science cloud, allowing universal access to research data through a single online platform – that is the aim of the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) initiative launched by the European Union member states. The EU project ESCAPE has now received a grant. ESCAPE (European Science Cluster of Astronomy & Particle physics ESFRI research infrastructures) aims to address the common Open Science challenges in astronomy and particle physics research domains. FAIR and GSI are playing a decisive role in this comprehensive project. To create a European science cloud, allowing universal access to research data through a single online platform – that is the aim of the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) initiative launched by the European Union member states. The EU project ESCAPE has now received a grant. ESCAPE (European Science Cluster of Astronomy & Particle physics ESFRI research infrastructures) aims to address the common Open Science challenges in astronomy and particle physics research domains. FAIR and GSI are playing a decisive role in this comprehensive project.

ESCAPE, one out of five EOSC Initiative projects, is due to start in the first quarter of 2019.  The European Commission is supporting the ESCAPE project with 16 million euros. Around EUR 1.3 million of this will go to GSI and FAIR - which once again underscores the excellence located here through the successful acquisition of third-party funding. GSI and FAIR can also contribute their competence and experience in data management to ESCAPE. With their expertise in green IT, high-performance computing and scientific computing, they also belong to the key players in this field. One of the most modern and efficient data centers in the world, the Green IT Cube, is already in operation on campus. 

A deluge of data is expected in the coming years by the next generation facilities of astronomy and particle physics, including as a core piece the future FAIR accelerator center and its four large experimental pillars CBM, NUSTAR, PANDA and APPA. The million funding boost of the ESCAPE project will help Europe's world-leading research infrastructures work together to find common solutions to their data challenges, their data interoperability, their data access and to accentuate the openness of Fundamental Science research to the full international community, from professionals to the public.

The project is led by the national institute of nuclear and particle physics within CNRS (Centre national de la recherche scientifique), the French public research organisation, with a consortium of 31 partners including European partner institutions, pan-European research organisations, and medium-sized enterprises. Important partners are GSI and FAIR. (BP)

Further Information

About ESCAPE

ESCAPE Press Release

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news-3355 Tue, 27 Nov 2018 16:06:37 +0100 Alternative concept for particle acceleration https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////alternative_concept_for_particle_acceleration.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=ff5c50994402869e0e809e798be4e90f Under the direction of the GSI scientist Professor Dr. Oliver Boine-Frankenheim, the accelerator physics group at the TU Darmstadt aims to use computer-aided models to optimize the operation of accelerators at the highest beam intensities, such as in the FAIR facility. In addition, future concepts for particle accelerators will be developed. The Boine-Frankenheim group has now developed a concept for a laser-driven electron accelerator, which is so small that it could be produced on a silicon chip. It would be inexpensive and with multiple applications. Under the direction of the GSI scientist Professor Dr. Oliver Boine-Frankenheim, the accelerator physics group at the TU Darmstadt aims to use computer-aided models to optimize the operation of accelerators at the highest beam intensities, such as in the FAIR facility. In addition, future concepts for particle accelerators will be developed. The Boine-Frankenheim group has now developed a concept for a laser-driven electron accelerator, which is so small that it could be produced on a silicon chip. It would be inexpensive and with multiple applications.

In the future, such accelerator structures could be used at GSI and FAIR for medical research. "For example, such a micro-accelerator structure for electrons is interesting for cell irradiation in biophysics," explained Professor Dr. Oliver Boine-Frankenheim. (JL)

More information:
Press release TU Darmstadt
Original publication in Physical review Letters

 

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news-3351 Mon, 26 Nov 2018 11:09:58 +0100 Cryogenic testing of magnet units: Contracts signed in Dubna https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////cryogenic_testing_of_magnet_units_contracts_signed_in_dubna.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=f6a91f57a31f43c54c2a2300aa7d19aa Further important steps toward the completion of the unique superconducting magnets for the future accelerator center FAIR have been taken during the visit of a delegation from GSI and FAIR to Dubna, Russia. In order to guide the particles in a precise beam at close to light speed, FAIR requires hundreds of magnets and complete magnet systems, some of them custom-made. These systems also include a series of superconducting quadrupole units for the large ring accelerator SIS100. Russia is constructing these units as an in-kind contribution to the FAIR project. The contract for the comprehensive test program for this magnet series has now been signed at a ceremony on October 26, 2018 at the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research (JINR). Further important steps toward the completion of the unique superconducting magnets for the future accelerator center FAIR have been taken during the visit of a delegation from GSI and FAIR to Dubna, Russia. In order to guide the particles in a precise beam at close to light speed, FAIR requires hundreds of magnets and complete magnet systems, some of them custom-made. These systems also include a series of superconducting quadrupole units for the large ring accelerator SIS100. Russia is constructing these units as an in-kind contribution to the FAIR project. The contract for the comprehensive test program for this magnet series has now been signed at a ceremony on October 26, 2018 at the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research (JINR).

The 166 quadrupole units, which weigh around a ton each, each consist of a superconducting main quadrupole magnet that is combined in a variety of arrangements with superconducting correction magnets (sextupole and steering magnets). Unlike the usual copper cables, superconducting systems don’t pose any resistance to electric currents. To achieve superconductivity, the units are cooled to around -270 degrees Celsius during operation.

The technology for these magnets, which are very important for the FAIR ring accelerator, has been constantly improved over many years in a joint development program. The main features of this optimization were the minimization of the heat input into the cooling system, the quality of the magnetic field, and the mechanical stability of the magnets during rapid changes in current (high ramp rates) and at high repetition rates. The magnets, which make use of a special superconducting cable known as Nuclotron cable, enable extremely high field strength rise rates of up to four tesla per second — much higher than can be achieved by conventional superconducting magnets.

The quadrupole and correction magnets are being constructed at JINR, thereafter they will undergo the comprehensive test program specified in the contract. This program, which will be carried out in Dubna, includes cooling the magnets to their final operating temperature of -270 Grad and testing the tightness of the hydraulic system and the integrity of the electrical circuits and coils. A facility incorporating a cryogenic system was constructed in Dubna for such tests in a joint project between GSI and JINR during the past years.

Once all of the tests have been passed, the quadrupole units will each be released and transported to Germany, where they will be brought together with other components procured by GSI and assembled into complete modules for the SIS100. This integration and manufacture of the quadrupole modules for the SIS100 by the Bilfinger Noell company, who are also manufacturing the superconducting dipoles for the large FAIR ring accelerator — was commissioned as the result of a call for tenders which was concluded at the beginning of the year.

The ratification of the contract and the commissioning of various companies by JINR means that the series production and testing of the SIS100 quadrupole units can now start. In addition, the delegation, which consisted of the Technical Managing Director of GSI and FAIR, Jörg Blaurock; the head of SIS100/SIS18 Peter Spiller; the head of the department for superconducting magnets and testing (SCM), Christian Roux; and the department employees Alexander Bleile and Egbert Fischer, in the course of the visit signed an additional framework agreement with JINR over further cooperation between the GSI, FAIR, and JINR in the area of superconducting magnets. 

Says Jörg Blaurock: “FAIR is a mega project; we have not yet completed all the assignments. This contract offers several possibilities for further expanding our cooperation in the future. The main areas of our cooperation are the production and testing of magnets, but there are also possibilities for the development of techniques and technologies for our experiments, for example, for the CBM experiment.” (BP)

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news-3349 Thu, 22 Nov 2018 16:33:19 +0100 Presentation of the Christoph Schmelzer Award marks an anniversary https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////presentation_of_the_christoph_schmelzer_award_marks_an_anniversary.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=a6fc15fe3ff5dead45374d4cfc0afd88 This year marks the 20th time that the The Association for the Promotion of Tumor Therapy with Heavy Ions (Verein zur Förderung der Tumortherapie mit schweren Ionen) has honored young scientists with the Christoph Schmelzer Award. The association honored the two best doctoral dissertations and the best master’s thesis of 2018 with prize money of €1,500 for each dissertation and €750 for the master’s thesis. This year marks the 20th time that the The Association for the Promotion of Tumor Therapy with Heavy Ions (Verein zur Förderung der Tumortherapie mit schweren Ionen) has honored young scientists with the Christoph Schmelzer Award. The association honored the two best doctoral dissertations and the best master’s thesis of 2018 with prize money of €1,500 for each dissertation and €750 for the master’s thesis.

Dr. Christian Möhler (Heidelberg University), Dr. Patrick Wohlfahrt (TU Dresden), and Tabea Pfuhl (Goethe University Frankfurt) received the awards at a gala ceremony at the GSI campus in Darmstadt on November 22. After a welcoming address by Dr. Dieter Schardt, the Chairman of the Association, and a word of greeting by Gerhard Kraft, the initiator and crucial pioneer of this tumor therapy at the GSI Helmholtzzentrum, the awards were officially presented.

In her master’s thesis at Goethe University Frankfurt, Tabea Pfuhl documented her efforts to precisely measure the dose buildup effects during the penetration of proton beams into tissue or water and to compare this data with simulation calculations.

With the help of a carefully thought-out experimental setup, she succeeded in separating the contribution of the delta electrons and thus determining the dose fractions of the nuclear target fragments, which are otherwise difficult to access experimentally. She conducted the experiments for her investigations at the proton therapy facility in Trento, Italy.

A special aspect of this year’s award is the fact that both of the recipients for doctoral dissertations, Dr. Christian Möhler and Dr. Patrick Wohlfahrt, worked together on the same topic. They conducted comprehensive and pioneering studies in the area of range calculation by means of dual-layer spectral computer tomography. They also successfully translated their findings step by step into clinical applications.

The 20th annual presentation of this award testifies to the association’s long and continuous promotion of young scientists in the field of ion-beam tumor therapy. The topics of these scientific research projects have fundamental significance for the further development of ion therapy, because the results of the award-winning projects are often translated into clinical applications. The awards are named after Professor Christoph Schmelzer, the co-founder and first Scientific Director of GSI. The GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung, where heavy ion therapy was developed in Germany to the clinical use stage in the 1990s, traditionally offers an appropriate setting for the annual presentation ceremony.

The Association for the Promotion of Tumor Therapy supports activities conducted within the research project Tumor Therapy with Heavy Ions at GSI, with the goal of improving tumor treatment by refining the system and making it available for general use in patient care. During a pilot project conducted at the accelerator facility at GSI from 1997 to 2008, more than 400 patients with tumors in the head and neck were treated with ion beams. The cure rate of this method has been more than 90 percent in some categories, and the side effects are very slight. At the Heidelberg Ion-Beam Therapy Center (HIT), patients have routinely been treated with heavy ions since 2009. (JL)

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news-3347 Thu, 22 Nov 2018 13:00:00 +0100 Dr. Mustafa Schmidt receives PhD Award of the PANDA Collaboration https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////dr_mustafa_schmidt_receives_phd_award_of_the_panda_collaboration.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=840caf048499053d3dca75939f631503 For his doctoral thesis at GSI, FAIR, and the Justus Liebig University in Giessen Dr. Mustafa Schmidt has received the Panda PhD Prize 2018. The award was presented by the spokesman of the Panda Collaboration, Klaus Peters from GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung, at the most recent Panda Collaboration meeting at GSI. For his doctoral thesis at GSI, FAIR, and the Justus Liebig University in Giessen Dr. Mustafa Schmidt has received the Panda PhD Prize 2018. The award was presented by the spokesman of the Panda Collaboration, Klaus Peters from GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung, at the most recent Panda Collaboration meeting at GSI.

Physicist Mustafa Schmidt, 33 worked also for a couple of years in industry before his PhD.  The prize of €200 and a certificate was awarded to him for his dissertation titled Particle Identification with the Endcap Disc DIRC for PANDA. His doctoral advisor was Professor Dr. Michael Düren from the Justus Liebig University in Giessen.

The Panda Collaboration has awarded the PhD Prize once per year since 2013 in order to honor the best dissertation written in connection with the Panda Experiment. Panda will be one of the key experiments of the future accelerator center FAIR. The experiment focuses on antimatter research as well as on various topics related to the weak and the strong force, exotic states of matter, and the structure of hadrons. More than 500 scientists from 20 countries currently work in the Panda Collaboration. In his dissertation, Dr. Schmidt studied the Endcap Disc DIRC, a Cherenkov detector that forms one of the main components of the charged particle identification of the Panda detector, which is being built at the FAIR accelerator facility.

Candidates for the PhD Prize are nominated by their doctoral advisors. In addition to being directly related to the Panda Experiment, the nominees’ doctoral degrees must have received a rating of “very good” or better. Up to three candidates are shortlisted for the award and can present their dissertations at the Panda Collaboration meeting. The winner is chosen by a committee that is appointed for this task by the Panda Collaboration. The Panda Collaboration awards the PhD Prize to specifically honor students’ contributions to the Panda project. (BP)

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news-3345 Mon, 19 Nov 2018 08:58:00 +0100 Physics class of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences visits FAIR and GSI https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////physics_class_of_the_royal_swedish_academy_of_sciences_visits_fair_and_gsi.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=1f61f04642116ddc5e5223bb88fc22ac A delegation of 20 high-ranking members of the physics class of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences visited the research facilities of FAIR and GSI last week. Following a welcome by Professor Paolo Giubellino, Scientific Managing Director of FAIR and GSI, the group gained insight into the existing accelerators and experiments and the scientific highlights of GSI as well as the plans and the project progress of the future international accelerator center FAIR in an introductory talk. A delegation of 20 high-ranking members of the physics class of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences visited the research facilities of FAIR and GSI last week. Following a welcome by Professor Paolo Giubellino, Scientific Managing Director of FAIR and GSI, the group gained insight into the existing accelerators and experiments and the scientific highlights of GSI as well as the plans and the project progress of the future international accelerator center FAIR in an introductory talk.

On the subsequent bus tour to the FAIR construction site the Overall Site Manager Harald Hagelskamp, presented the progress of the construction work. Furthermore, the delegation visited the SHIP experiment where the GSI elements 107 to 112 were produced, as well as the treatment facility for tumor therapy with carbon ions. At the storage ring CRYRING, an in-kind contribution of Sweden to FAIR, they were informed in particular about the planned research in atomic physics. Also a visit to to the experiment for exotic nuclei R3B and the GLAD magnet were part of the program. Finally, Jörg Blaurock, Technical Managing Director of FAIR and GSI, gave an overview of the details of the FAIR construction in his talk. The day ended with a joint dinner and intense discussions, where the Swedish representatives particularly commended FAIR and GSI for their many young scientists.

The Royal Swedisch Academy of Sciences is the highest scientific institution in Sweden. It aims to further sciences, in particular natural sciences and mathematics. It is located at Swedens capital Stockholm and is world famous for the nomination of the Nobel Prize winners in physics and chemistry, as well as the awarding of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences donated by the Sveriges Riksbank, the central bank of Sweden.  The Academy is divided into ten so-called classes, among them also the physics class, which consists of Swedish as well as external members. (cp)

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news-3341 Thu, 15 Nov 2018 13:00:00 +0100 Stern Gerlach Medal: Renowned Award for Professor Peter Braun-Munzinger https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////stern_gerlach_medal_renowned_award_for_professor_peter_braun_munzinger.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=e18edfd888f51d156ae5b23ef0181e89 Professor Peter Braun-Munzinger, Director of the ExtreMe Matter Institute EMMI at GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung, receives the renowned Stern Gerlach Medal of the German Physical Society (DPG). Together with Braun-Munzinger, Professor Johanna Stachel from the University of Heidelberg will also get the award. The two researchers receive the award for their outstanding work on development and further research for the ALICE experiment at the European Organization for Nuclear Research CERN. Professor Peter Braun-Munzinger, Director of the ExtreMe Matter Institute EMMI at GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung, receives the renowned Stern Gerlach Medal of the German Physical Society (DPG). Together with Braun-Munzinger, Professor Johanna Stachel from the University of Heidelberg will also get the award. The two researchers receive the award for their outstanding work on development and further research for the ALICE experiment at the European Organization for Nuclear Research CERN. 

The nuclear physicist Peter Braun-Munzinger, who deals mainly with ultrarelativistic heavy ion collisions and the quark gluon plasma produced in them, headed the ALICE department at GSI from 1996 to 2011 and was also a professor at the TU Darmstadt during this time. From the beginning, GSI has played a leading role in ALICE's construction and scientific program. The main objective of ALICE is to explore how matter in the universe was fractions of a second after the Big Bang. At that time prevailed unimaginably high temperatures and pressures, a so-called quark gluon plasma existed. The quark gluon plasma is generated by collisions of heavy ions at the CERN accelerator LHC and is investigated with the ALICE experiment. 

The Stern Gerlach Medal is the DPG's highest award for outstanding achievements in the field of experimental physics. The prize consists of a hand-written parchment certificate and a gold medal with portraits of the two physicists Otto Stern and Walther Gerlach, after whom the Stern-Gerlach experiment is named, a fundamental experiment in physics. (BP)

Further Information

Press release of the German Physical Society (in German)

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news-3339 Fri, 09 Nov 2018 08:34:00 +0100 Successful discussions in South Africa https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////successful_discussions_in_south_africa.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=7714a87031e01f1504a892f6450c1d71 In November the 6th International Conference on Collective Motion in Nuclei under Extreme Conditions (COMEX) took place in Cape Town in the Republic of South Afrika. It was opened by the South African Minister of Science and Technology Ms Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane, who took the opportunity to meet with a delegation of representatives of nuclear physics laboratories from all over the world. The meeting was led by Professor Faïҫal Azaiez, the Director of iThemba LABS, which is a South African research institution for accelerator science. In November the 6th International Conference on Collective Motion in Nuclei under Extreme Conditions (COMEX) took place in Cape Town in the Republic of South Afrika. It was opened by the South African Minister of Science and Technology Ms Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane, who took the opportunity to meet with a delegation of representatives of nuclear physics laboratories from all over the world. The meeting was led by Professor Faïҫal Azaiez, the Director of iThemba LABS, which is a South African research institution for accelerator science.

During the meeting, Professor Paolo Giubellino,  the Scientific Managing Director of FAIR and GSI, had the opportunity to present the FAIR project and its science prospects, and to address the possibility of enhanced collaboration between South Africa and GSI/FAIR, which was welcomed by the Minister. The ministry, iThemba LABS and FAIR will now work together to develop a roadmap of collaboration, that might eventually lead to the direct involvement of South Africa in FAIR. South Africa has a strong tradition in nuclear physics and has just approved a major expansion of its facilities at iThemba LABS. It is therefore a partner of great potential for FAIR.

The iThemba Laboratory for Accelerator Based Sciences (iThemba LABS) is a multidisciplinary research facility that is based on the development, operation and use of particle accelerators and related research equipment. iThemba LABS brings together scientists working in the physical, medical and biological sciences. The facilities provide opportunities for research in subatomic physics, material research, radiobiology, and the research and development of unique radioisotopes for nuclear medicine and industrial applications. iThemba LABS have various collaboration agreements and joint training programs with higher education institutions and research laboratories around the world. (cp)

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news-3337 Tue, 06 Nov 2018 14:04:37 +0100 New detectors for the ALICE experiment: From Darmstadt to Wonderland https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////new_detectors_for_the_alice_experiment_from_darmstadt_to_wonderland.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=24a4a02e0fdcb521c30d0b4480fbdeef The particle accelerator Large Hadron Collider at the European Organization for Nuclear Research CERN will end its second running period with a heavy-ion run, colliding lead nuclei (Pb), starting in November. After a subsequent long shutdown, in 2021 the accelerator will resume operation with an increased luminosity. In order to fully benefit from the expected rate of 50,000 Pb-Pb collisions per second, the ALICE experiment is currently upgrading its detectors. The ALICE group at GSI is on the forefront of this activity. The particle accelerator Large Hadron Collider at the European Organization for Nuclear Research CERN will end its second running period with a heavy-ion run, colliding lead nuclei (Pb), starting in November. After a subsequent long shutdown, in 2021 the accelerator will resume operation with an increased luminosity. In order to fully benefit from the expected rate of 50,000 Pb-Pb collisions per second, the ALICE experiment is currently upgrading its detectors. The ALICE group at GSI is on the forefront of this activity.

The ALICE group among others assembles twenty new readout detectors for the Time Projection Chamber which is the heart of the ALICE apparatus. After four years of intensive work, the last five detectors were delivered to CERN at the end of October. The production took place in the GSI Detector Laboratory, strongly profiting from – but also helping to further extend – its excellent infrastructure. (OeA)

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news-3333 Tue, 30 Oct 2018 10:08:36 +0100 Yuri Litvinov receives chinese expert award https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////yuri_litvinov_receives_chinese_expert_award.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=9b71e5e2bc8d650f4d7c82208a75953b The nuclear physicist Professor Dr. Yuri Litvinov has been awarded the Chinese "Dunhuang Prize". The GSI and FAIR researcher is one of seven laureates to receive the award this year. The awarding ceremony was led by Li Bin, the vice-governor of the Chinese province Gansu. The nuclear physicist Professor Dr. Yuri Litvinov has been awarded the Chinese "Dunhuang Prize". The GSI and FAIR researcher is one of seven laureates to receive the award this year. The awarding ceremony was led by Li Bin, the vice-governor of the Chinese province Gansu.

The Institute of Modern Physics (IMP), Chinese Academy of Sciences nominated Yuri Litvinov for this prize for his outstanding contributions to the development of precision experiments with stored highly-charged ions at the cooler-storage ring (CSRe) in Lanzhou in the province Gansu. The "Dunhuang Prize" is awarded to the foreign experts in areas of science, technology, education, health, economy and management, who have made distinct contributions to the development of Gansu province.

Since its first edition in 1996, 177 foreign experts have received such a prize. Yuri Litvinov is the second GSI scientist receiving this award. In 2004, Otto Klepper was awarded for his contributions in establishing a fruitful collaboration between the GSI and the IMP research divisions.

Yuri Litvinov studied physics in St. Petersburg and is a GSI researcher for nearly 20 years. In 2003 he defended with distinction his PhD thesis at the university of Gießen (doctoral supervisor Professor Hans Geissel). Starting 2009 he spent two years at the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg for his habilitation. Since then Litvinov is actively involved in the APPA/SPARC research activities led by Professor Thomas Stöhlker. Among other tasks at GSI he is the coordinator of the experiments at the experimental storage ring ESR, and since 2012 he is the head of the SPARC Detectors department. Yuri Litvinov, who is also an adjunct professor at the University of Heidelberg, has already received numerous honours for his scientific work. (BP)

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news-3323 Tue, 23 Oct 2018 11:53:00 +0200 Excellent! – Lilly Schönherr receives award for best internship report in Hessen https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////excellent_lilly_schoenherr_receives_award_for_best_internship_report_in_hessen.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=a43395637ec8a23ba13ab5173f7b2441 Following the award for her outstanding internship report by the “Arbeitskreis Schule Wirtschaft Osthessen” in June, Lilly Schönherr was now able to convice the jury on the Hessian state level as well. She won against the competitors from the other regional divisions and received the award for the best internship report in school level “secondary school” in the whole State of Hesse in September 2018 in the Bildungshaus in Bad Nauheim. The award is endowed with a prize money of 100 euro. Lilly Schönherr now studies in the tenth grade of the Geschwister-Scholl-Schule, a secondary school in Rodgau. She completed her two-weeks of company placement in the research department “Atomic Physics” at GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung in March 2018. Following the award for her outstanding internship report by the “Arbeitskreis Schule Wirtschaft Osthessen” in June, Lilly Schönherr was now able to convice the jury on the Hessian state level as well. She won against the competitors from the other regional divisions and received the award for the best internship report in school level “secondary school” in the whole State of Hesse in September 2018 in the Bildungshaus in Bad Nauheim. The award is endowed with a prize money of 100 euro. Lilly Schönherr now studies in the tenth grade of the Geschwister-Scholl-Schule, a secondary school in Rodgau. She completed her two-weeks of company placement in the research department “Atomic Physics” at GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung in March 2018.

The internship of Lilly Schönherr was supervised by Dr. Wolfgang Quint and his colleagues, especially Nils Stallkamp and Davide Racano, from GSI’s atomic physics department. Mainly she worked at the experiments ARTEMIS and HILITE of the ion trap HITRAP, which is connected to the experimental storage ring ESR. Among other things, she built in detectors, tested vacuum components for her leak tightness and equipped a thermic shield with a multi-layered foil during her internship. Also milling in the workshop, the work with electronics and the design of mechanical components with a CAD system was part of her work. Lilly wants to become a physicist after finishing school.

The “Arbeitskreis Schule Wirtschaft Hessen”, a task force to bring together schools and industry in State of Hesse, consists of the seven divisions Fulda, Mittelhessen, Nordhessen, Osthessen, Rhein-Main-Taunus, Südhessen and Wiesbaden-Rheingau-Taunus. The competition is held in six school types. A jury of representatives of schools and companies evaluates the reports taking into account their formal structure, their content, their layout and originality and the overall impression. The winners of all school types on the Hessian state level receive a prize money.

Weitere Informationen
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news-3325 Wed, 17 Oct 2018 11:00:00 +0200 Expo Real: FAIR draws positive balance after its trade fair participation https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////expo_real_fair_draws_positive_balance_after_its_trade_fair_participation.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=b3d39f3a7716790fffed147d8b32ef98 Intense discussions and numerous new contacts — the FAIR construction project’s participation this year in the internationally renowned real estate trade fair Expo Real was once again very successful. The project’s dynamic progress attracted strong interest from professionals and trade fair visitors. Over a period of three days, an extensive presentation of the construction planning and the next steps toward the realization of the unique particle accelerator facility FAIR (Facility for Antiproton and Ion Research) were on exhibition at Expo Real in Munich. This year the focus was primarily on the current calls for tender and the awarding of contracts in the area of technical building services. Intense discussions and numerous new contacts — the FAIR construction project’s participation this year in the internationally renowned real estate trade fair Expo Real was once again very successful. The project’s dynamic progress attracted strong interest from professionals and trade fair visitors. Over a period of three days, an extensive presentation of the construction planning and the next steps toward the realization of the unique particle accelerator facility FAIR (Facility for Antiproton and Ion Research) were on exhibition at Expo Real in Munich. This year the focus was primarily on the current calls for tender and the awarding of contracts in the area of technical building services.

The construction of the particle acceleration center, which is currently being built at the GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung in Darmstadt, has speeded up considerably since the groundbreaking ceremony for the big SIS100 ring accelerator in the summer of 2017. “Just over a year after construction started, we’ve been able to show in Munich where we stand today and how much momentum this project has generated,” said Jörg Blaurock, the Technical Managing Director of FAIR and GSI. After the FAIR presentation at Expo Real, he drew a positive balance. “Because many important players from the construction sector were present, the trade fair gave us an outstanding opportunity to further enhance the FAIR project’s profile in the construction industry and actively present the next steps in our call for tenders for further services,” he added.

At this year’s event, the market continued to show strong interest in the realization of the FAIR project. Potential contractors and bidding syndicates for the upcoming work on the FAIR construction site eagerly took advantage of opportunities to hold direct and comprehensive talks about the construction plans for FAIR and find out about possible participation. “The discussions also showed that a scientific megaproject such as FAIR is an extremely attractive addition to a construction company’s portfolio. We’ve gained important new professional contacts,” said Blaurock, who had cooperated with Michael Ossendorf, Director FAIR Site & Buildings, and Klaus Ringsleben, Chair of the FAIR Building Advisory Committee, to present the currently open FAIR project contracts at the trade fair presence in Munich. 

At the moment, the FAIR realization project has a large order volume related to the complex area of technical building services (TBS), which must be installed in coordination with the construction of the particle accelerator. In the process, numerous individual trades have to mesh. “FAIR doesn’t require standard equipment, but rather customized solutions that are both cost-effective and efficient. This is quite a challenge. That’s why we’re cooperating closely with the overall planning team to divide this complex construction project into manageable contract packages that are in line with market conditions,” explained Michael Ossendorf. The calls for tenders for the next TBS packages, including those for ventilation and electrotechnical systems, will begin this year. Plans call for the contract awarding process to take place in 2019.

Klaus Ringsleben is also satisfied with the FAIR trade fair appearance. "We were able to convince with comprehensive, competent information and good preparation and provide detailed information about our scientifically and technically extraordinary construction project. With our appearance at the trade fair, we have made our mark.”   

FAIR’s partnership with Darmstadt as a science city has once again paid off. At this year’s trade fair, the FAIR project had its own presentation at the Darmstadt stand, which was featured as part of the Frankfurt Rhine-Main metropolitan area. The Expo Real trade fair attracts around 40,000 visitors each year and is one of Europe’s most important get-togethers for the real estate, construction, and location marketing sectors. (BP)

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news-3319 Mon, 08 Oct 2018 10:51:00 +0200 A physicist for two weeks https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////a_physicist_for_two_weeks.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=56b72a30b7ad073a27a7d1bbd773ad69 Johannes Bentzien (18) from Erfurt won a special prize in the “Jugend forscht” competition for junior scientists: an internship at the research facilities of GSI and FAIR. In September he spent two weeks on the GSI and FAIR campus getting acquainted with a variety of research areas. Johannes Bentzien (18) from Erfurt won a special prize in the “Jugend forscht” competition for junior scientists: an internship at the research facilities of GSI and FAIR. In September he spent two weeks on the GSI and FAIR campus getting acquainted with a variety of research areas.

Johannes, which research areas have you been able to check out so far?

During the first week I observed the experiments with super-heavy elements at SHIPTRAP and TASCA. To begin with, I received lots of information explaining how they work. After that I was allowed to help out. For example, I helped to fill the magnets with liquid nitrogen, make filaments for an experiment, start and stop a series of experiments, and do conversion work. Next, I spent a couple of days with the nuclear spectroscopy group, where I was able to measure the speed of light in an experiment. That was really something special. Right now I’m in the target laboratory, where I’m producing targets made of gold foil.

Which of your internship experiences have really taught you something?

In the nuclear spectroscopy group they only spoke English. My mentor had organized my visit this way on purpose so that I would be challenged — and that was really great! Besides, I was able to really get a sense of how the researchers do their daily work. Starting in October, I’ll be studying physics at the University of Rostock. At some point I’ll have to face the question of whether to pursue a career in industry or in research. Now I’ve already gotten to know one of these options a little bit.

What did you do in your free time?

I lived in the guest house, so I spent most of my time on the campus. Last week the summer students threw their farewell party, and I was there. It was a great party! On the weekend I went to Darmstadt and took a look around. Otherwise in the evenings I skyped with my family or watched movies.

What was the idea that won the “Jugend forscht” special prize for you?

The name of our project was “Why Does the Banana Shot Bend?” The reason why the banana shot in a soccer game bends is the Magnus effect, which is caused by the difference in pressure that results from the rotation of the ball. Together with two friends, I derived a formula for calculating the Magnus effect on spheres and cylinders. My friends, both of whom are computer scientists, wrote a simulation program, and we subsequently compared the results calculated by means of the program with experimental data.

What insights will you be taking home with you after the time you’ve spent here?

A physicist’s daily work is extremely varied. Physicist try out lots of different things, and sometimes they improvise. In addition, they did less calculation and math than I had expected — at least at first glance. Incidentally, I’ll be allowed to take a few of the gold targets that I’m making right now home with me as souvenirs!

(LW)

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news-3320 Thu, 04 Oct 2018 09:54:21 +0200 “Wixhäuser Grenzgang”: Visit at GSI and FAIR https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////wixhaeuser_grenzgang_visit_at_gsi_and_fair.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=a9a7c05719d2912bb0a3d93bb30085ff The participants of the “Wixhäuser Grenzgang” this year were guests at GSI and FAIR on their traditional hike along the district borders. During the one hour stopover on the campus the 110 guests got an exciting insight into the current research at GSI and FAIR as well as information about the progress of the FAIR project. The participants of the “Wixhäuser Grenzgang” this year were guests at GSI and FAIR on their traditional hike along the district borders. During the one hour stopover on the campus the 110 guests got an exciting insight into the current research at GSI and FAIR as well as information about the progress of the FAIR project.

Dr. Ingo Peter and Carola Pomplun from the Public Relations Department welcomed the guests. During their visit, the participants, among others the state parliamentary candidates from CDU and SPD, Irmgard Klaff-Isselmann und Tim Huß, had also the possibility to form their own impressions of the mega construction site for the future FAIR accelerator facility. Of particular interest was the view of the construction site from the hill above the existing SIS18 ring accelerator, which has been extensively upgraded. The guests also had the opportunity to learn about the outstanding experimental opportunities available to researchers at FAIR.

The border crossing, organized by the Wixhausen district administrator Bernd Henske and the first chairman of the trade association Klaus Müller, started at Kerbplatz Wixhausen and ended with a final rest at Aumühle. The “Wixhäuser Grenzgang” has been organised again since its incorporation in 1977, and the district administration has thus revived an old tradition. (BP)

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news-3317 Mon, 24 Sep 2018 10:09:00 +0200 Gisela Taucher-Scholz receives Ulrich Hagen Award https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////gisela_taucher_scholz_receives_ulrich_hagen_award.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=fc251f56cd761764f5c87d6047281443 The GSI biochemistry professor Gisela Taucher-Scholz has received this year’s Ulrich Hagen Award of the Gesellschaft für Biologische Strahlenforschung (German Society for Biological Radiation Research – GBS). The award presentation ceremony was held as part of the annual GBS congress at the Klinikum Frankfurt on September 17, 2018. The award certificate and a medal were presented by the President of GBS, Professor Michael Hausmann. The GSI biochemistry professor Gisela Taucher-Scholz has received this year’s Ulrich Hagen Award of the Gesellschaft für Biologische Strahlenforschung (German Society for Biological Radiation Research – GBS). The award presentation ceremony was held as part of the annual GBS congress at the Klinikum Frankfurt on September 17, 2018. The award certificate and a medal were presented by the President of GBS, Professor Michael Hausmann.

Gisela Taucher-Scholz studied biochemistry in Santiago, Chile, and received her doctorate for a research project conducted at the Max Planck Institute for Medical Research in Heidelberg. She has worked in the biophysics department of GSI since 1988, and has headed a research group there since 1999. She was awarded an honorary professorship in biology at the Technische Universität Darmstadt (TUD) in 2012. Her research activities focus on the molecular radiobiology of charged particles, DNA repair in the context of chromatin, and spatiotemporal studies and living-cell microscopy of repair proteins. In addition to research, her work is mainly devoted to providing support for young academics. This aspect of her work is reflected in her many years of commitment as a juror in the youth science competition “Jugend Forscht” and her scientific presentations to schools as part of the “Brückenschlagen” (Building Bridges) project, to name just a few examples. Since 2011 she has been responsible for the Radiation Biophysics module in the master’s degree program Technical Biology, which is offered every winter semester at GSI.

The Ulrich Hagen Award has been presented since 2004 to scientists for outstanding achievements in the field of radiation research. The award is named after Professor Ulrich Hagen (1925–2007), the pioneer of molecular radiation biology.

GBS presents this award every two years for significant achievements in biological radiation research. In addition to scientific excellence, there are also additional criteria, such as participation in the support of young academics and networking and commitment to the research community in Germany. (cp)

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news-3315 Thu, 20 Sep 2018 09:23:00 +0200 Scientists present new observations to understand the phase transition in quantum chromodynamics https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////scientists_present_new_observations_to_understand_the_phase_transition_in_quantum_chromodynamics.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=c4bc89e898582f47be7cbb217d39eb24 The building blocks of matter in our universe were formed in the first 10 microseconds of its existence, according to the currently accepted scientific picture. After the Big Bang about 13.7 billion years ago, matter consisted mainly of quarks and gluons, two types of elementary particles whose interactions are governed by quantum chromodynamics (QCD), the theory of strong interaction. In the early universe, these particles moved (nearly) freely in a quark-gluon plasma. Then, in a phase transition, they combined and formed hadrons, among them the building blocks of atomic nuclei, protons and neutrons. In the current issue of the science journal 'Nature', an international team of scientists presents an analysis of a series of experiments at major particle accelerators which sheds light on the nature of this transition. The scientists determined with precision the transition temperature and obtained new insights into the mechanism of cooling and freeze-out of the quark-gluon plasma into the current constituents of matter such as protons, neutrons, and atomic nuclei. The team of researchers consists of scientists from the GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung in Darmstadt, and from the universities of Heidelberg, Münster, and Wroclaw (Poland). This is a joint press release of University Muenster and Heidelberg as well as the GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung in Darmstadt.

The building blocks of matter in our universe were formed in the first 10 microseconds of its existence, according to the currently accepted scientific picture.  After the Big Bang about 13.7 billion years ago, matter consisted mainly of quarks and gluons, two types of elementary particles whose interactions are governed by quantum chromodynamics (QCD), the theory of strong interaction. In the early universe, these particles moved (nearly) freely in a quark-gluon plasma. Then, in a phase transition, they combined and formed hadrons, among them the building blocks of atomic nuclei, protons and neutrons. In the current issue of the science journal "Nature", an international team of scientists presents an analysis of a series of experiments at major particle accelerators which sheds light on the nature of this transition. The scientists determined with precision the transition temperature and obtained new insights into the mechanism of cooling and freeze-out of the quark-gluon plasma into the current constituents of matter such as protons, neutrons, and atomic nuclei. The team of researchers consists of scientists from the GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung in Darmstadt, and from the universities of Heidelberg, Münster, and Wroclaw (Poland).

Analysis of experimental results confirm the predicted value of the transition temperature / One hundred and twenty thousand times hotter than the interior of the sun

A central result: The experiments at world-wide highest energy with the ALICE detector at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at the research center CERN produce matter where particles and anti-particles coexist, with very high accuracy, in equal amounts, similar to the conditions in the early universe. The team confirms, with analysis of the experimental data, theoretical predictions that the phase transition between quark-gluon plasma and hadronic matter takes place at the temperature of 156 MeV. This temperature is 120,000 times higher than that in the interior of the sun.

"Snowballs in hell"

The physicists analyzed more precisely the yields of a number of particles and anti-particles. "Our investigations revealed a number of surprizing discoveries. One of them is that light nuclei and their anti-particles are produced at the same temperature as protons and anti-protons, although their binding energies are about 100 times smaller than the energy corresponding to the transition temperature", explains Prof. Dr. Anton Andronic who recently joined the University of Münster from the GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung. The scientists presume that such "loosely bound objects" are formed at high temperature first as compact multi-quark objects which only later develop into the observed light nuclei and anti-nuclei. The existence of such multi-quark states was proposed a long time ago but no convincing evidence was found.

"Confinement": Charm quarks travel freely in the fireball

Another remarkable observation concerns a phenomenon long known but poorly understood: Normally, quarks are confined into the interior of protons and neutrons; isolated quarks have never been observed, a property which scientists describe as "confinement". In the interior of the fireball formed in nuclear collisions at high energy this confinement is lifted (deconfinement). The new study shows that charmonium states such as J/psi mesons, consisting of a pair of charm and anti-charm quarks, are produced far more often at LHC energies compared to observations at lower energies, such as at the "Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider" in the USA. Because of the higher energy density at LHC the opposite, namely a reduction of J/psi mesons through dissociation was expected. In contradistinction, enhancement was predicted 18 years ago by two of the team members (Prof. Dr. Peter Braun-Munzinger, GSI, and Prof. Dr. Johanna Stachel, Universität Heidelberg) because of deconfinement of the charm quarks. The consequences of the prediction were worked out in detail in a series of publications by the whole team. The now observed enhanced production of J/psi particles confirms the prediction: J/psi mesons can only be produced in the observed large quantities if their constituents, the charm- and anticharm quarks, can travel freely in the fireball over distances of a trillionth of a centimeter – corresponding to about ten times the size of a proton. "These observations are a first step towards understanding the phenomenon of confinement in more detail", underlines Prof. Dr. Krzysztof Redlich of the  University of Wroclaw (Poland).

Experiments at CERN  and at Brookhaven National Laboratory

The data were obtained during several years of investigations in the framework of the experiment "ALICE" at the Large Hadron Collider accelerator at the research center CERN near Geneva. In "ALICE", scientists from 41 countries investigated in collisions between two lead nuclei the state of the universe within microseconds after the Big Bang. The highest ever man-made energy densities are produced in such collisions. These result in the formation of matter (quarks and gluons) as it existed at that time in the early universe. In each head-on collision more than 30,000 particles (hadrons) are produced which are then detected in the ALICE experiment. The actual study also used data from experiments at lower energy accelerators, the "Super Proton Synchrotron" at CERN and the "Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider" at the US-Brookhaven National Laboratory on Long Island, New York.

The investigations were supported in the framework of the "Collaborative Research Center" 1225 "Isolated quantum systems and universality under extreme conditions (ISOQUANT)" by the German Research Foundation (DFG). Furthermore, they were supported by the Polish National Science Center (NCN) (Maestro grant DEC-2013/10/A/ST2/00106).

Relativistic nuclear collisions at GSI

The investigation of relativistic nuclear collisions has a long tradition at GSI, first at the SIS18 accelerator, then at the CERN SPS. Until 1995 the group was led by Prof. Dr. Rudolf Bock, from 1996 on by Prof. Dr. Peter Braun-Munzinger.

The ALICE group at GSI is since 1993 member of the ALICE collaboration and has played a leading role in the design and construction of the experiment as well as in operation and analysis. Prof. Braun-Munzinger had, as project leader of the ALICE Time Projection Chamber TPC as well as in the design and construction of the ALICE Transition Radiation Detector TRD, together with his team an important impact on the whole successful experiment and is involved in ALICE data analysis as well as in the development of projects for the future of ALICE. Since 2011 Prof. Dr. Silvia Masciocchi leads the ALICE GSI group.

The phenomenological investigations towards interpretation of the ALICE data which are central to this Nature publication were performed within the framework of the ExtreMe Matter Institute EMMI, currently led by Prof. Braun-Munzinger.

The results reported in the Nature publication are also trail blazing for research at the future FAIR facility: especially the results on the production of light nuclei and hyper-nuclei open new perspectives for the CBM experiment at FAIR.

More information:

Original publication: Andronic A., Braun-Munzinger P., Redlich K. und Stachel J. (2018): Decoding the phase structure of QCD via particle production at high energy. Nature Sep. 20, 2018 issue; DOI: 10.1038/s41586-018-0491-6 

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news-3306 Tue, 18 Sep 2018 10:00:00 +0200 Collector Ring: Contract with Budker Institute has been signed https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////collector_ring_contract_with_budker_institute_has_been_signed.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=78d72ef26f86aeced4b8b19cd8bc3bfc The course for development and construction of the Collector Ring (CR), an important part of the future FAIR accelerator center, has been completely set. During the visit of a delegation of representatives of the Budker Institute for Nuclear Physics (BINP) to the FAIR and GSI campus, the contract for the remaining part of the CR was signed together with the management of FAIR and GSI. Prior to this, two contracts concerning the responsibility for the CR project realization and the dipole magnets construction for the CR had already been concluded. The course for development and construction of the Collector Ring (CR), an important part of the future FAIR accelerator center, has been completely set. During the visit of a delegation of representatives of the Budker Institute for Nuclear Physics (BINP) to the FAIR and GSI campus, the contract for the remaining part of the CR was signed together with the management of FAIR and GSI. Prior to this, two contracts concerning the responsibility for the CR project realization and the dipole magnets construction for the CR had already been concluded.

The CR is designed for fast precooling of hot secondary ions coming from the antiproton separator and the Superconducting Fragment Separator (Super-FRS). The fast cooling will be done by means of the RF debuncher and stochastic cooling systems, which are developed by GSI.  The CR is going to be used for mass measurements of short-lived secondary rare isotope beams from the Super-FRS in a special CR optical mode as well.

A large part of the CR is being developed under the direction of the Budker Institute as a Russian in-kind contribution to FAIR. The Budker Institute also bears the main responsibility for the Collector Ring. The signed contracts provides that BINP manufactures dipole, quadrupole and sextupole magnets, a vacuum system, power supplies for all magnets, beam diagnostic components and injection/extraction system. The most challenging components are 26 dipole magnets weighing almost 60 tons each. The BINP is responsible for assembly and commissioning of all CR components at FAIR site.   

With the contract now signed, all decisive prerequisites for the technological demanding Collector Ring are in place. (BP)

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news-3313 Thu, 13 Sep 2018 09:29:00 +0200 “Euroschool on Exotic Beams” celebrates 25th anniversary https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////euroschool_on_exotic_beams_celebrates_25th_anniversary.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=14cff1ccdd78f8d77cbabd7c70e7ae21 The "Euroschool on Exotic Beams" has been a meeting place for graduates, doctoral students and young postdocs for a quarter of a century. Through high-ranked speakers, a good choice of relevant topics and attractive lectures, the school is ideally suited to prepare young scientists for their research work, e.g. at GSI and FAIR. The anniversary event at the end of August 2018 was celebrated at the University of Leuven in Belgium with a special symposium. The "Euroschool on Exotic Beams" has been a meeting place for graduates, doctoral students and young postdocs for a quarter of a century. Through high-ranked speakers, a good choice of relevant topics and attractive lectures, the school is ideally suited to prepare young scientists for their research work, e.g. at GSI and FAIR. The anniversary event at the end of August 2018 was celebrated at the University of Leuven in Belgium with a special symposium. Lectures were given by international experts in nuclear physics to review the progress made in recent decades. Many of the speakers were participants or lecturers of former Euroschool events.

The special symposium was embedded in the Euroschool week 2018, which took place in Leuven from August 26th to September 1st. The school covers general topics in physics of exotic nuclei, experimental and theoretical studies of nuclear structure and reaction dynamics, nuclear astrophysics, research on superheavy elements and interdisciplinary applications in medicine, energy and society.

The aim of the Euroschool is to promote young scientists at the highest level. The main activity is to provide an excellent lecture program that bridges the gap between the university education and the forefront research activities at the European accelerator-based large-scale laboratories. The lectures are given by invited experts of the field and focus on physics, techniques and applications related to modern nuclear research. The Euroschool trains new generations of young scientists from across Europe and helps them to establish contacts with the leading scientists in the field. Therefore, the school is an important asset to prepare the next generation of scientists for their research work at institutions such as GSI and FAIR.

The Euroschool is organized by its “Board of Directors”, an association of twelve European, internationally recognized research scientists and university professors. The chair is the GSI scientist Professor Christoph Scheidenberger. The annual school events take place in different countries and have typically 60 to 80 participants. Over the last 25 years, the Euroschool on Exotic Beams has had around 1200 participants. The first events took place in Leuven (years 1993-1998 and 2000) and were funded by the European Commission via a training and mobility program, while it is funded by various sources since 2006. Since then the school’s funding is based on a Memorandum of Understanding between several European laboratories, including GSI and FAIR, and universities. Since 2001, the school has travelled throughout Europe and took place at 15 different locations in eleven countries. The Euroschool on Exotic Beams is attended by participants from Europe as well as non-European scientists from North and South America, Australia, Africa, India, China and Japan.

Among other achievements, meanwhile five text books have emerged from this school, which are widely used by students and lecturers. (JL)

 

Further information

Web Site: http://www.euroschoolonexoticbeams.be

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news-3311 Mon, 10 Sep 2018 09:12:00 +0200 Hessian Parliament Representative René Rock visits FAIR and GSI https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////hessian_parliament_representative_rene_rock_visits_fair_and_gsi.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=687275c7ce98a77852a536ae44d860ed At the beginning of September René Rock, FDP Fraction Chairman in the Hessian Parliament visited the campus of FAIR and GSI. Central topics were the current research program and the progress within the FAIR project. René Rock was accompanied by Brian Röcken, Head of the District Association of Junge Liberale Südhessen. The Scientific Managing Director Professor Paolo Giubellino, the Technical Managing Director Jörg Blaurock as well as Ingo Peter, the Head of Public Relations welcomed the guests on site. At the beginning of September René Rock, FDP Fraction Chairman in the Hessian Parliament visited the campus of FAIR and GSI. Central topics were the current research program and the progress within the FAIR project. René Rock was accompanied by Brian Röcken, Head of the District Association of Junge Liberale Südhessen. The Scientific Managing Director Professor Paolo Giubellino, the Technical Managing Director Jörg Blaurock as well as Ingo Peter, the Head of Public Relations welcomed the guests on site.

In an introductory talk the two FDP politicians got an overview on the GSI research and the FAIR project, one of the largest cutting-edge research projects worldwide. In the following joint conversation, the FAIR and GSI management gave more detailed information on the plans for the scientific use of the FAIR accelerator facility, the strategic goals for FAIR and GSI and the further development of the campus.

During the guided tour through the existing research facility the visitors informed themselves on the research highlights of GSI, e.g. the tumor therapy with carbon ions, the discovery of new elements and the production of cosmic matter at the HADES detector. The guests also got an impression of the high-tech developments for FAIR which are in full progress. Furthermore, René Rock and Brian Röcken were able to take a direct look at the work on the FAIR site during a bus tour. On the 20-hectare site, the shell construction work for the central ring accelerator SIS100 is ongoing and the excavation pit for the first of the future large-scale experiment stations is prepared.

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news-3304 Fri, 31 Aug 2018 09:06:00 +0200 20 years of tumor therapy: Clinical studies began in 1998 https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////20_years_of_tumor_therapy_clinical_studies_began_in_1998.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=f455ebc3f7caf44b219f8212eb9e7351 Twenty years ago, researchers at GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung began to conduct clinical studies of an innovative cancer treatment that used accelerated carbon ions. In August and September 1998, the first patients were treated with a complete course of carbon therapy for a period of three weeks. It was a starting point of a success story that has led from fundamental research to a widespread medical application. Twenty years ago, researchers at GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung began to conduct clinical studies of an innovative cancer treatment that used accelerated carbon ions. In August and September 1998, the first patients were treated with a complete course of carbon therapy for a period of three weeks. It was a starting point of a success story that has led from fundamental research to a widespread medical application.

The therapy was the result of joint research by the GSI Helmholtzzentrum, the Clinic of Radiology and the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) in Heidelberg, and the Helmholtz research laboratory in Rossendorf. Individual radiation treatment with heavy ions had initially been conducted as early as December 1997. This had been preceded by four years of technical development of the therapy unit at the heavy-ion accelerator of GSI, which included a radiation facility for patients, and by 20 years of fundamental research in radiation biology and physics.

Treatment with ion beams is a very precise and highly effective, yet extremely gentle, therapeutic process. The major advantage of this method is that the ion beams, which have previously been brought to very high speeds in the accelerator facility of GSI, develop their strongest effect in the tumor itself, while sparing the healthy tissue that surrounds it. Because the range of the heavy-ion beam can be controlled with millimeter precision, particles are stopped inside the tumor and can release their energy there in a concentrated burst. As a result, this process is especially suited for deep-seated tumors that are located near high-risk organs such as the optic nerve or the brain stem.

The raster-scan method, which was also developed at GSI and was used in heavy-ion therapy for the first time, enables the carbon beam to cover the tumor very precisely. The radiation dose can be applied to the malignant tumor tissue point by point. In order to regulate the intensity of the effect, the beam is left long enough at each point to reach the intended dose. Despite the large number of dots/pixels, the irradiation of a field takes only a few minutes. This process makes it possible to irradiate very precisely tumors with complex shapes, and it is a great improvement over conventional beam delivery methods.

In the period until 2008, GSI used carbon ion beams to treat more than 440 patients for tumors of the head and neck with great success. Today, special clinics in Heidelberg (Heidelberg Ion-Beam Therapy Center — HIT) and Marburg (Marburger Ionenstrahl-Therapiezentrum — MIT) and Shanghai, China, offer customized versions of the treatment that was first used at GSI in Darmstadt 20 years ago. The initiator and the crucial pioneer of this tumor therapy is Professor Gerhard Kraft, who created GSI’s biophysical research department in the early 1980s and was its director from 1981 to 2008. This is how he remembers the early years: “Back then, most people would hardly have thought it possible to make the outstanding biomedical properties of ion beams technically available for therapy. That became possible only through the collaboration of many disciplines, such as nuclear and atomic physics, radiation biology and radiation medicine, accelerator physics, computer science, to name just a few.”

The Scientific Managing Director of GSI and FAIR, Professor Paolo Giubellino, emphasizes the great social benefits of this treatment: “This method is an outstanding example of how fundamental research benefits society and individual patients through successful technology transfer, and how it is being continuously advanced today.” The establishment of the facilities in Heidelberg and Marburg — in whose development and construction GSI played a major role — by no means marks the end of the research work in this field. Additional medical applications are also a major goal of the biophysical research that will be conducted in the APPA program, which is one of the four major research pillars of the future accelerator center FAIR that is currently being built at GSI. FAIR can offer new research opportunities for the next-generation particle therapy, for example using very high-energy ions for radiography or radioactive ions for PET imaging online.

“Having pioneered heavy ion therapy in Europe, GSI is now the main center for research in this field” says the successor of Professor Kraft as Director of the Biophysics Department, Professor Marco Durante. “We are committed to improve particle therapy for the benefit of the patients, and to seek new strategies and solutions to use heavy ion beams for treating cancer and noncancer diseases”, concludes Durante. For example, scientists in the Biophysics Department are working on the combination of heavy ion therapy and immunotherapy. They are also investigating the use of ion beams to treat cardiac arrhythmia. Here too, the advantages of ion therapy — extremely precise point-by-point application and optimal protection of the surrounding tissue — can be put to good use. As a result, in the next few years carbon ions could be successfully used to treat cardiac arrhythmia as a noninvasive alternative to the present treatment with cardiac catheters or drugs.

Another major goal is to treat moving tumors in the inner organs, such as is the case with lung, liver and pancreatic cancer. The ion beam is targeted very exactly, and for this reason the patients must be held in place with millimeter precision so that this high-precision radiation can be effective. However, tumors in the abdominal and thoracic cavities are moved by the patient’s breathing and heartbeat. Current research is therefore searching for ways to achieve the precision and homogeneity that ion beam radiation requires in order to treat moving targets as well as fixed ones. Tumor therapy with heavy ions thus still offers great opportunities for further scientific findings that will enable it to be used even more effectively in the future for the benefit of many patients. (BP)

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news-3302 Fri, 24 Aug 2018 09:06:00 +0200 Parliamentary State Secretary visits FAIR and GSI https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////parliamentary_state_secretary_visits_fair_and_gsi.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=df82f621b6e6e56c8929d117a40fc86a Current research activities and the progress of the FAIR project were the focus of the visit of Dr. Michael Meister, Parliamentary State Secretary to the Federal Minister of Education and Research, at the FAIR and GSI Campus. The CDU politician and Member of the Bundestag for the Bergstraße constituency was accompanied by Ministerial Counselor Oda Keppler, Head of Unit at the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). The guests were welcomed by Professor Paolo Giubellino, Scientific Managing Director, Administrative Managing Director Ursula Weyrich and Technical Managing Director Jörg Blaurock as well as Ingo Peter, Head of Public Relations. Current research activities and the progress of the FAIR project were the focus of the visit of Dr. Michael Meister, Parliamentary State Secretary to the Federal Minister of Education and Research, at the FAIR and GSI Campus. The CDU politician and Member of the Bundestag for the Bergstraße constituency was accompanied by Ministerial Counselor Oda Keppler, Head of Unit at the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). The guests were welcomed by Professor Paolo Giubellino, Scientific Managing Director, Administrative Managing Director Ursula Weyrich and Technical Managing Director Jörg Blaurock as well as Ingo Peter, Head of Public Relations.

After an introductory presentation about the GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung and the development of the FAIR project, which is currently being constructed at GSI and is one of the largest research projects worldwide, there was an opportunity for discussion with the management of FAIR and GSI. This also included an exchange on the strategic goals for FAIR and GSI, which are the basis of the site's activities.

Afterwards a bus tour led over the FAIR construction site, where the visitors informed themselves about the progresses. These included the shell construction of the large SIS100 ring accelerator and the excavation pits for the transfer building, the central hub for guiding the facility´s beam, and for the CBM experimental site. CBM is one of the four research pillars of the future accelerator center.

The visit was completed by a guided tour of the existing accelerator and research facilities, during which the guests gained the latest up-to-date insights into science on campus. They visited among other things the linear accelerator UNILAC, the facility for ion-based tumor therapy that has been developed at GSI, the large-scale experiment R3B and the large-scale detector HADES – all of them key stations, which will also play an important role for future experiments at FAIR. (BP)

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news-3288 Tue, 21 Aug 2018 13:03:00 +0200 Precise Measurements of Six Chromium Isotopes https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////precise_measurements_of_six_chromium_isotopes.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=3ec2cda6f7ac17f510e5a7f5494c2a50 An international research team has for the first time at ISOLDE, the Isotope Separator On Line Device at CERN, succeeded in creating six chromium isotopes and measuring their masses up to 300 times more precisely than ever before using the ISOLTRAP ion trap. The ISOLTRAP experiment was largely constructed by scientists from GSI and has been constantly supported by significant contributions from GSI since that time. The new measurement results have enabled scientist to make the first-ever statements concerning trends of the shape and binding energies of these and neighboring isotopes. An international research team has for the first time at ISOLDE, the Isotope Separator On Line Device at CERN, succeeded in creating six chromium isotopes and measuring their masses up to 300 times more precisely than ever before using the ISOLTRAP ion trap. The ISOLTRAP experiment was largely constructed by scientists from GSI and has been constantly supported by significant contributions from GSI since that time. The new measurement results have enabled scientist to make the first-ever statements concerning trends of the shape and binding energies of these and neighboring isotopes. 

The masses of the exotic chromium nuclides were measured more accurately than ever before by the experimenters at CERN in the Penning trap mass spectrometer ISOLTRAP. The binding energies can be derived from the results. When the physicists plot the binding energies of the six isotopes they can draw a trend line through the points and from this line they can see whether a shell closure occurs in this region or the nuclear shape suddenly changes between one isotope and the next. The measurement uncertainties were previously too large to enable reliable statements. “Thanks to the new, extremely precise measurements we can now state with confidence that the abrupt change of shape that had previously been speculated about does not occur in the case of these isotopes,” said Frank Herfurth, a scientist from GSI who participated in the experiment. “The new, more exact data shows us a slow change of shape away from the symmetrical form. Thanks to the joint efforts of experimenters and theorists we have been able to compare our results with an ab initio model for the first time. These are special nuclear models, the calculations of which are essentially based on the interactions of protons and neutrons and thus are less dependent on intuitive approximations. Two out of four nuclear structure models confirm our observation, the other two don’t. The experiment results are a valuable help to test the assumptions that underlie the different models.”

ISOLTRAP is a Penning trap mass spectrometer combined with a multi-reflection time-of-flight (MR-ToF) mass separator. This structure enables the masses of especially rare isotopes to be measured directly. The combination of two Penning traps enables precise and clean measurements unaffected by contaminants. The most exact mass measurements of exotic, short-lived nuclei can thus be carried out using penning trap spectrometers.

ISOLTRAP is a forerunner of the Penning trap precision experiment for exotic ions. Technology, software, and hardware that has been and is being developed for ISOLTRAP is in use at SHIPTRAP, HITRAP, and is also planned for use at the FAIR experiment collaboration MATS within the NUSTAR collaboration. At FAIR, the particle accelerator facility that is under construction at GSI, similar experiments with even more exotic nuclei are planned.

The ISOLTRAP experiment, initiated by the former head of Atomic Physics at GSI, Prof. Kluge, is the result of a collaboration over many years between GSI, Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, the University of Greifswald, and the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics (MPIK) in Heidelberg. In recent years MPIK’s Prof. Blaum has taken over the leadership of the collaboration, and the Institute continues to be supported in this by various GSI/FAIR departments such as Experiment Electronics, Atomic Physics, and Decelerators.

More information

Original publication in Physical review Letters: Precision Mass Measurements of 58–63Cr: Nuclear Collectivity Towards the N=40 Island of Inversion

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news-3298 Mon, 20 Aug 2018 09:00:00 +0200 Hessian Parliament Representative Jörg-Uwe Hahn to visit FAIR and GSI https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////hessian_parliament_representative_joerg_uwe_hahn_to_visit_fair_and_gsi.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=afda36139ee9ba62eaa82f3ed4270540 Jörg-Uwe Hahn, member of the FDP fraction of the Hessian Parliament, recently visited FAIR and GSI. The politician and former Hessian Minister of Justice informed himself about current research and the progress of the FAIR construction project, one of the largest research projects for cutting-edge research worldwide. Jörg-Uwe Hahn, who came to the campus together with party colleague Dr. Dierk Molter, honorary city councillor in Darmstadt, was received by the Scientific Managing Director Professor Paolo Giubellino, the Administrative Managing Director Ursula Weyrich and the Technical Managing Director Jörg Blaurock s well as Ingo Peter, the Head of Public Relations. Jörg-Uwe Hahn, member of the FDP fraction of the Hessian Parliament, recently visited FAIR and GSI. The politician and former Hessian Minister of Justice informed himself about current research and the progress of the FAIR construction project, one of the largest research projects for cutting-edge research worldwide. Jörg-Uwe Hahn, who came to the campus together with party colleague Dr. Dierk Molter, honorary city councillor in Darmstadt, was received by the Scientific Managing Director Professor Paolo Giubellino, the Administrative Managing Director Ursula Weyrich and the Technical Managing Director Jörg Blaurock s well as Ingo Peter, the Head of Public Relations.

After a presentation about the GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung and the future accelerator center FAIR, there was also an opportunity for exchange, for example about the strategic goals for FAIR and GSI. Afterwards, a tour of the existing accelerator facility and the FAIR construction site was on the agenda.

During the tour of the construction site, Jörg-Uwe Hahn and Dr. Dierk Molter were able to take a direct look at the work on the 20-hectare site, for example the ongoing shell construction work for the central ring accelerator SIS100 and the excavation pit for the first of the future large-scale experiment stations to be built. (BP)

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news-3296 Thu, 16 Aug 2018 11:00:00 +0200 Ruprecht Karls Award for Dr. Andreas Samberg https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////ruprecht_karls_award_for_dr_andreas_samberg.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=155d941cea52e2b79289ce1ec5a60873 Dr. Andreas Samberg has received the Ruprecht Karls Award for outstanding scientific achievements in his PhD dissertation. The Heidelberg University Foundation honors his research on the theory of strongly coupled quantum systems performed at the University Heidelberg and at the ExtreMe Matter Institute EMMI at GSI. Dr. Andreas Samberg has received the Ruprecht Karls Award for outstanding scientific achievements in his PhD dissertation. The Heidelberg University Foundation honors his research on the theory of strongly coupled quantum systems performed at the University Heidelberg and at the ExtreMe Matter Institute EMMI at GSI.

Dr. Andreas Samberg has received the Ruprecht Karls Award for his doctoral thesis entitled "Applied String Theory, Hot and Cold: A Holographic View on Quark-Gluon Plasma and Superfluids". In his research work, Dr. Andreas Samberg uses methods from string theory to describe strongly interacting quantum systems in terms of weakly interacting theories of gravity in a higher-dimensional space. The principle of this holographic duality is analogous to the well-known holograms on banknotes which generate a three-dimensional picture from a flat metal film. This holographic duality is employed by Andreas Samberg for the description of the hottest and coldest forms of matter in the Universe. On the one hand, he considers the behavior of heavy quarks in the quark-gluon plasma - an extremely hot state of matter which microseconds after the Big Bang filled the whole Universe and which is now created at the LHC accelerator at CERN. He also studies this state of matter at very high densities as they will be reached in experiments at the future FAIR facility. On the other hand, he considers a phenomenon due to which fluids flow without any viscosity at low temperatures, so-called superfluidity. He discovers new aspects of the dynamics of this state of matter, in particular concerning the turbulence of vortices at strong coupling. Two-dimensional superfluids as they are investigated here will be realized in future experiments on ultra-cold quantum gases.

The thesis honored by the award was performed under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Carlo Ewerz at Heidelberg University and at the ExtreMe Matter Institute EMMI at GSI. It was supported by GSI with a fellowship in the framework of the strategic cooperation with Heidelberg University. During his thesis work, Andreas Samberg was a member of the Heidelberg Graduate School of Fundamental Physics (HGSFP) and of the Helmholtz Graduate School for Hadron and Ion Research (HGS-HIRe). Together with EMMI, the latter supported a research stay of several months at Princeton University (USA).

The Ruprecht Karls Award is endowed with 3000 Euro and is awarded by the Heidelberg University Foundation for outstanding research work by young scientists at the Ruprecht-Karls-University Heidelberg. Each year, the award honors the five best doctoral theses of all disciplines at Heidelberg University which are selected in a university-wide, multistage procedure. The award was presented in a ceremony in the Great Hall of the University Heidelberg.

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news-3276 Fri, 03 Aug 2018 09:00:00 +0200 Semenov Medal awarded to Professor Rudolf Bock https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////semenov_medal_awarded_to_professor_rudolf_bock.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=fbb034b2dcd85ed81e04e832e3dcde99 In July 2018 the Semenov Medal in gold was awarded to Professor Rudolf Bock at FAIR and GSI in the framework of a small ceremony. The medal was presented by Professor Vladimir Fortov from the Russian Academy of Science (RAS), member of the FAIR Council, in the presence of the FAIR and GSI Management Board – Professor Paolo Giubellino, Ursula Weyrich and Jörg Blaurock – as well as Professor Boris Sharkov, former Scientific Director of FAIR. In July 2018 the Semenov Medal in gold was awarded to Professor Rudolf Bock at FAIR and GSI in the framework of a small ceremony. The medal was presented by Professor Vladimir Fortov from the Russian Academy of Science (RAS), member of the FAIR Council, in the presence of the FAIR and GSI Management Board – Professor Paolo Giubellino, Ursula Weyrich and Jörg Blaurock – as well as Professor Boris Sharkov, former Scientific Director of FAIR.

Professor Bock receives this high-ranking award for his outstanding achievements in the field of heavy ion research. In his laudatio Fortov commended Rudolf Bock on his accomplishments in the fields of heavy ion physics and as one of the founding fathers of GSI. In addition, he emphasized the important contributions of Rudolf Bock to the Russian-German collaboration in research over several generations, in particular his support for young scientists.

Rudolf Bock studied physics at Heidelberg University, where he received his PhD in 1958 with a thesis on nuclear reactions, supervised by Nobel Prize winner Professor Walther Bothe. Afterwards, as a member of the newly founded  Max-Planck-Institute for Nuclear Research in Heidelberg, he started heavy ion research at the new Tandem accelerator, the first one in Germany. In 1967, he became professor at Marburg University from where he pursued the founding of the new heavy ion research center GSI, jointly with other Hessian professors. After its foundation in 1969 he belonged to the board of directors from 1970 to 1995. From the beginning he took care of many international collaborations, in particular with Russian research institutes, since 1982 also in the framework of a research project on energy production via intertial fusion driven by heavy ion beams.  Since 1979 he is External Scientific Member of the Max-Planck-Institute for Nuclear Physics, since 1979 he is a Fellow of the American Physical Society. He was awarded with a Honorary Professorship of the Chinese Academy of Science in 1987, and an honorary doctorate at the University of Frankfurt in 2000.

The Semenov medal is named after Nikolai Nikolayevich Semenov (1896-1986), one of the founders of physical chemistry, creator of polymer theory and author of many publications on chemical kinetics, awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1956. The Semenov medal can awarded by RAS to Russian or foreign scientists who have made major contributions to the development of physical and chemical sciences.

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news-3294 Fri, 27 Jul 2018 11:20:58 +0200 Visit to FAIR and GSI by Kerstin Radomski, member of the Bundestag https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////visit_to_fair_and_gsi_by_kerstin_radomski_member_of_the_bundestag.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=ae620ed0bc1a0731dcae4f9a30b96f9d The progress of the FAIR project and the current scientific activities on the Campus were the central topics during the visit of Kerstin Radomski, member of the Bundestag. The politician comes from Krefeld and belongs to the CDU party. Her positions include member of the budget committee of the Bundestag and deputy member of the committee on Education, Research and Technology Assessment. She was received by Jörg Blaurock, the Technical Managing Director of GSI and FAIR, and Ingo Peter, the Head of Public Relations. The progress of the FAIR project and the current scientific activities on the Campus were the central topics during the visit of Kerstin Radomski, a member of the Bundestag. The politician comes from Krefeld and belongs to the CDU party. Her positions include member of the budget committee of the Bundestag and deputy member of the committee on Education, Research and Technology Assessment. She was received by Jörg Blaurock, the Technical Managing Director of GSI and FAIR, and Ingo Peter, the Head of Public Relations.

Ms. Radomski informed herself about the current status of the FAIR construction project, which is one of the largest cutting-edge research projects worldwide, and about previous research successes and the current experimental program “FAIR Phase 0.” The visit also provided an opportunity to discuss the strategic goals in all of the areas of management. These goals provide the framework for all of the activities conducted at FAIR and GSI

Ms. Radomski was able to view the progress on the FAIR construction site from close up during a drive around the site. The status of the various building works ranged from the recently started shell construction for the SIS100 central ring accelerator to the excavation pit for the first of the large-scale experimental stations to be built. Information was also provided about the project organization behind the work and the construction site logistics.

The visit concluded with a tour which provided Ms. Radomski with an insight into the existing research facilities. She visited the Experimental Storage Ring ESR, the therapy unit for tumor treatment using carbon ions, and the HADES large-scale detector. (BP)

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news-3284 Fri, 27 Jul 2018 10:00:00 +0200 PANDA Collaboration honors PhD: Theory Prize for Dr. Antje Peters https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////panda_collaboration_honors_phd_theory_prize_for_dr_antje_peters.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=f9b5c58facf1f620f6696c4c1a38f585 Dr. Antje Peters has been honoured with the PANDA Theory PhD Prize 2018 for her doctoral thesis at the Goethe University in Frankfurt. She received the award at the most recent PANDA Collaboration Meeting in Stockholm. Dr. Antje Peters has been honoured with the PANDA Theory PhD Prize 2018 for her doctoral thesis at the Goethe University in Frankfurt. She received the award at the most recent PANDA Collaboration Meeting in Stockholm.

Physicist Antje Peters, 27, received the prize of €200 and a certificate for her dissertation titled Investigation of heavy-light four-quark systems by means of Lattice QCD. Her doctoral advisor was JProf. Dr. Marc Wagner from the Goethe University in Frankfurt.

The PANDA Collaboration has awarded the Theory PhD Prize for the first time in order to honor the best theory dissertation written in connection with the PANDA Experiment and its science program. It will be granted annually. PANDA will be one of the key experiments of the future accelerator center FAIR. The experiment focuses on antimatter research as well as on various topics related to the weak and the strong force, exotic states of matter, and the structure of hadrons. More than 500 scientists from 20 countries currently work in the PANDA Collaboration. In her dissertation, Dr. Peters studied lattice QCD calculations for open-flavour tetra-quark systems – a very important topic for the PANDA physics program.

Candidates for the PhD Prize are nominated by their doctoral advisors. In addition to being directly related to the PANDA Experiment, the nominees’ doctoral degrees must have received a rating of “very good” or better. Up to three candidates are shortlisted for the award and can present their dissertations at the PANDA Collaboration meeting. The winner is chosen by a committee that is appointed for this task by the PANDA Collaboration. The PANDA Collaboration awards the Theory PhD Prize to specifically honor students’ contributions to the PANDA project and to highlight the importance of cooperation with theory groups. (BP)

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news-3292 Tue, 24 Jul 2018 08:46:00 +0200 Welcome Summer Students! https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////welcome_summer_students-1.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=a8d15bc4583e1802331b323ae9d6e3f1 36 students from 24 countries take part in this year’s Summer Student Program at GSI and FAIR. During their eight-weeks stay on the campus they participate actively in GSI and FAIR science projects, get to know the experiments and the research areas and get involved in the everyday working life at an accelerator institute. 36 students from 24 countries take part in this year’s Summer Student Program at GSI and FAIR. During their eight-weeks stay on the campus they participate actively in GSI and FAIR science projects, get to know the experiments and the research areas and get involved in the everyday working life at an accelerator institute.

From plasma physics to tumor therapy and atomic physics: Every summer student gets the chance to work on his own research project within the current GSI and FAIR experiments.

The main focus are developments and tests of technical and experimental components for the accelerator facility FAIR, which is being built at GSI, and its future experiments. Apart from the scientific program there are also social events planned like a barbecue party, a football match or trips to the region for networking and international exchange. In public lectures, which are part of the program, the summer students learn about GSI and FAIR research and scientific results.

For many of the students, who come mainly from European but also from more distant countries in Asia or Central America, the Summer Student Program is the first step to a master or PhD thesis at GSI and FAIR. The Summer Student Program, which takes place for the 38th time, is organized together with the graduate school HGS-HIRe.

The lectures are public and can be visited by everyone.

More information

Sommer Student Program of GSI and FAIR

Lectures

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news-3280 Fri, 20 Jul 2018 09:39:00 +0200 Workshop on next-generation medical accelerators for cancer treatment https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////workshop_on_next_generation_medical_accelerators_for_cancer_treatment.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=f6fd111494a1d4d753fcd48fd361cf8c Sixty experts from all over the world met at ESI, the European Scientific Institute in France, in June to jointly explore future medical accelerators for treating cancer with ions. The workshop, “Ions for cancer therapy, space research and material science”, jointly organised by CERN, GSI and ESI, focused on possibilities to advance towards the design for a next generation medical and research facility for ion therapy in Europe. It is the second workshop of a series initiated by GSI to highlight the increasingly important interface between physics and its applications. Sixty experts from all over the world met at ESI, the European Scientific Institute in France, in June to jointly explore future medical accelerators for treating cancer with ions. The workshop, “Ions for cancer therapy, space research and material science”, jointly organised by CERN, GSI and ESI, focused on possibilities to advance towards the design for a next generation medical and research facility for ion therapy in Europe. It is the second workshop of a series initiated by GSI to highlight the increasingly important interface between physics and its applications.

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news-3274 Wed, 18 Jul 2018 08:13:00 +0200 Delegation from Thailand obtains information about FAIR and GSI https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////delegation_from_thailand_obtains_information_about_fair_and_gsi.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=dc0a5e9cf032de45e2c6c7c919a70e2a A high-ranking delegation from Thailand consisting of 15 participants visited the FAIR and GSI facilities in June. To the group, among others, belonged Professor Soranit Siltharm, Permanent Secretary to the Ministry of Science and Technology, and Professor Sarawut Sujitjorn, Director of the Synchrotron Light Research Institute (SLRI) in Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand. A high-ranking delegation from Thailand consisting of 15 participants visited the FAIR and GSI facilities in June. To the group, among others, belonged Professor Soranit Siltharm, Permanent Secretary to the Ministry of Science and Technology, and Professor Sarawut Sujitjorn, Director of the Synchrotron Light Research Institute (SLRI) in Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand.

Professor Paolo Giubellino, Scientific Managing Director of FAIR and GSI, welcomed the participants and informed them about the research activities. Subsequently, Jörg Blaurock, Technical Managing Director of FAIR and GSI, gave an overview about the FAIR project and the advancements of the construction, which was enhanced by a bus tour to the construction site.

Furthermore, Dr. Michael Schulz and Dr. Pradeep Ghosh reported on the biophysics research and the student program GET_involved. In a guided tour lead by Dr. Ingo Peter and Dr. Klaus-Dieter Groß, the guests from Thailand visited the existing research facility: In the Main Control Room they were able to witness the commissioning of the accelerator. Also they visited the experimental storage ring ESR, the therapy facility for the treatment of tumors with carbon ions as well as the large-scale detector HADES. In the energy-efficient high-performance computer center Green IT Cube they got to know more about the data processing of FAIR and GSI.

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news-3282 Mon, 16 Jul 2018 08:01:00 +0200 GSI biophysicist Christian Graeff is honored https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////gsi_biophysicist_christian_graeff_is_honored.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=f9263ed518ae8c30e0b3bb226f184cda The GSI biophysicist Dr. Christian Graeff has been honored for his scientific achievements with the Günther von Pannewitz Award of the German Society of Radiation Oncology (DEGRO). The award was presented in recognition of his research on the use of ion beams to treat cardiac arrhythmia. Dr. Graeff accepted the award at the DEGRO annual congress in Leipzig. The GSI biophysicist Dr. Christian Graeff has been honored for his scientific achievements with the Günther von Pannewitz Award of the German Society of Radiation Oncology (DEGRO). The award was presented in recognition of his research on the use of ion beams to treat cardiac arrhythmia. Dr. Graeff accepted the award at the DEGRO annual congress in Leipzig.

He is the leader of the Medical Physics group at the Biophysics Department at GSI. His field of research includes innovative applications of ion beams, for example in a process that could be used in the future to treat cardiac arrhythmia. The ion beams used in the process were made up of carbon ions. As in the tumor therapy that has already been developed at GSI, the ions can be directed very precisely, while leaving the surrounding tissue largely unscathed. In the next few years, carbon ions could be successfully used to treat cardiac arrhythmia as a noninvasive alternative to the present treatment with cardiac catheters or drugs.

After studying medical engineering at Hamburg University of Technology, Graeff received his doctorate in engineering with a study of the computer tomography-supported diagnostics of osteoporosis. He did postdoctoral work in the Medical Physics group of the Biophysics Department at GSI. He has been the leader of this group since 2012. His research has focused on innovative applications of ion beams, the development of processes for irradiating moving targets with scanned ion beams, and the development of new therapy monitoring systems for raster scanning.

The Günther von Pannewitz Award, which is endowed with €1,000, is presented in recognition of outstanding research work devoted to radiation therapy for non-malignant diseases, including radiation biology, radiation physics, and clinical research.  The presentation of this award honors the lifetime achievement of the Freiburg-based radiologist Günther von Pannewitz. (BP)

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news-3278 Fri, 13 Jul 2018 08:53:00 +0200 Patrick Burghardt gets informed about FAIR and GSI https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////patrick_burghardt_gets_informed_about_fair_and_gsi.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=b33a1b97a5f4bf1a481cd3a6f939adb7 In July Patrick Burghardt, State Secretary in the Hessen State Ministry for Higher Education, Research and the Arts (HMWK), visited FAIR and GSI. He was accompanied by Ulrike Mattig, representative of the State of Hesse in the FAIR Council and deputy chair of the GSI supervisory board. Burghardt took the opportunity to extensively inform himself about the research of the existing facility and the progress on the construction site. “Today I could see for myself about the cutting-edge research at GSI! You have to experience what’s happening here to understand it,” he commented his visit on Twitter. In July Patrick Burghardt, State Secretary in the Hessen State Ministry for Higher Education, Research and the Arts (HMWK), visited FAIR and GSI. He was accompanied by Ulrike Mattig, representative of the State of Hesse in the FAIR Council and deputy chair of the GSI supervisory board. Burghardt took the opportunity to extensively inform himself about the research of the existing facility and the progress on the construction site. “Today I could see for myself about the cutting-edge research at GSI! You have to experience what’s happening here to understand it,” he commented his visit on Twitter.

Burghardt was welcomed by Professor Paolo Giubellino, the Scientific Managing Director of FAIR and GSI, and Jörg Blaurock, the Technical Managing Director of FAIR and GSI. In a joint discussion they reported about previous research highlights and the currently running research program of GSI, as well the plans for the scientific use of the FAIR accelerator facility. Burghardt received comprehensive information about the construction of FAIR, and was able to see the progress with his own eyes on a subsequent bus tour to the construction site.

In the following tour to the existing GSI facility he witnessed the accelerator operation in the main control room. He also visited the experimental storage ring ESR, and learned more about the tumor therapy with carbon ions developed at GSI.

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news-3270 Wed, 11 Jul 2018 09:00:00 +0200 Muons influence supernova explosion mechanisms https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////muons_influence_supernova_explosion_mechanisms.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=57f84d89a3b20e12aef9e6cd980b9160 Complex processes take place on the microphysical level when a star explodes and becomes a neutron star. According to the latest findings the role of muons in these supernovas must be reconsidered. The muons — elementary particles that were previously neglected — have an effect on the speed of the contraction to form the neutron star. Thus they also affect the neutrino-driven explosion mechanism. The findings were made by scientists from GSI and FAIR, TU Darmstadt, the Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics in Garching, and Indiana University in the USA. Complex processes take place on the microphysical level when a star explodes and becomes a neutron star. According to the latest findings the role of muons in these supernovas must be reconsidered. The muons — elementary particles that were previously neglected — have an effect on the speed of the contraction to form the neutron star. Thus they also affect the neutrino-driven explosion mechanism. The findings were made by scientists from GSI and FAIR, TU Darmstadt, the Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics in Garching, and Indiana University in the USA.

What exactly happens when a star explodes and becomes a neutron star? Scientists use complex model calculations to study this question. Simulations of a neutrino-driven supernova explosion have now provided indications that the muon, an elementary particle that was previously unjustifiably neglected in the calculations, actually needs to be taken into account. This result has been published in the journal Physical Review Letters.

Muons have previously been neglected in simulations of supernova explosions because it had been assumed that they were not produced in significant quantities in such events. The scientists working with Prof. Gabriel Martínez Pinedo, a theoretical physicist at GSI/FAIR and TU Darmstadt, have shown in their publication that the temperature and the electrochemical potential, however, are such that muon production is possible. “That changes the composition of the particles in the stellar material and the neutrino emission,” says Martínez Pinedo. These two effects are based on the following mechanism: A neutron star forms in the interior of certain supernovae. As such a star forms, it attracts matter, and powerful gravitational forces are present. Electrons in the interior of the neutron star, however, work against the gravitation due to their mutual repulsion and so create pressure. A proportion of these electrons are now converted into muons. Because muons have a higher mass than electrons, they generate less counterpressure in the interior of the neutron star being formed. As a result, the contraction speeds up. The faster contraction gives rise to more heat, which results in more neutrinos being produced and emitted. That affects the explosion mechanism. “The models must therefore take account of muons, because they affect the supernova explosion mechanism,” concludes Martínez Pinedo.

Theoretical calculations often provide important reference points for laboratory experiments. This is also the case at GSI and FAIR. Cosmic matter can be created in the laboratory using the particle accelerators in Darmstadt. The HADES experiment and the future CBM experiment at FAIR can, for example, reach the temperatures and densities at which the muon production takes place during neutron star formation. Theoretical predictions could provide the experimental physicists with orientation when they evaluate their experiments. “For our next step we are planning simulations that will tell us more about the role of the pions,” says Martínez Pinedo, looking forward. “They could also be playing an important role that is not yet completely understood.”

Original Publication:

Muon Creation in Supernova Matter Facilitates Neutrino-Driven Explosions, Physical Review Letters

 

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news-3272 Mon, 09 Jul 2018 09:28:58 +0200 Lord Mayor of Darmstadt learns about the progress of the FAIR project https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////lord_mayor_of_darmstadt_learns_about_the_progress_of_the_fair_project.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=a67e268b86ef3504b3b7fd5c426d3a55 Future developments and research at GSI and FAIR were the focus of a visit by the Lord Mayor of Darmstadt, Jochen Partsch. The first point on the agenda was an introductory presentation of the current status of the center’s scientific activities and the progress of the FAIR project. Future developments and research at GSI and FAIR were the focus of a visit by the Lord Mayor of Darmstadt, Jochen Partsch. The first point on the agenda was an introductory presentation of the current status of the center’s scientific activities and the progress of the FAIR project.

A conversation with the management of GSI and FAIR offered the Lord Mayor an opportunity to find out about the strategic goals of the areas represented by the Scientific Managing Director, Professor Paolo Giubellino; the Administrative Managing Director, Ursula Weyrich; and the Technical Managing Director, Jörg Blaurock. Significant steps towards achieving these goals are already visible today. The “FAIR-Phase 0” research program is just beginning, the construction of FAIR is making great progress, the started upgrades of the existing facilities are on the home straight, and the constructional development of the campus is also significantly forging ahead. The outstanding profile of Darmstadt as a research site was another theme discussed during the Lord Mayor’s visit.

The discussion was followed by a tour of the FAIR construction site to observe the current status of the work under way there, including the excavation of the pit for the SIS100 accelerator tunnel, which has now reached a depth of 17 meters, and the further construction measures. On a tour of the existing accelerator facility, Jochen Partsch also visited the main control room, which has been restructured, technically optimized, and equipped with state-of-the-art technology for its future task of controlling the complex accelerator facilities of GSI and FAIR. (BP)

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news-3260 Thu, 05 Jul 2018 10:00:00 +0200 A prestigious award for Professor Nasser Kalantar-Nayestanaki https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////a_prestigious_award_for_professor_nasser_kalantar_nayestanaki.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=fd862a4feae806bd3c5294ebc29cfe8c Professor Nasser Kalantar-Nayestanaki has been named a Knight of the Order of the Netherlands Lion. This honor, which is the oldest and highest order of chivalry open to civilians in the Netherlands, was awarded to Kalantar-Nayestanaki in recognition of his achievements in the field of nuclear research and his social commitment. Kalantar-Nayestanaki has been connected with GSI and FAIR for many years through his scientific work. Among other things, he is a member and a former spokesperson of the international NUSTAR collaboration and the Vice President of the GSI Exotic Nuclei Community (GENCO). Professor Nasser Kalantar-Nayestanaki has been named a Knight of the Order of the Netherlands Lion. This honor, which is the oldest and highest order of chivalry open to civilians in the Netherlands, was awarded to Kalantar-Nayestanaki in recognition of his achievements in the field of nuclear research and his social commitment. Kalantar-Nayestanaki has been connected with GSI and FAIR for many years through his scientific work. Among other things, he is a member and a former spokesperson of the international NUSTAR collaboration and the Vice President of the GSI Exotic Nuclei Community (GENCO).

Kalantar-Nayestanaki, who was born in Iran, conducts research and teaches as a professor of experimental nuclear physics at the KVI Center for Advanced Radiation Technology at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands. He has made a name for himself at the international level primarily for his research on the forces acting between very small nuclear particles. His research has focused on fields including systems consisting of a small number of nucleons, the structures of exotic nuclei, and hadron spectroscopy. Thanks to Kalantar-Nayestanaki’s outstanding research, the processes for calculating the forces within systems consisting of three nuclear particles have been significantly improved. His more than 350 publications are often cited by fellow researchers all over the world. In 2013 he was made a Fellow of the American Physical Society, and in 2017 he was elected a member of the Academia Europaea.

He also participates in the FAIR research program, in particular through the NUSTAR collaboration, which is one of the four scientific pillars of this future accelerator center. His research within NUSTAR focuses on matter under extreme conditions. As the speaker of NUSTAR, he also took on the task of representing the more than 850 participating scientists from 40 countries.

In addition to his numerous academic activities, he also represents the interests of individuals in other fields, for example in the representative body of employees of the University of Groningen. For many years he was also the Chairman of the Minority Council in Groningen, which advised the municipality on social issues.

Nasser Kalantar-Nayestanaki expressed great pleasure upon receiving his recent award. “I feel extremely honored. This award gives me an extra impetus to continue my activities with commitment and scientific curiosity,” he said. He also expressed his enthusiasm about the unique research opportunities that will be opened by FAIR: “For example, in combination with other studies in which I also participate, we will find out a great deal of new information about how the elements originated within the interiors of stars and what kinds of properties they have. FAIR truly brings the universe into the laboratory.”

The Order of the Netherlands Lion has been awarded since the 19th century in the name of the King to individuals who have rendered outstanding services to society. The order was founded by King William I of the Netherlands, and its Grand Master is the current monarch of the Netherlands. The recipients of this award have included scientists, artists, and successful athletes. (BP)

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news-3268 Wed, 04 Jul 2018 08:07:00 +0200 “FAIR is a reason to be here” — Dr. Alexandre Obertelli receives Humboldt Professorship at TU Darmstadt https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////fair_is_a_reason_to_be_here_dr_alexandre_obertelli_receives_humboldt_professorship_at_tu.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=d81c496e6ae06f56ac61a01c6277db2e The Technical University Darmstadt is awarded an Alexander von Humboldt Professorship for the first time; it is also the first one in the state of Hesse. In his role as a Humboldt Professor at TU Darmstadt, Dr. Alexandre Obertelli is set to expand the field of physics of rare isotopes into a world‐leading research location. He will also be involved in the development of the FAIR particle accelerator facility at GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung in Darmstadt, which is currently under construction. The nuclear physicist, nominated by the TU Darmstadt, is one of five scientists from abroad who have been selected this year for Germany's most highly endowed international research award. The Technical University Darmstadt is awarded an Alexander von Humboldt Professorship for the first time; it is also the first one in the state of Hesse. In his role as a Humboldt Professor at TU Darmstadt, Dr. Alexandre Obertelli is set to expand the field of physics of rare isotopes into a world‐leading research location. He will also be involved in the development of the FAIR particle accelerator facility at GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung in Darmstadt, which is currently under construction. The nuclear physicist, nominated by the TU Darmstadt, is one of five scientists from abroad who have been selected this year for Germany's most highly endowed international research award.

“The international FAIR accelerator facility with its unique research opportunities for scientists from all over the world is one of the reasons for me to come to TU Darmstadt,” says Obertelli. “I look forward to working at FAIR and contributing to its scientific output by my research. This will also enhance the cooperation between TU Darmstadt and FAIR, and will further establish the ‘City of Science’ Darmstadt as a world-class research location.”

The Alexander von Humboldt Professorship, which is endowed with up to five million euros each, is awarded to the world's leading researchers of all disciplines who have so far worked in another country. They are to conduct forward-looking research at German universities in the long term. The award is granted by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation and financed by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research.

The Humboldt Professorship enables German universities to offer top international researchers competitive general conditions for research and to sharpen their own international profiles in the global research market at the same time. The award is granted on the precondition that the new Humboldt Professors are given long-term prospects for their research in Germany. To date, a total of 68 researchers, including twelve women, have been appointed to a Humboldt Professorship, facilitating their move to Germany.

Born in France, Alexandre Obertelli previously worked at the Institute of Research into the Fundamental Laws of the Universe (IRFU) at the Commissariat à l’énergie atomique et aux énergies alternatives (CEA) in Paris‐Saclay, France, from 2006 as a Senior Researcher. In between times, he conducted research in the National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory (NSCL) at Michigan State University, USA, and at the RIKEN Research Institute in Japan. His work has gained him numerous grants, including an ERC Starting Grant and an ERC Consolidator Grant from the European Research Council. He is a member of various programme advisory boards at renowned research institutions like CERN in Switzerland as well as the Research Center for Nuclear Physics (RCPN) and RIKEN in Japan. In the context of FAIR and GSI Obertelli already has a number of tangible project proposals for the enhancement of the scientific coverage of the R3B and HISPEC experiments which belong to NUSTAR (Nuclear Structure, Astrophysics and Reactions), one of the four experimental pillars of FAIR.

Experimental nuclear physics — research focus

How were chemical elements — the building blocks of our world — originally formed? What are the processes behind their formation? In the context of these fundamental questions in nuclear and atomic physics Alexandre Obertelli studies so‐called exotic nuclei, atomic nuclei with a comparatively disproportionate number of protons or neutrons. They have barely been researched so far. A deeper understanding of their properties could provide insights into the development of elements in the universe because neutron‐rich atomic nuclei play a central role in the formation of heavy elements. In this connection, Obertelli led experimental investigations on the reactions and structures of exotic nuclei which have now become a benchmark in nuclear physics. He has also developed and implemented spectroscopic measuring methods for characterising extremely neutron‐rich isotopes, whose further developments shall be implemented at FAIR. In the framework of his Humboldt Professorship he plans new projects for an enhancement of the R3B experiment to facilitate  new research opportunities with exotic ions beams at FAIR, e.g. the study of neutron-rich hyper nuclei or the exploration of properties of neutron-rich nuclear matter as it occurs in neutron stars.

Further information
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FAIR
news-3266 Mon, 02 Jul 2018 10:00:00 +0200 FDP Secretary General visits GSI and FAIR https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////fdp_secretary_general_visits_gsi_and_fair.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=0144ed4252d3fc15bc3f364b0107ee8b The Secretary General of the FDP political party, Nicola Beer, visited the research facilities of FAIR and GSI, where she learned about the research being conducted there as well as about the progress of the FAIR project. She was received by the Scientific Managing Director, Professor Paolo Giubellino, the Administrative Managing Director, Ursula Weyrich, and the Technical Managing Director, Jörg Blaurock. The Secretary General of the FDP political party, Nicola Beer, visited the research facilities of FAIR and GSI, where she learned about the research being conducted there as well as about the progress of the FAIR project. She was received by the Scientific Managing Director, Professor Paolo Giubellino, the Administrative Managing Director, Ursula Weyrich, and the Technical Managing Director, Jörg Blaurock.

Ms. Beer and the management first discussed the strategic goals of the activities conducted at FAIR and GSI. Significant steps towards achieving these goals are already visible today. The “FAIR-Phase 0” research program is just beginning, the construction of FAIR is making great progress, the started upgrades of the existing facilities are on the home straight, and the constructional development of the campus is also significantly forging ahead.

In addition to receiving information about the progress that is being made at all strategic levels, Ms. Beer was given a guided tour of the existing accelerator facility, including the UNILAC linear accelerator, the main control room, the therapy center for tumor treatment with carbon ions, the ESR experimental storage ring, the HADES large detector, and the Green IT Cube. During her visit, Nicola Beer, elected representative in the German Bundestag and member of the parliamentary Committee on Education, Research and Technical Assessment, also had the opportunity to take a tour of the construction site to find out about the current status of the unique accelerator center FAIR, which is currently under construction. (BP)

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news-3264 Wed, 27 Jun 2018 10:00:00 +0200 Probing nobelium with laser light https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////probing_nobelium_with_laser_light.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=b15c25a39b2ae682151d9b9b2fe6a64b Sizes and shapes of nuclei with more than 100 protons were so far experimentally inaccessible. Laser spectroscopy is an established technique in measuring fundamental properties of exotic atoms and their nuclei. For the first time, this technique was now extended to precisely measure the optical excitation of atomic levels in the atomic shell of three isotopes of the heavy element nobelium, which contain 102 protons in their nuclei and do not occur naturally. This was reported by an international team lead by scientists from GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung. Nuclei of heavy elements can be produced at minute quantities of a few atoms per second in fusion reactions using powerful particle accelerators. The obtained results are well described by nuclear models, which suggest the nuclei to have a bubble-like structure with lower density in their center than at their surface. The results were published in a recent article in Physical Review Letters. Sizes and shapes of nuclei with more than 100 protons were so far experimentally inaccessible. Laser spectroscopy is an established technique in measuring fundamental properties of exotic atoms and their nuclei. For the first time, this technique was now extended to precisely measure the optical excitation of atomic levels in the atomic shell of three isotopes of the heavy element nobelium, which contain 102 protons in their nuclei and do not occur naturally. This was reported by an international team lead by scientists from GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung. Nuclei of heavy elements can be produced at minute quantities of a few atoms per second in fusion reactions using powerful particle accelerators. The obtained results are well described by nuclear models, which suggest the nuclei to have a bubble-like structure with lower density in their center than at their surface. The results were published in a recent article in Physical Review Letters.

Atoms consist of a positively charged nucleus surrounded by an electron shell. The inner electrons penetrate the volume of the nucleus and thus atomic level energies are influenced by the size and shape of the atomic nucleus. A difference in size of two different atomic nuclei resulting, for example, from a different number of neutrons results in a small shift of electronic energy levels. Precise measurements of these energies are possible using laser light. Energy shifts are traced by varying the frequency and correspondingly the color of the light required to excite electrons to higher energy levels. So far, this method could only be applied to isotopes of lighter elements which are produced at larger production rates and whose atomic structure was already known from experiments with abundant long-lived or stable isotopes. Nuclei of elements above fermium (Fm, Z=100) can be produced at minute quantities of a few atoms per second in fusion reactions and generally exist only for at most a few seconds. Therefore, their atomic structure was so far not accessible with laser spectroscopic methods.

In the current experiments, nobelium isotopes were produced by fusion of calcium ions with lead at the velocity filter SHIP at GSI’s accelerator facility. To enable laser spectroscopy, the high energetic nobelium atoms were stopped in argon gas. The results are based on a preceding experiment also conducted at GSI, exploring the atomic transitions of nobelium (No).  The chemical element with atomic number 102 was discovered about 60 years ago.  The recent experiment investigated the isotopes No-254, No-253 and No-252 which differ in the number of constituent neutrons in their nuclei, with laser spectroscopy. The rates available for the experiment reached values below one ion per second for the isotope No-252.

From the measurements of the excitation frequency for the individual isotopes, the shift in color of the required laser light was determined for No-252 and No-254. For No-253, the fragmentation of the line into several hyperfine components induced by the single unpaired odd neutron was also resolved. The sizes and the shapes of the atomic nuclei were deduced from using theoretical calculations of the atomic structure of nobelium, which were carried out in collaboration with scientists from the Helmholtz Institute Jena in Germany, the University of Groningen in the Netherlands, and the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia. The results confirm that the nobelium isotopes are not spherical but are deformed like an American football. The measured change in size is consistent with nuclear model calculations performed by scientists from GSI and from the Michigan State University in the USA. These calculations predict that the studied nuclei feature a lower charge density in their center than at their surface.

Thanks to these pioneering studies, further heavy nuclides will be accessible for laser spectroscopic techniques, enabling a systematic investigation of changes in size and shape in the region of heavy nuclei. These experiments are so far only possible at GSI and allow for a unique in-depth understanding of the atomic and nuclear structure of the heaviest elements. The results also play a role for the future facility FAIR (Facility for Antiproton and Ion Research), which is currently under construction at GSI. The same techniques and methods could also be employed in the low-energy branch of FAIR’s super fragment separator.

The experiments were conducted by an international team of scientists from GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung, Johannes Gutenberg-University Mainz, Helmholtz institute Mainz, TU Darmstadt, KU Leuven (Belgium), University of Liverpool (UK) und TRIUMF (Vancouver, Canada).

Further information:
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news-3258 Fri, 22 Jun 2018 09:38:40 +0200 „I couldn’t have wished for a better internship“ – Lilly Schönherr receives award for internship report https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////i_couldnt_have_wished_for_a_better_internship_lilly_schoenherr_receives_award_for_inter.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=7d8a69015d833dd761686c79556a10a0 For her outstanding internship report Lilly Schönherr received an award by the “Arbeitskreis Schule Wirtschaft Osthessen”. Lilly Schönherr studies in the ninth grade of the Geschwister-Scholl-Schule, a secondary school in Rodgau. She completed her two-weeks of company placement in the research department “Atomic Physics” at GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung. With her award for the second-best internship report in the school level “secondary school” she is also qualified for the next evaluation level (Osthessen). The award was bestowed on June 21, 2018, at the Sparkasse Langen-Seligenstatt. Next to the awardees also the mentoring teachers as well as the internship companies received a certificate of appreciation. For her outstanding internship report Lilly Schönherr received an award by the “Arbeitskreis Schule Wirtschaft Osthessen”. Lilly Schönherr studies in the ninth grade of the Geschwister-Scholl-Schule, a secondary school in Rodgau. She completed her two-weeks of company placement in the research department “Atomic Physics” at GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung. With her award for the second-best internship report in the school level “secondary school” she is also qualified for the next evaluation level (Osthessen). The award was bestowed on June 21, 2018, at the Sparkasse Langen-Seligenstatt. Next to the awardees also the mentoring teachers as well as the internship companies received a certificate of appreciation.

The internship of Lilly Schönherr was supervised by Dr. Wolfgang Quint and his colleagues from GSI’s atomic physics department, especially Nils Stallkamp und Davide Racano. Mainly she worked at the experiments ARTEMIS and HILITE of the ion trap HITRAP, which is connected to the experimental storage ring ESR. Among other things, she built in detectors, tested vacuum components for her leak tightness and equipped a thermic shield with a multi-layered foil during her internship. Also milling in the workshop, the work with electronics and the design of mechanical components with a CAD system was part of her work. Lilly wants to become a physicist, and her conclusion in the internship report is: “I couldn’t have wished for a better internship.”

The “Arbeitskreis Schule Wirtschaft Osthessen”, a task force to bring together schools and industry in the eastern part of the State of Hesse, consists of the six sub-divisions in Schlüchtern, Gelnhausen, Hanau, the city of Offenbach, and the districts of Offenbach East and West. The competition is held in six school types. A jury of regional representatives of schools and companies evaluates the reports taking into account their formal structure, their content, their layout and originality and the overall impression. The winners of all school types receive sponsored prizes and an award certificate.

 

Further information

 

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news-3256 Thu, 21 Jun 2018 09:45:00 +0200 “Beam on”: Accelerator operation restarts, experimental time is being prepared https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////beam_on_accelerator_operation_restarts_experimental_time_is_being_prepared.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=1ab5d04bfb187df23bb882bea0332a13 It’s a significant moment for the scientific work at GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung and the future accelerator center FAIR. Following a two-year break during which it underwent extensive modernization, the existing accelerator facility has been restarted very successfully and will soon be supplying researchers from around the world with a large variety of high-quality ion beams. This will mark the beginning of the experiment period scheduled for 2018, which also coincides with the start of the first stage of the FAIR experimental program, or “FAIR Phase 0.” It’s a significant moment for the scientific work at GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung and the future accelerator center FAIR. Following a two-year break during which it underwent extensive modernization, the existing accelerator facility has been restarted very successfully and will soon be supplying researchers from around the world with a large variety of high-quality ion beams. This will mark the beginning of the experiment period scheduled for 2018, which also coincides with the start of the first stage of the FAIR experimental program, or “FAIR Phase 0.”

The modernized facility is to run at a significantly higher level of performance for the future FAIR operation and will already offer unique opportunities for the "FAIR Phase 0" experimental program that is now starting. In addition to the GSI accelerators UNILAC (linear accelerator), SIS18 (ring accelerator) and ESR (experimental storage ring) as well as the existing experimental structures and the Petawatt High-Energy Laser PHELIX, FAIR components can already be used also, such as the storage ring CRYRING and a number of detectors, measuring instruments and other pieces of high-tech equipment developed especially for FAIR.

“Back in operation,” the machine is running again, was the decisive statement of the accelerator experts: That thrilling and extremely successful moment, the restart of the system, was preceded by the longest shutdown phase in the history of GSI. Over the past two years, GSI circular accelerator facilities had already been significantly improved for their future role as a pre-accelerator for FAIR. The pre-injector will be further upgraded in the future for the FAIR operation.

It was a precision landing: The process schedules drawn up two and a half years ago for shutting down and recommissioning the machines could be kept exactly to the day. The key objectives for the various parts of the existing facility have been achieved. Among other things, these include machine upgrades, the new FAIR control systems and new measurement technology. The connection, scheduled for later on, of the GSI accelerator to FAIR was also prepared. In addition, the new transformer station at the north side of the FAIR complex is already in operation for the start of the experiment period and is ensuring a more powerful electricity supply.

The scientific program now starting is a major step toward the future research at FAIR. “FAIR Phase 0” offers outstanding opportunities for experimentation. The demand from the international scientific community for the use of beam time is correspondingly high, and it underscores how attractive the FAIR project already is. Last year, an overwhelming number of scientists (over 1,000) submitted applications for beam time for the start of the FAIR research program, asking for more than twice of the currently available beam time. This shows the importance of the experimental program and the enthusiasm that prevails in the global research communities with regard to FAIR.

The period of experiments was preceded by an established selection process. The proposals were examined by an international committee, and selections were made based on scientific relevance and feasibility. 118 experiments have been granted for this and next year. Therefore, the accelerator facility will run for about 110 days per year.

During the beam times, scientists from around the world travel to Darmstadt to carry out their investigations at the facility and use the beam for experiments in a variety of fields of research, including particle physics, nuclear physics, plasma physics, biophysics and materials research.

In the coming weeks, the accelerator experts will initially be working diligently on the commissioning with beam. After testing all basic functions with beam on the machines, the machine settings required for experimental operation are tested, scientific measuring instruments are fine-tuned and the beam quality is checked. After that, finally, it’s “beam on” for science and the FAIR research program. (BP)

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news-3254 Tue, 19 Jun 2018 10:52:34 +0200 Helmholtz Association supports ATHENA with 29.99m euro grant https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////helmholtz_association_supports_athena_with_2999m_euro_grant.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=3e29f7223982bb0ae14842c81ca5c20e ATHENA (“Accelerator Technology HElmholtz iNfrAstructure”) is a new research and development platform focusing on accelerator technologies and drawing on the resources of all six Helmholtz accelerator institutions (GSI with its branch, the Helmholtz Institute of Jena, as well as DESY, Jülich Research Centre, Helmholtz Centre Berlin, Helmholtz Centre Dresden-Rossendorf HZDR and KIT). The Helmholtz Association has now decided to fund ATHENA as a strategic development project with almost 30 million euros. “This decision demonstrates the Helmholtz Association’s strong commitment to developing and supplying ground-breaking new accelerator technologies for solving the future challenges faced by society,” says Helmut Dosch, who is the Chairman of DESY’s Board of Directors and also the spokesperson for the Helmholtz Association’s research division Matter. ATHENA (“Accelerator Technology HElmholtz iNfrAstructure”) is a new research and development platform focusing on accelerator technologies and drawing on the resources of all six Helmholtz accelerator institutions (GSI with its branch, the Helmholtz Institute of Jena, as well as DESY, Jülich Research Centre, Helmholtz Centre Berlin, Helmholtz Centre Dresden-Rossendorf HZDR and KIT). The Helmholtz Association has now decided to fund ATHENA as a strategic development project with almost 30 million euros. “This decision demonstrates the Helmholtz Association’s strong commitment to developing and supplying ground-breaking new accelerator technologies for solving the future challenges faced by society,” says Helmut Dosch, who is the Chairman of DESY’s Board of Directors and also the spokesperson for the Helmholtz Association’s research division Matter.

Together, these centres want to set up two German flagship projects in accelerator research based on innovative plasma-based particle accelerators and ultramodern laser technology: an electron accelerator at DESY in Hamburg and a hadron accelerator at HZDR. At both facilities, a range of different fields of application are to be developed, ranging from a compact free-electron laser, through novel medical uses to new applications in nuclear and particle physics. As soon as they have reached the necessary level of maturity to be put to practical use in a particular area, new compact devices could be built for use in other Helmholtz centres, as well as in universities and hospitals.

“The funding of the ATHENA project, which is coordinated by DESY, is an important milestone in the ARD (Accelerator Research and Development) programme which was set up by the Helmholtz Association in 2011,” explains Reinhard Brinkmann, one of the initiators of ARD and the head of the accelerator department at DESY. “Channelling the competencies of the various Helmholtz accelerator centres promises to lead to ground-breaking developments and new applications for ultra-compact particle accelerators.”

Ralph Aßmann, the project coordinator of ATHENA and lead scientist at DESY, and Ulrich Schramm, head of laser particle acceleration at HZDR, agree that “The study of new types of plasma accelerators takes place in the context of strong international competition from the US and Asia. ATHENA is consolidating the traditional leading role of Germany’s accelerator research and supporting Germany’s international competitiveness as a place for doing science.”

The work on ATHENA is closely embedded in the wider context of European research through the EU-sponsored design study EuPRAXIA, with its 40 partner institutes, which is also coordinated by DESY. Hence the top German research project ATHENA has had a clear European perspective and orientation right from the start.

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news-3252 Fri, 15 Jun 2018 09:34:03 +0200 First event at GSI and FAIR in the context of Netzwerk Teilchenwelt https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////first_event_at_gsi_and_fair_in_the_context_of_netzwerk_teilchenwelt.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=78aba6b4f4ff825c0eafd5d51fa9c1af On June 11 and 14 the first event in the context of Netzwerk Teilchenwelt took place at GSI and FAIR. About 20 high school students of Schuldorf Bergstraße got to know the basics of heavy ion and particle physics in a teaching unit and afterwards did a one-day trip to GSI and FAIR. There they visited the research facility and analyzed real experiment data. The membership of GSI in Netzwerk Teilchenwelt opens up new options in promotion of young researchers. On June 11 and 14 the first event in the context of Netzwerk Teilchenwelt took place at GSI and FAIR. About 20 high school students of Schuldorf Bergstraße got to know the basics of heavy ion and particle physics in a teaching unit and afterwards took a one-day trip to GSI and FAIR. There they visited the research facility and analyzed real experiment data. The membership of GSI in Netzwerk Teilchenwelt opens up new options in promotion of young researchers.

The GSI Helmholtzzentrum is part of the Netzwerk Teilchenwelt since 2017. The network supports particle physics institutes in Germany to offer workshops on astrophysics and particle physics for young people and teachers at schools, school labs or museums. Now the first two-day workshop took place at the campus of GSI and FAIR and at Schuldorf Bergstraße. One GSI scientist and two GSI PhD students, who are active in Netzwerk Teilchenwelt, managed the event with support of the teacher. The students got an impression of the principles of research at accelerator experiments by working with real science data. They analyzed data of the CERN experiment ALICE where GSI researchers are involved. On the tour through the facility the students saw particle accelerators and large detectors.

For eight years the International Masterclass takes place at GSI and FAIR, where students analyze real experiment data as well. With the help of Netzwerk Teilchenwelt the program is supposed to be expanded. More events for students and teachers are planned.

More information

Here, young people, teachers and project managers can find more events and teaching material: http://www.teilchenwelt.de/

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news-3250 Thu, 07 Jun 2018 10:00:00 +0200 Test results for new type of accelerator structure published https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////test_results_for_new_type_of_accelerator_structure_published.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=8f883171b330c4d6cd94750256d62a1b In collaboration with the GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung, physicists and engineers of the Helmholtz Institute Mainz and Goethe University Frankfurt have conducted successful tests for a new type of accelerator structure: a new design for a superconducting CH-cavity (crossbar H-mode cavity) has now been tested with an ion beam from the GSI High Charge State Injector. In collaboration with the GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung, physicists and engineers of the Helmholtz Institute Mainz and Goethe University Frankfurt have conducted successful tests for a new type of accelerator structure: a new design for a superconducting CH-cavity (crossbar H-mode cavity) has now been tested with an ion beam from the GSI High Charge State Injector.

This is a key step toward the proposed superconducting (continuous-wave) linear accelerator (cw linac), which has the potential to open up new prospects for research with its continuous particle beam. The researchers have now reported on their results in the scientific journal “Physical Review Accelerators and Beams” (PRAB).

The demonstrator of the continuous-wave linac was studied in a test environment at the GSI Helmholtzzentrum. During this study, argon ions were injected into the new accelerator structure and accelerated. The test module consisted of a CH-cavity surrounded by two superconducting high-field magnets. Dr. Winfried Barth, head of the development team for the cw linac, describes the new design of the CH cavity as groundbreaking and summarizes the successful test by saying: “With the demonstrator of the cw linac, we have attained full particle acceleration up to the desired beam energy. With an acceleration voltage of 4.0 megavolts, the demonstrator accelerated a heavy-ion beam with an intensity of 1.5 particle microamperes to the target energy over a distance of only 70 centimeters.” The result confirms the effectiveness and capabilities of the new design of the CH cavity.

A continuous particle beam from the proposed continuous-wave linac is of interest for the generation and study of new chemical elements, and for experiments from the field of materials research that could also profit from the continuous beam of the proposed new linac. (BP)

Further Information:

Scientific publication in Physical Review Accelerators and Beams

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news-3248 Tue, 29 May 2018 09:30:00 +0200 Physicist Hannah Petersen receives renowned award https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////physicist_hannah_petersen_receives_renowned_award.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=e1fd368966be2f6bed204b32af3d4a2a The theoretical physicist Hannah Petersen has been awarded the Zimanyi Medal of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. The award is in honor of her work on relativistic heavy ion collisions. This young researcher has been the leader of a Helmholtz Young Investigators Group at GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung since 2012 and is a professor teaching at the Goethe University in Frankfurt. Her studies are important for the work on the future accelerator center FAIR, which is currently being constructed at GSI. The theoretical physicist Hannah Petersen has been awarded the Zimanyi Medal of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. The award is in honor of her work on relativistic heavy ion collisions. This young researcher has been the leader of a Helmholtz Young Investigators Group at GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung since 2012 and is a professor teaching at the Goethe University in Frankfurt. Her studies are important for the work on the future accelerator center FAIR, which is currently being constructed at GSI.

Prof. Petersen received the award at the Quark Matter Conference in Venice, where she also presented the latest results from her working group. The quark matter conference is the largest conference in this field with over 800 participants. Hannah Petersen is the youngest member of the International Advisory committee of the Quark Matter Conference.

She is working on new theoretical descriptions of the state of matter shortly after the Big Bang. Relativistic heavy ion collisions offer a way to study strongly interacting matter under the extreme conditions that prevailed at that time. “By accelerating lead or gold nuclei to almost the speed of light and smashing them together, we can reach temperatures and densities that existed in the early universe only microseconds after the Big Bang,” she says to describe her research. At such high energy densities, the basic theory of strong interaction, the quantum chromodynamics, predicts the existence of a new phase of matter—the quark-gluon plasma—which expands explosively at extremely high pressure.

Prof. Petersen was one of the first to recognize and investigate how the course of this explosion was affected by density and temperature variations resulting from quantum effects. By comparing theoretical and experimental data she was able to propose a frequently cited hybrid model that illustrates the dynamics and viscosity of the plasma as a function of the respective initial state of the quantum fluctuation.

The future accelerator center FAIR will provide the researchers with conditions that otherwise only exist in outer space. The work of Prof. Petersen and her Young Investigators Group is an important element for drawing essential conclusions from the experiments. Her main goal is to develop a transport approach for the dynamical description of heavy ion reactions at FAIR using state-of-the-art scientific computing. The scientific managing director of GSI and FAIR, Prof. Paolo Giubellino, is delighted about the young physicist’s award. “Hannah Petersen’s analytical method lays an important new foundation for experimental measurements at FAIR. Her work has now been rightly honored with the highest award for young theoretical physicists in the area of heavy ion physics,” he said.

The Zimanyi Medal is awarded by the Wigner Research Center for Physics of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences in Budapest. The prize was created in memory of the nuclear physicist József Zimányi, who died in 2006. Zimányi was also a member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences and a professor at the Institute for Particle and Nuclear Physics (RMKI). The medal is awarded to theoretical physicists under the age of 40 years who have achieved important international recognition and impact in the area of theoretical high-energy physics. (BP)

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news-3246 Tue, 22 May 2018 09:10:26 +0200 Hot Plasma and Fast Ions: High-Performance Laser PHELIX Celebrates Ten-Year Anniversary https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////hot_plasma_and_fast_ions_high_performance_laser_phelix_celebrates_ten_year_anniversary.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=ed5c1af62071bf6e8e3377f8313cc255 As of this month, the high-performance laser PHELIX at the GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung in Darmstadt will have been in operation for ten years. At PHELIX, scientists from around the world have the unique opportunity to conduct experiments that combine laser beams and ion beams produced in the existing accelerator facility. This makes it possible to study extreme states of matter, such as those that occur in stars or inside large planets. As of this month, the high-performance laser PHELIX at the GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung in Darmstadt will have been in operation for ten years. At PHELIX, scientists from around the world have the unique opportunity to conduct experiments that combine laser beams and ion beams produced in the existing accelerator facility. This makes it possible to study extreme states of matter, such as those that occur in stars or inside large planets.

PHELIX (Petawatt High-Energy Laser for Ion Experiments) is one of the most powerful lasers in the world. It can deliver laser pulses with energies of up to 1,000 joules and laser pulses with a power of up to half a petawatt. The output power is quintillion times (billions of billion times) greater than that of a laser pointer or a laser in a CD player.

PHELIX is so large that it takes up an entire building the size of a two-story house with a clean-room atmosphere inside. The laser beam, which has a diameter of 30 cm, is guided to the site of the experiment using special mirrors and focused on a point. A laser pulse can be generated only about every 90 minutes.

Since it was first started up in the year 2008, PHELIX has completed a total of 115 operational periods or “beam times.” Over 100 experiments were successfully performed during these periods, resulting in more than 70 scientific publications. For years, there has been great demand among the research community for beam time at PHELIX. The amount of beam time requested regularly exceeds what can be offered. For this reason, there is an established selection procedure to allow research groups to carry out their experiments at PHELIX. Following the calls to submit proposals for experiments, these proposals are examined by an international committee, and experiments are then selected based on scientific relevance and feasibility.

“At PHELIX, in combination with the GSI accelerator facility scientists can conduct experiments that aren’t possible anywhere else in the world,” says Dr. Vincent Bagnoud, head of the “Plasma Physics/PHELIX” research department at GSI. “The objective is to study matter when it exists in the form of what is called plasma. In this state, the electron shell of atoms is completely or partially separated from the atomic nuclei. This is only possible under extreme conditions and above all at high temperatures of the sort found in stars or inside large planets such as Jupiter.” Plasma is one of the four states of matter — the other, more familiar states being solid, liquid and gaseous. In our everyday lives, we encounter less energetic types of plasma, such as a candle flame or a bolt of lightning during a thunderstorm.

In their experiments, the researchers expose samples of matter to radiation. These samples can be heated up with the laser beam to such a degree that a plasma forms. Just fractions of a second later, they can be bombarded with ions. An analysis of the resulting reactions makes it possible to study the properties of the plasma.

The possibility of using the laser beam to accelerate ions and then transfer them to stationary conventional accelerator structures is also being studied. This combined use of the laser and ion accelerator is unique and enables the generation of very brief ion pulses with high particle counts.

Further improvements are contemplated for the future, especially for use at the FAIR accelerator facility: In the long term, researchers are aiming to use ion acceleration with the laser to achieve different sorts of ions, higher energies and greater intensities. An increase in the pulse repetition rate of the laser is also planned.

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news-3244 Thu, 17 May 2018 13:31:56 +0200 Another Award for Start-up Class 5 Photonics https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////another_award_for_start_up_class_5_photonics.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=b0431b34ad1593350ef851bc64a9d144 Class 5 Photonics, a spin-off from Helmholtz-Institut Jena, a branch of GSI, and from Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron DESY specialized in high-performance laser technology, is the proud Gold Winner of the Laser Focus World Innovators Award 2018 in the laser category with its Supernova OPCPA product. The Laser Focus World Innovators award recognizes companies that have made major contributions to advancing the field of optics and photonics through recently launched products or services and is awarded yearly during the CLEO conference and tradeshow in San Jose, California. Class 5 Photonics, a spin-off from Helmholtz-Institut Jena, a branch of GSI, and from Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron DESY specialized in high-performance laser technology, is the proud Gold Winner of the Laser Focus World Innovators Award 2018 in the laser category with its Supernova OPCPA product. The Laser Focus World Innovators award recognizes companies that have made major contributions to advancing the field of optics and photonics through recently launched products or services and is awarded yearly during the CLEO conference and tradeshow in San Jose, California.

The novel Laser systems from Class 5 Photonics are deployed worldwide in leading research laboratories. The Supernova OPCPA already received the PRISM AWARD in the category of Lasers in January of this year. This Laser system allows researchers to conduct experiments ten times faster.

CEO Robert Riedel is pleased about the double recognition: “We are really proud having won this award. The Supernova has shown its’ strengths now for the second time against many other excellent competitors – it really proves that this laser system is a highly desired product. The Laser Focus World Innovators Award is a great incentive for us to continue our work and deliver outstanding products.

The spin-off company was founded in 2014 in Hamburg. The scientists from Helmholtz Institute Jena and DESY are developing high power lasers with pulses in the femtosecond range. One femtosecond is a quadrillionth of a second. Shorter laser pulses allow more precise working of materials, for instance. Also, such short laser pulses open up new innovative applications like 3D nanostructuring. For science, the technology is of great importance.

Further Information

www.class5photonics.com

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news-3242 Mon, 14 May 2018 09:00:00 +0200 MAT-Science Week at GSI and FAIR https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////mat_science_week_at_gsi_and_fair.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=9a7105b4c21bcc9ce87f0273005dd6fb The MAT-Science Week at GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung brought together more than 100 scientists from 30 universities and research institutions worldwide involved in materials science with ion beams and related applied fields. The MAT-Science Week at GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung brought together more than 100 scientists from 30 universities and research institutions worldwide involved in materials science with ion beams and related applied fields.

The event began with the annual Workshop on Ion and Particle Beams (Ionenstrahl Workshop) covering the activities of the German science community using positrons and ion beams (from eV up to GeV) for analysis, material modification and fabrication of nanostructures. The progress reports of research projects funded by German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)

The progress of the collaborative research projects funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research was presented in numerous contributions and the upcoming activities for the FAIR phase 0 were discussed. During the following MAT Collaboration Meeting, the users of the GSI facilities presented their current activities in many different fields covering radiation effects in solids, radiation hardness of accelerator materials and electronic devices, and ion-track nanotechnology.

The event also offered a platform to gather experts from materials science, plasma physics, high-pressure science, mineralogy and geoscience, in order to discuss upcoming opportunities at the future APPA facilities at FAIR. APPA is one of the four research pillars of the future accelerator facility FAIR

Dedicated talks covered exciting topics such as the response of solids to multiple extreme conditions (e.g. irradiation, temperature, and pressure) and the creation of quenchable high-pressure phases. Further topics included the emission of beam-induced acoustic signals, mitigation processes of surface desorption under high-intensity ion beams, and warm dense matter physics, also in combination with nanostructured targets. The stimulating discussions made clear that coupling swift heavy ions, high pressure, and versatile state-of-the-art instrumentation provide exciting new research opportunities partially already available at the existing facilities within the phase 0 of FAIR.

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news-3240 Wed, 09 May 2018 09:20:10 +0200 Efficiently managing construction projects: FAIR presentation at project management conference https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////efficiently_managing_construction_projects_fair_presentation_at_project_management_conference.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=e03cc66794470784d9c18064be12c91a How can large, complex projects be efficiently managed? What will project management be like in the future? These were some of the key questions that were addressed at the spring conference of the Deutscher Verband der Projektmanager in der Bau- und Immobilienwirtschaft (German Association of Project Managers in the Construction and Real Estate Business/DVP) in Frankfurt on April 20, 2018. The event, which was devoted to the theme “Project management 2020 — methodological expertise and professional implementation”, also showcased the FAIR project, which is one of the world’s biggest construction projects for a cutting-edge international research facility. How can large, complex projects be efficiently managed? What will project management be like in the future? These were some of the key questions that were addressed at the spring conference of the Deutscher Verband der Projektmanager in der Bau- und Immobilienwirtschaft (German Association of Project Managers in the Construction and Real Estate Business/DVP) in Frankfurt on April 20, 2018. The event, which was devoted to the theme “Project management 2020 — methodological expertise and professional implementation”, also showcased the FAIR project, which is one of the world’s biggest construction projects for a cutting-edge international research facility.

Over the years, project management has become a separate discipline in big construction projects. The importance of targeted, solution-oriented project management is also exemplified by the future accelerator center FAIR, which is currently being built at GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung. Jörg Blaurock, the Technical Managing Director of FAIR and GSI, held a speech at the conference, where he presented the FAIR project in all of its facets.

A holistic efficient project organization was created to carry out the highly complex FAIR construction project. Building construction, civil and structural engineering, accelerator development and construction, and scientific experiments are being closely coordinated with one another in the overall planning work. This enables the builders to proceed in a very concentrated way as they make FAIR a reality. To this end, the planners developed and established an integrated construction work schedule and tailored contracting strategies for the construction services.

The construction of FAIR commenced in the summer 2017, when the groundbreaking ceremony was held for the FAIR ring accelerator SIS100 in an event that attracted widespread public attention. In the years ahead, a group of international partners will build a one-of-a-kind accelerator facility where it will be possible to perform an unprecedented variety of scientific experiments. To make this possible, scientists, engineers, and other experts have teamed up with industrial partners to engage in a structured process for the development of new technologies in many areas. (BP)

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news-3238 Mon, 07 May 2018 13:28:09 +0200 Detailed fusion: The visualization of clustering in nuclear collisions https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////detailed_fusion_the_visualization_of_clustering_in_nuclear_collisions.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=b9107315f4cde4c1bb192d91fd3470f6 Colliding nuclei can fuse and form a new nucleus. Sometimes this fusion is temporary – the newly formed nucleus is in an excited state and decays after a short period of time into a stable state or falls apart. Such a short-lived nucleus is called a pre-compound. In a publication of the journal Physical Review C the two scientists Dr. Bastian Schütrumpf from GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung and Dr. Witold Nazarewicz from the Michigan State University, USA, take a closer look at the inner structure of such pre-compounds. Colliding nuclei can fuse and form a new nucleus. Sometimes this fusion is temporary – the newly formed nucleus is in an excited state and decays after a short period of time into a stable state or falls apart. Such a short-lived nucleus is called a pre-compound. In a publication of the journal Physical Review C the two scientists Dr. Bastian Schütrumpf from GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung and Dr. Witold Nazarewicz from the Michigan State University, USA, take a closer look at the inner structure of such pre-compounds.

Atomic nuclei consist of two building blocks, the protons and neutrons. Schütrumpf and Nazarewicz developed a model to predict the behavior of these building blocks and also to visualize it. The new technique demonstrates that groups of protons and neutrons form temporary clusters which correspond to smaller, stable nuclei within the larger nucleus produced by the collision. These clusters are variable and can change between different states.

The researchers analyzed reactions triggered by collisions of oxygen, calcium, and carbon, which can – depending on the collision energy – result in either fusion or fission. The calculations reveal clusters corresponding to the nuclei helium-4, carbon-12, magnesium-24, and argon-36. For example, two oxygen-16 nuclei colliding at an energy of 20 mega electron-volt form a pre-compound in which two deformed carbon-12 clusters oscillate against two helium-4 nuclei (alpha particles).

“Such fleeting nuclear states often appear in stars or other space phenomena. This is why they are of great interest to the scientists and are frequently examined in collision reactions. To understand their structure is fundamental for deciphering them,” explains Dr. Bastian Schütrumpf, who works as a post-doc in the GSI research department “Theory”. “Previous theory and experiments have suggested the existence of clusters in the pre-compound. Existing models, however, couldn’t reveal their detailed nature.” To address this problem, Schütrumpf and Nazarewicz used a mathematical tool originally developed to describe electron arrangements within atoms and molecules and applied it to the nucleons.

In the future, the scientists want to improve and enhance their calculations. Thus, the model could tackle even more complex asymmetrical reactions with different nuclei. While the current application focusses on low-energy reactions, clustering of neutrons and protons is a ubiquitous phenomenon which impacts also high-energy collisions as they will occur e.g. at FAIR.

Further information:
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news-3236 Mon, 30 Apr 2018 08:02:00 +0200 FAIR at the largest accelerator conference in the world https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////fair_at_the_largest_accelerator_conference_in_the_world.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=f99321392a90c62d098cbfacf06444c8 The world’s largest accelerator conference is held from 29 April to 4 May in Vancouver, Canada, this year. Already for the 9th time experts from all over the world meet at the International Particle Accelerator Conference (IPAC) to discuss cutting-edge accelerator research and development results and gain the latest insights into accelerator facilities across the globe. IPAC is the main international event for the worldwide accelerator community and industry. More than 1,200 delegates and 70 industry exhibits are expected to be in attendance. The world’s largest accelerator conference is held from 29 April to 4 May in Vancouver, Canada, this year. Already for the 9th time experts from all over the world meet at the International Particle Accelerator Conference (IPAC) to discuss cutting-edge accelerator research and development results and gain the latest insights into accelerator facilities across the globe. IPAC is the main international event for the worldwide accelerator community and industry. More than 1,200 delegates and 70 industry exhibits are expected to be in attendance.

FAIR and GSI will be present at IPAC with a booth at the exhibition area. The exhibition is open from 29 April to 2 May until 6 p.m. FAIR experts are available for discussions to give deeper insight into the accelerators and experiments and to answer questions. In two talks Dr. Peter Spiller, head of the SIS100/SIS18 department responsible for the new FAIR ring accelerator, will inform about the status of the FAIR project, and Professor Mei Bai, head of the Accelerator Operation, will explain the challenges of the current experiment activities of FAIR Phase 0.

Further information:
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news-3234 Thu, 26 Apr 2018 12:15:48 +0200 More than 40 girls learn about science and technology during Girls’Day https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////more_than_40_girls_learn_about_science_and_technology_during_girlsday.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=f8fe9dae2fa65462ace9b6fe3421ac6e On Thursday, 26 April 2018, a total of 43 schoolgirls– an unprecedented number – from grades 5 through 9 had the opportunity to find out about the work at GSI and FAIR during Girls’Day. They took advantage of this future-oriented day to gain an insight into the many activities that are pursued at an international research institution, especially in professions where women have seldom been represented so far. On Thursday, 26 April 2018, a total of 43 schoolgirls– an unprecedented number – from grades 5 through 9 had the opportunity to find out about the work at GSI and FAIR during Girls’Day. They took advantage of this future-oriented day to gain an insight into the many activities that are pursued at an international research institution, especially in professions where women have seldom been represented so far.

For the participants, Girls’Day began with a welcoming address by Dorothee Sommer, head of the Human Resources department, and Dr. Birgit Kindler as a representative of the equal opportunities committee. This was followed by a tour of the particle accelerator and experiment facilities on the research campus.

After that, the girls could gain practical experiences in various technical and scientific working areas at workshops, technical laboratories, and research departments. Many departments had prepared for the girls’ visit by creating a special program, and they provided plenty of support for their young visitors. For example, the girls could try their hand in the mechanical workshops, soldered electronics and worked with concrete. They were also given a tour of the construction site of the future FAIR particle accelerator, which will be unequaled anywhere else in the world.

After all this, the girls could look back on an exciting day during which they had achieved many practical results. For example, they had produced candle holders, milled buttons for themselves, made ice cream with liquid nitrogen, controlled bikes for their safety equipment or plated components with a metallic layer in the electroplating shop.

Girls’Day is a day of action all over Germany. On this day, businesses, factories, and universities all over Germany open their doors to schoolgirls from Grade 5 and above. There the girls learn about courses of study and professions that offer traineeships in the areas of IT, the skilled trades, the natural sciences, and technology — areas where women have seldom been active in the past.

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news-3230 Mon, 23 Apr 2018 09:00:00 +0200 Björn Jonson receives Russian Lomonosov Gold Medal https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////bjoern_jonson_receives_russian_lomonosov_gold_medal.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=731fb79f381acd7b109e792191996558 Professor Björn Jonson has been rewarded with the highest award of the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) — the Lomonosov Gold Medal named after the Russian scientist Mikhail Lomonosov. Jonson is currently a professor at the Chalmers University in Sweden. His longstanding cooperation with GSI/FAIR include leading the HALO collaboration at the Large Area Neutron Detector (LAND) of GSI and being spokesperson of the NUSTAR collaboration. He was also deputy spokesman of the R3B collaboration and is currently chair of the R3B Scientific Board as well as of the NUSTAR Council. Furthermore in 2013 Jonson received the Helmholtz International Fellow Award and spent his research stay at GSI. The award of the Helmholtz Association is supposed to promote cooperation with the world's best researchers. Professor Björn Jonson has been rewarded with the highest award of the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) — the Lomonosov Gold Medal named after the Russian scientist Mikhail Lomonosov. Jonson is currently a professor at the Chalmers University in Sweden. His longstanding cooperation with GSI/FAIR include leading the HALO collaboration at the Large Area Neutron Detector (LAND) of GSI and being spokesperson of the NUSTAR collaboration. He was also deputy spokesman of the R3B collaboration and is currently chair of the R3B Scientific Board as well as of the NUSTAR Council. Furthermore in 2013 Jonson received the Helmholtz International Fellow Award and spent his research stay at GSI. The award of the Helmholtz Association is supposed to promote cooperation with the world's best researchers.

Jonson was awarded with the Lomonosov Medal for his extensive contributions within fundamental nuclear physics. The RAS emphasizes that his work is of fundamental importance for the study of the nuclear structure and nuclear stability of exotic lightest nuclei at the boundaries of nucleon stability.

The prize acknowledges outstanding achievements in the natural sciences and the humanities. Among the previous recipients, there are many renowned scientist and even Nobel Prize laureates.

The award ceremony was held in Moscow at the General Meeting of the RAS in March 2018. The Lomonosov Gold Medal is awarded each year since 1959. Since 1967, two medals are awarded annually: one to a Russian and one to a foreign scientist. This year’s Russian medal went to Professor Yuri Oganessian. 

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news-3228 Wed, 18 Apr 2018 19:00:00 +0200 A step closer to the nuclear clock https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////a_step_closer_to_the_nuclear_clock.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=7346791a04bf2d6cfcaf8ad86a6f6a38 Precise time measurements play a vital role in our daily life. They allow reliable navigation and accurate experimenting and provide a basis for world-wide synchronized exchange of data. A team of researchers of PTB Braunschweig, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München (LMU), Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU), the Helmholtz Institute Mainz (HIM), and GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung in Darmstadt now reports on a decisive step toward the potential development of a nuclear clock, which bears the potential to significantly outperform the best current atomic clocks. Precise time measurements play a vital role in our daily life. They allow reliable navigation and accurate experimenting and provide a basis for world-wide synchronized exchange of data. A team of researchers of PTB Braunschweig, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München (LMU), Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU), the Helmholtz Institute Mainz (HIM), and GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung in Darmstadt now reports on a decisive step toward the potential development of a nuclear clock, which bears the potential to significantly outperform the best current atomic clocks. The only known excited state of an atomic nucleus that is located at a suitably low excitation energy to be accessible by optical techniques, as they are in use in current atomic clocks, exists in thorium-229. Fundamental properties of thorium-229 in this state have now been determined, the researchers report in the current issue of the journal Nature.

Some 15 years ago, researchers at PTB in Braunschweig, the National Metrology Institute of Germany, developed a concept for the design of a novel optical clock with unique characteristics. Instead of exploiting oscillations in the electron shell, they proposed that one could make use of a transition between energy levels within an atomic nucleus as the basis for a nuclear clock. Because the protons and neutrons in the nucleus are orders of magnitude more densely packed and much more tightly bound than the electrons in the outer electron shells, they are much less susceptible to perturbation by outside forces that might affect their transition frequencies. Therefore, a nuclear clock should be far more stable and precise than present-day optical atomic clocks. However, the typical frequencies of nuclear transitions are much higher than those that occur in electron shells and generally lie in the gamma-ray region of the electromagnetic spectrum. This means that they cannot serve as the basis for an optical atomic clock, as all such clocks are based on excitation by microwaves or laser light.

The exception to this rule is found in an unstable isotope of thorium, thorium-229, which exhibits a quasi-stable, so-called isomeric nuclear state with an extraordinarily low excitation energy. The frequency of the transition between the ground state and this isomeric state corresponds to that of ultraviolet light. This transition can therefore be induced by means of a laser-based technique similar to that used in state-of-the-art optical atomic clocks. More than ten research groups worldwide are now working on the realization of a nuclear clock based on the thorium-229 isomer. Experimentally speaking, this is an exceedingly challenging endeavor. While the existence of the state was inferred from data obtained over several decades, the direct detection and hence unambiguous proof of its existence in the first place was achieved in 2016 in collaborative work of the LMU group together with the groups in Mainz and Darmstadt. They subsequently succeeded in measuring its half-life. However, it has not been possible to observe the nuclear transition by optical means yet, as the exact excitation energy of the isomer has not been determined with sufficient precision. The transition itself is extremely sharp – as required for timing purposes – and can only be induced if the frequency of the laser light corresponds exactly to the difference in energy between the two states. The quest for the magic frequency may be compared to the proverbial search for a needle in a haystack.

Measuring the basic features of the thorium-229 isomer

A collaborative effort by researchers and engineers at PTB, LMU, Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, the Helmholtz Institute Mainz, and GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung has now achieved an important breakthrough in this search. The researchers have now measured some of the basic features of the thorium-229 isomer, such as the size of its nucleus and the general form of the distribution of protons. In the present study, the nuclei were not excited from the ground state by means of laser light, as they would be in a future clock. Instead, the isomer was produced by the alpha-decay of uranium-233 and decelerated in a device developed at LMU, extracted, and stored in an ion trap as Th2+ ions. The uranium-233 source was provided by the groups in Mainz und Darmstadt. For this purpose, uranium-233 was chemically purified and its decay products were removed to avoid any influence on the measurements. Subsequently, suitable sources were deposited as homogenous thin films on a silicon layer in an electrochemical procedure for the laser experiments of PTB at the LMU apparatus. Christoph Düllmann, professor at the Institute of Nuclear Chemistry at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz and head of the involved research teams at HIM and GSI, said: "This is a fascinating interdisciplinary team of physicists and chemists studying a topic that connects nuclear and atomic physics. Our contribution is testimony to the need of nuclear chemistry expertise in the preparation of samples suitable for experiments in a variety of fields in contemporary physics and chemistry research."

With the aid of laser systems specifically developed for spectroscopic analyses of this ionic species at PTB, researchers have now been able to determine the transition frequencies in the electron shell of Th2+. These parameters are directly influenced by the state of the nucleus and encode valuable information on its physical properties. On the basis of theoretical modeling alone, it has not been possible to predict how the structure of the thorium-229 nucleus in this unusually low-excited isomer might behave.

Professor Thomas Stöhlker, Vice Director of Research and head of the Atomic Physics division at GSI, added: "These fantastic new results are very helpful to determine the energy of the transition of Th-229 in future experiments at the storage rings of GSI and FAIR with high precision." Furthermore, it is now possible to probe the structure of the electron shell to confirm a successful laser-excitation of the nucleus into the isomer. The hunt for determining the optical resonance frequency that triggers the transition to the isomeric first excited state of the thorium-229 nucleus is not yet over. But researchers now have a far better idea of what the needle in the haystack really looks like.

Weitere Informationen:
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news-3226 Fri, 06 Apr 2018 10:00:00 +0200 Cryogenic testing of magnets: First quadrupole units for the large FAIR ring accelerator tested https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////cryogenic_testing_of_magnets_first_quadrupole_units_for_the_large_fair_ring_accelerator_tested.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=c586089f9a53f9f0856f619d8c3c5e5c Hundreds of powerful magnets will be needed to guide particles in a precise beam at nearly the speed of light at the future accelerator center FAIR, which is currently being built at GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung in Darmstadt. Widely varied types of magnets and magnet systems are used for this purpose. They include the 168 quadrupole magnet units that will be used in the large SIS100 ring accelerator. These units are being manufactured and tested by Russia and represent an important non-cash contribution to the FAIR project. The two first of series (FoS) quadrupole units were manufactured in 2017, and at the end of the year they were successfully subjected to cryogenic tests at temperatures near absolute zero. The tests are another important step in the development and construction of the SIS100. Hundreds of powerful magnets will be needed to guide particles in a precise beam at nearly the speed of light at the future accelerator center FAIR, which is currently being built at GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung in Darmstadt. Widely varied types of magnets and magnet systems are used for this purpose. They include the 168 quadrupole magnet units that will be used in the large SIS100 ring accelerator. These units are being manufactured and tested by Russia and represent an important non-cash contribution to the FAIR project. The two first of series (FoS) quadrupole units were manufactured in 2017, and at the end of the year they were successfully subjected to cryogenic tests at temperatures near absolute zero. The tests are another important step in the development and construction of the SIS100.

The quadrupole units, weighing tons, consist of a superconducting quadrupole magnet that is combined in a variety of arrangements with superconducting sextupole and steering magnets. Unlike conventional copper cables, superconductors enable electricity to flow through them without any resistance. In order to achieve superconductivity, the units are cooled down to ‑270 degrees Celsius during operation.

The acceptance tests for the FoS units were conducted in the presence of a team of experts from GSI and the responsible work package manager, Egbert Fischer. The quadrupole magnets worked flawlessly during the performance tests at an operating temperature of 4.5 K (i.e. 4.5 degrees Celsius above absolute zero, which is about -273 degrees Celsius). During fast-pulsed operation at 23,000 amperes per second, the magnets surpassed the intended maximum operating current of about 12,000 amperes. Initial evaluations of the measured magnetic fields indicate that the units are of a sufficiently high quality within the range of the defined requirements.

The FoS units will soon be accepted and sent to FAIR. Series production is scheduled to be approved in the near future. GSI will subject the two units to an initial integration test, in which they and other installations will be mounted onto a carrier system.

Over the past four years, GSI and the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research (JINR) have built a high-performance testing facility in Dubna, Russia, to conduct cryogenic testing of the units from the series. The facility was put into operation during an official ceremony in late 2016. It tests superconducting magnets for the two future accelerator centers FAIR (Facility for Antiproton and Ion Research) and NICA (Nuclotron-based Ion Collider fAcility), which are currently being built at GSI in Darmstadt and at JINR in Dubna, Russia, respectively. About half of the tests at the facility will be of magnets for the NICA project, while the other half will be of magnets for the future SIS100 accelerator at FAIR. A corresponding contract for the operational implementation of the serial tests will be signed soon. The contract will require JINR to conduct the site acceptance tests (SATs) of the quadrupole units on behalf of GSI.

For the construction of FAIR, researchers are developing and using ultra-innovative methods and techniques in numerous areas. One example of that is the main quadrupoles of the units that recently underwent cryogenic testing. The quadrupoles are based on a technology that was originally developed for the Nuclotron accelerator at JINR. The key element of this technology is a Nuclotron cable that consists of superconducting strands wrapped around a copper-nickel tube. This cable technology is completely different from that of Rutherford cables, which are employed in high-field magnets. The new technology is especially well suited for the construction of superconducting magnets that enable fast electric current changes (high ramp rates). In a development process lasting several years, GSI and JINR optimized the Nuclotron magnet technology for use in the FAIR ring accelerator SIS100.

The focus was on reducing dynamic losses (heat input) at high ramp rates, optimizing the magnetic design, and adapting the system to a new high-current Nuclotron cable that offers sufficiently low hydraulic resistance. The steering magnet technology is based on a further development of the nucleon cable that was created specifically for FAIR’s SIS100 ring accelerator. In this system, the strands are insulated from one another so that the number of turns of a coil can be significantly increased even though the current is reduced.

The development of this new kind of cable was initially supported by a program funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and JINR. The development process was successfully completed when the first two SIS100 units were accepted. (BP)

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news-3222 Tue, 03 Apr 2018 09:30:00 +0200 FAIR and GSI in great demand at VDI career fair https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////fair_and_gsi_in_great_demand_at_vdi_career_fair.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=d7839f40578d89cccba410370dc4885b In addition to its scientific significance, the FAIR project is also an important job generator. FAIR and GSI currently offer a large number of highly qualified jobs in the field of cutting-edge technologies and international science. Recently FAIR and GSI presented numerous new job offers at the Frankfurt Exhibition Center at the "VDI Nachrichten Recruiting Tag", an important career fair of the VDI Association of German Engineers. In addition to its scientific significance, the FAIR project is also an important job generator. FAIR and GSI currently offer a large number of highly qualified jobs in the field of cutting-edge technologies and international science. Recently FAIR and GSI presented numerous new job offers at the Frankfurt Exhibition Center at the "VDI Nachrichten Recruiting Tag", an important career fair of the VDI Association of German Engineers.

At the career day FAIR and GSI were able to offer a whole series of current job advertisements, a large part of them in the "FAIR Site & Buildings" department. The main focus was on specialized engineers and technicians with emphasis on construction, building services engineering and electrical engineering in planning and implementation, but also IT specialists. Young professionals and those with initial professional experience were just as much in demand as those with many years of professional experience.

There was a great demand at the FAIR and GSI booth, numerous participants took the opportunity to enter into direct dialogue and inquire in detail about employment possibilities and career opportunities. The contact persons of FAIR and GSI were in constant conversations with interested parties and potential applicants. There was also extensive information on the FAIR project, one of the largest construction projects for research worldwide, which was also presented at the central forum of the event.

Jörg Blaurock, Technical Managing Director of FAIR and GSI, gave a positive review of the trade fair presentation. "Our presence in this environment of highly qualified engineering and technology has borne fruit. We were also one of the few companies in the field of science and research. A unique selling point that piqued great interest."

Many unsolicited applications were already received on the day of the fair itself, and the response via the regular application process in the following period is also very positive. (BP)

Further information

More information on working at FAIR and GSI and current vacancies can be found here.

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news-3224 Thu, 29 Mar 2018 09:30:00 +0200 Delegation of the Hessian Parliament visits FAIR and GSI https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////delegation_of_the_hessian_parliament_visits_fair_and_gsi.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=33544931e2cebddb9eb73cc91f5c0727 On Tuesday, 27 March 2018, a delegation of the CDU fraction of the Hessian Parliament visited the research center of FAIR and GSI. Participants in the event were Karin Wolff from the electoral district Darmstadt-Stadt II, Birgit Heitland from the district Bergstraße II, Andreas Hofmeister from the district Limburg-Weilburg II, as well as Dr. Ralf-Norbert Bartelt from the district Frankfurt III. On Tuesday, 27 March 2018, a delegation of the CDU fraction of the Hessian Parliament visited the research center of FAIR and GSI. Participants in the event were Karin Wolff from the electoral district Darmstadt-Stadt II, Birgit Heitland from the district Bergstraße II, Andreas Hofmeister from the district Limburg-Weilburg II, as well as Dr. Ralf-Norbert Bartelt from the district Frankfurt III.

The FAIR and GSI management board informed the delegation in two introductory talks about the existing GSI accelerator facilities and research highlights as well as about the future international research center FAIR and the progress of the construction project. In a bus tour to the construction site the participants were able to take a look at the advancements: Current works include, among other things, the connection of the existing GSI facilities to the FAIR accelerator, the commissioning of two transformer stations for the energy supply of both facilities, and the excavation works for the FAIR ring accelerator SIS100.

Furthermore, in a guided tour through the existing facility the delegation visited the experimental storage ring ESR, the tumor therapy with carbon ions and the large-scale detector HADES, which will become part of the CBM experiment for the investigation of compressed matter at FAIR.

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news-3218 Mon, 26 Mar 2018 10:32:00 +0200 Playing Billiards with a Laser Beam https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////playing_billiards_with_a_laser_beam.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=747c1a14a8da92339948d46cd816654b A research team led by physicists at LMU Munich reports a significant advance in laser-driven particle acceleration. Using tiny plastic beads as targets, they have produced proton bunches that possess unique features, opening up new opportunities for future studies. The experiments were performed at the PHELIX laser on the campus of GSI und FAIR. This news is based on a press release by the Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich.

A research team led by physicists at LMU Munich reports a significant advance in laser-driven particle acceleration. Using tiny plastic beads as targets, they have produced proton bunches that possess unique features, opening up new opportunities for future studies. The experiments were performed at the PHELIX laser on the campus of GSI und FAIR.

In their experiments, a team led by physicists at LMU Munich fired a powerful laser pulse at a micrometer-sized plastic sphere, blasting a bunch of protons from the target and accelerating them to velocities approaching the speed of light. The resulting velocity distribution is much narrower than that obtained when thin metal foils are used as targets. The physicist now present their research results in the scientific journal Nature Communications.

Recent years have seen remarkable advances in the development of a new approach to the acceleration of subatomic particles. This strategy makes use of the intense electric fields associated with pulsed, high-energy laser beams to accelerate electrons and protons to ‘relativistic’ velocities (i.e. speeds approaching that of light). Hitherto, the laser shot has generally been directed at a thin metal foil, generating and accelerating a plasma of free electrons and positively charged ions. Physicists at LMU have now replaced the foil target by a plastic microsphere with a diameter of one-millionth of a meter. These beads are so tiny that they cannot be stably positioned by mechanical means. Instead, the researchers use an electric field to levitate the target particle. Using a feedback circuit, the levitated bead can be trapped with sufficient precision to ensure that it does not drift off the beam axis. The electromagnetic trap was designed and built in the Department of Medical Physics at LMU.

“The basic approach is analogous to collisions between billiard balls. In our experiment, one of the balls is made of light and the other is our tiny levitated target,” explains Peter Hilz, who led the experiments. This novel approach to the generation of proton beams will make experiments feasible which have hitherto been out of reach.

More information:
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news-3216 Thu, 22 Mar 2018 09:26:00 +0100 Solution to the hyperfine puzzle in reach https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////solution_to_the_hyperfine_puzzle_in_reach.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=e9658b48c3702600f1b30304e9b30b92 Last year, physicists at TU Darmstadt cast doubt on our current understanding of the interplay between electrons and atomic nuclei, and are now upping the ante by proposing a solution to this so-called “hyperfine puzzle”. New measurements of the magnetic properties of bismuth atomic nuclei are now published in an article in the prestigious “Physical Review Letters” journal. A researcher from the Helmholtz Institute Jena, a branch of GSI, is also involved. This news is based on a press release of the Technical University Darmstadt
from February 28, 2018

Last year, physicists at TU Darmstadt cast doubt on our current understanding of the interplay between electrons and atomic nuclei, and are now upping the ante by proposing a solution to this so-called “hyperfine puzzle”. New measurements of the magnetic properties of bismuth atomic nuclei are now published in an article in the prestigious “Physical Review Letters” journal. A researcher from the Helmholtz Institute Jena, a branch of GSI, is also involved.

The optical spectrum of any given atom is a result of the interplay between light and the electrons within the atomic shell. Ultra-precise measurements can even reveal the effects of the internal structure of the atomic nucleus, which are referred to as the “hyperfine structure”. When measuring the hyperfine structure of highly-charged ions with few remaining electrons, researchers at TU Darmstadt found a discrepancy between the theoretically predicted and experimentally determined splittings: these empirically observed discrepancies were referred to as the “hyperfine puzzle”, and raised the question as to whether the interplay between the few electrons bound to the atomic nucleus and the nucleus itself, under the influence of the prevailing enormously strong magnetic fields, is fully understood. The next step towards solving the puzzle was to re-determine the strength of the magnetic field within the atomic nucleus: theoretical predictions are strongly dependent on this parameter, which must be determined experimentally.

Physicists of the working groups of Prof. Wilfried Nörtershäuser and Prof. Michael Vogel from the Institute for Nuclear Physics and the Institute for Condensed Matter Physics, respectively, at the TU Darmstadt were collaborating to remeasure the strength of the magnetic field – the so-called magnetic moment – using nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, which is used in medicine where it is referred to as MRI. It is based on the principle that atomic nuclei have a magnetic field, if they, like the bismuth isotope under investigation, have a nuclear spin. The north and south poles are oriented along the spin axis and will align with the magnetic field axis of an external magnetic field. The orientation of the nuclear magnets can be reversed by irradiating the atoms under investigation with radio waves of an appropriate frequency, and this effect can be observed. The frequency of the radio waves at which the poles change their direction depends upon the magnetic moment. Measuring the frequency allows one to deduce the value of the magnetic moment.

Measurement of the magnetic moment is affected

To achieve this, the researchers introduced an aqueous solution enriched with bismuth ions to a superconducting magnet and irradiated it with radio frequencies via a small coil until they registered a polarity reversal in the bismuth ions.

The challenge in doing this is that the ions’ environment, i.e., the atoms to which it is bound as well as the fluid in which it is dissolved, changes the external magnetic field in the vicinity of the atomic nucleus, which, in turn, affects the precise measurement of the magnetic moment. This disruptive effect has to be subtracted from the calculation, to which end highly specialised quantum-theoretical calculations were carried out by a group of theoretical physicists at the University of St. Petersburg and at the Helmholtz Institute Jena. It became apparent that the effect was much larger than previously expected when using bismuth-nitrate solutions, which means that measurements taken with the aid of bismuth-nitrate solutions are evidently inadequate.

The researchers finally achieved a breakthrough by using a complex organometallic compound, which releases hexafluoridobismuthate(V) ions in organic solution. The Darmstadt-based scientists received support from a research group specialised in fluorine chemistry at the University of Marburg, who produced a sample of the required substance. Thus, it was possible to measure much narrower resonance curves and to make more precise statements about the magnetic moment of the nucleus. Moreover, from the quantum-theoretical perspective, much more accurate calculations can be performed for this system than had previously been possible for bismuth nitrate.

The researchers used the newly calculated value for the magnetic moment of the stable bismuth isotope and made a theoretical prediction of the hyperfine structure splitting within the highly-charged ions. The values obtained, are in very good agreement with the results from the previously reported laser-spectroscopic measurements. “It would be too early to state that this represents the complete solution to the hyperfine puzzle,” Prof. Wilfried Nörtershäuser of the TU Darmstadt’s Institute for Nuclear Physics explains, going on to say; “nevertheless, it is for sure a significant part of the solution. Further experiments are still needed to achieve complete clarity about the interplay between the atomic nucleus and the shell and, therefore, to verify the theoretical predictions of the nature of quantum mechanics in very strong fields”. To better understand the complex influence of the electron shell on measurements of nuclear magnetic moments, scientists at TU Darmstadt now want to conduct measurements of nuclear magnetic moments on atomic nuclei with just a single bound electron or no electron shell at all. According to Nörtershäuser, such experiments are prepared at the GSI Helmholtz Centre for Heavy Ion Research in Darmstadt involving also other working groups from TU Darmstadt.

Further information:
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news-3182 Mon, 19 Mar 2018 12:51:00 +0100 New targets greatly improve the performance of laser-driven particle acceleration https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////new_targets_greatly_improve_the_performance_of_laser_driven_particle_acceleration.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=bcc366267629a8679b708bce895861ba The use of nanostructured targets enables the PHELIX laser to accelerate considerably more particles to substantially higher energies. The experiment with the high-performance laser was conducted at the GSI/FAIR campus by scientists from GSI and FAIR as well as from Goethe University Frankfurt and the Helmholtz Institute Jena. The innovative nano target was created at GSI's Materials Research department. The results give laser-driven particle acceleration a boost, and also harbor considerable potential for future plasma research at the FAIR accelerator facility. The use of nanostructured targets enables the PHELIX laser to accelerate considerably more particles to substantially higher energies. The experiment with the high-performance laser was conducted at the GSI/FAIR campus by scientists from GSI and FAIR as well as from Goethe University Frankfurt and the Helmholtz Institute Jena. The innovative nano target was created at GSI’s Materials Research department. The results give laser-driven particle acceleration a boost, and also harbor considerable potential for future plasma research at the FAIR accelerator facility.

One of Germany’s strongest lasers is located on the campus of GSI and FAIR: the Petawatt High-Energy Laser for Ion Experiments (PHELIX). By focusing all of the light energy into a hair-thin beam, plasma physicists can use the laser to study states of matter under conditions that are similar to those inside stars and giant planets. However, they also test possible applications such as laser-driven particle acceleration. To do this, scientists shoot the laser at a target to study how the ultra-powerful pulse of light affects the material. Now, scientists have, for the first time, tested a target with a nanowire surface instead of one with a smooth surface. “In the new surface, extremely thin nanowires are located close to one another like tall tree trunks in a dense forest that is bombarded from above by a laser,” explains Paul Neumayer, a plasma physicist at GSI and the director of the experiment. Nanotargets are extremely fragile structures. Until recently, laser pulses would destroy such targets before fully reaching them. In cooperation with the Helmholtz Institute Jena, the scientists at FAIR have greatly improved PHELIX’s temporal contrast, which means the laser pulse is now extremely “cleanly” delineated in terms of time. As a result, the wires are immediately hit by the laser’s full energy density, thus stripping off the electrons from the target atoms at one blow. This creates an electrostatic field, which, in turn, can accelerate lightweight particles.

“The new target enabled us to accelerate 30 times more particles than with the normally employed smooth foil targets under the same conditions,” says Neumayer. “Moreover, we increased the energy of the accelerated particles by 2 to 2.5 times.” There are two reasons for this improvement. First, a nanotarget has a much higher surface area than a smooth one, thus intensifying the laser’s interaction with the material. Second, the laser pulse can penetrate deep into the target’s structure in the spaces between the wires. As a result, the laser energy can be deposited with much higher densities than would normally be achievable with the laser light.

In addition to making laser-driven particle acceleration more efficient, the new targets have another benefit: they greatly increase the X-ray emissions of the hot plasma. “This is not only a huge advantage for the measurement of exotic plasmas, but also opens up interesting prospects for the development of extremely intense short-pulsed X-ray sources for future FAIR experiments,” explains Neumayer.

The innovative nanotargets were developed by Dimitri Khaghani as part of his doctoral dissertation. Khaghani is a laser and plasma physicist who earned his doctorate at Goethe University Frankfurt. For his dissertation, he worked together very closely with GSI’s Materials Research department, which has been researching and producing nanowires for years. Nanowires grow in tiny channels in plastic foils. To create these channels, researchers first bombard the foils with heavy ions from a linear accelerator. The areas damaged along the ions’ path are then chemically etched to turn them into open channels that are subsequently filled using an electrochemical method. “This process enabled us to test nanowires made of different materials and of various lengths and diameters so that we could find out when laser acceleration is most efficient,” says Khaghani, who received the Giersch Excellence Grant and the Giersch Award for Outstanding Doctoral Thesis for his research with nanotargets. “The synergy effect achieved through the close cooperation between the Plasma Physics and Materials Research departments on the campus certainly contributed to the success of the experiments and enabled us to take a big step forward,” says Khaghani, who is now a postdoc at the Helmholtz Institute Jena.

More Information

Original publication: Nature Scientific Reports, „Enhancing laser-driven proton acceleration by using micro-pillar arrays at high drive energy“ 

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news-3210 Fri, 16 Mar 2018 09:27:46 +0100 Masterclass 2018 — Particle physicist for a day https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////masterclass_2018_particle_physicist_for_a_day.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=3d53b041b7abe3eb792003fe7e70cc50 On Thursday, March 15, 2018 the 8th International Masterclass took place at FAIR and GSI. 20 high-school students were invited to become a scientist for a day and analyse data from the ALICE experiment at the LHC accelerator at CERN in Geneva. GSI has had a major part in the construction and the scientific programme of ALICE from the beginning. On Thursday, March 15, 2018 the 8th International Masterclass took place at FAIR and GSI. 20 high-school students were invited to become a scientist for a day and analyse data from the ALICE experiment at the LHC accelerator at CERN in Geneva. GSI has had a major part in the construction and the scientific programme of ALICE from the beginning.

The young persons were asked to evaluate and interpret data of the ALICE experiment. Under professional supervision of scientists they autonomously analyzed recent data recorded in proton-proton and lead collisions. In the lead collisions a so-called quark-gluon plasma is generated – a state of matter which existed in the universe shortly after the big bang. This plasma undergoes a phase transition back to normal matter in fractions of seconds. The particles produced in the process can give insight into the properties of the quark-gluon plasma.

In two introductory talks about quark-gluon plasma and the examination of heavy ion collisions at the ALICE experiment the pupils were informed about the analysis. Furthermore they visited the large-scale experiment HADES, one of the current experiments at the GSI accelerator facility that will also become a part of the future FAIR accelerator. Afterwards they started the data analysis.

The basic idea of the program is to allow the students to work in the same fashion as the scientists. This includes having a videoconference at the end of the day. In a conference connection with groups from the universities in Frankfurt, Münster, and Padua (Italy) as well as CERN they presented and discussed their results.

This year 215 universities and research institutes from 52 countries participate in the International Masterclasses. They are organized by the International Particle Physics Outreach Group (IPPOG). All events in Germany are held in cooperation with the "Netzwerk Teilchenwelt", a nationwide network committed to the communication of particle physics to youngsters and teachers. They aim to make particle physics accessible to a broader public. As of late, GSI as a location is also a part of “Netzwerk Teilchenwelt”.

ALICE is one of the four large international experiments at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). It is the experiment specifically designed to investigate collisions of heavy nuclei at high energies. Scientists of GSI and of German universities were involved in the development of new detectors and in the scientific program of ALICE from the beginning. The GSI computing center is an inherent part of the computing grid for data analysis of ALICE.

Further information:
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news-3208 Tue, 13 Mar 2018 09:07:00 +0100 FAIR joins the Big Science Business Forum https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////fair_joins_the_big_science_business_forum.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=6a778abc1b172de65e4300a9c68d311c Eighteen of the world’s largest research facilities gathered to create Big Science Business Forum to present their offers to European industry. BSBF was a one-stop shop for companies from all over Europe, where Big Science facilities could give them insight into our future investments and purchases in just one location over the course of a few days. The Facility for Antiproton and Ion Research in Europe (FAIR GmbH) makes extensive procurements, from the smallest screw to high-tech consultancy, often with a requirement of extremely high quality and innovation.

This high-tech branch is known as Big Science and for the first time, eighteen of the world’s largest research facilities gathered to create Big Science Business Forum to present their offers to European industry. BSBF was a one-stop shop for companies from all over Europe, where Big Science facilities could give them insight into our future investments and purchases in just one location over the course of a few days.

BSBF 2018 was the first ever conference of its kind, to which FAIR contributed and thus consolidated its place in the world’s big-league of scientific facilities.

The conference took place in Copenhagen from 26th -28th February, hosted by the Danish Ministry of Higher Education and Science and BigScience.dk. Altogether, some 1,000 delegates from more than 500 companies and organizations spanning approximately 30 countries attended. FAIR was represented by the In-Kind and Procurement team (David Urner and Sonia Utermann) and FAIR Legal (Felix Arndt). Among the other Big Science facilities attending were e.g. CERN, ESA, the European XFEL and DESY.

David Urner presented FAIR to an audience of potential suppliers and in-kind procurement experts from other Big Science facilities. His presentation marked the launch of FAIR’s new in-kind procurement portal, that gives potential bidders access to FAIR tenders. Several new industrial FAIR liaison officers (ILOs) have been nominated to offer the best – and simplest – communication between FAIR and industrial partners, a route that has proven so successful for CERN, ESS and ESA.

The FAIR delegation met potential new providers of cryogenic systems, vacuum chambers and magnets. In private meetings with delegates from ITER, ESS, European XFEL and CERN, they were able to exchange tips, legal texts and experiences in in-kind procurement in order to learn from each other and further improve the work at FAIR. They learned from potential suppliers how to make it more attractive for them to provide their services to FAIR; not just by expanding on our procurement portal and strengthening our network of ILOs, but also, for example, by encouraging syndication amongst small and medium-sized enterprises. The FAIR delegations looks forward to putting the new knowledge into practice.

Further information:
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news-3205 Thu, 08 Mar 2018 14:13:42 +0100 Magnet tests for FAIR: GSI and CERN conclude cooperation agreement https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////magnet_tests_for_fair_gsi_and_cern_conclude_cooperation_agreement.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=d574a4d69e8199a8d7bb0fd8e474535c Many of the key components for the future particle accelerator facility FAIR are currently under development or in production. However, production isn't the only decisive step, because the testing of the individual parts' quality is also crucial. The European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) in Switzerland and GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung, where FAIR is currently being built, have now concluded a cooperation agreement for the reliable testing of magnets weighing more than 50 tons each and destined for use in the Superconducting Fragment Separator (Super-FRS), which will be part of the FAIR facility. Many of the key components for the future particle accelerator facility FAIR are currently under development or in production. However, production isn’t the only decisive step, because the testing of the individual parts’ quality is also crucial. The European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) in Switzerland and GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung, where FAIR is currently being built, have now concluded a cooperation agreement for the reliable testing of magnets weighing more than 50 tons each and destined for use in the Superconducting Fragment Separator (Super-FRS), which will be part of the FAIR facility.

As part of the collaboration, the partners have created a test facility containing three magnet test rigs. The first tests are scheduled to begin in 1st half of the year 2018. The facility will conduct intense endurance tests of multiplets, which are superconducting magnet units with corrective lenses, and then examine if they behave flawlessly in accordance with high quality standards during operation. Unlike the usual copper cables, superconducting systems don’t pose any resistance to electric currents. To achieve superconductivity, the units are cooled to around -270 degrees Celsius during operation.

The multiplets, which weigh up to 60 tons each, will later be used for beam correction in the Super-FRS at FAIR to achieve a high-precision particle beam. This part of the future accelerator center FAIR will be used for experiments on the fundamental structure of extremely rare exotic nuclei. For these experiments, ions of the heaviest elements will be shot at a target, where they will shatter upon impact. The resulting fragments will include exotic nuclei that the Super-FRS can supply to scientists for their experiments. The Super-FRS will enable researchers to produce exotic nuclei up to uranium at relativistic energies and separate them into pure isotopes. Because this process lasts for only a few hundred nanoseconds, it provides researchers access to very short-lived nuclei.

The multiplets, which were manufactured in Genoa, Italy, are an important in-kind contribution from GSI to the FAIR project, as is the subsequent testing process. GSI is the German shareholder of the international FAIR GmbH.  All of the superconducting magnets that will be needed for the Super-FRS will be tested in the new test facility at CERN. The magnets will initially consist of a total of 33 multiplet units, which will be followed by 24 superconducting dipole magnets that will be needed for deflecting the particle beam. (BP) 

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news-3190 Mon, 05 Mar 2018 09:24:00 +0100 Transformer station goes into operation at the FAIR construction site https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////transformer_station_goes_into_operation_at_the_fair_construction_site.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=ea338f7ea4a94cdba8f604eb3427011d At the end of February the first of two transformer stations went into operation at the construction site of the future FAIR accelerator facility. It is the first system at FAIR to go into operation. The station provides the energy supply to the existing SIS18 ring accelerator and will also do so for the future SIS100 ring accelerator. The transformer station will supply the SIS18 particle accelerator with electricity as early as the experimentation phase scheduled to take place this summer. At the end of February the first of two transformer stations went into operation at the construction site of the future FAIR accelerator facility. It is the first system at FAIR to go into operation. The station provides the energy supply to the existing SIS18 ring accelerator and will also do so for the future SIS100 ring accelerator. The transformer station will supply the SIS18 particle accelerator with electricity as early as the experimentation phase scheduled to take place this summer.

Two transformers at FAIR’s North Transformer Station were recently switched through to GSI in order to supply parts of the facility with electricity. Until then, GSI had been supplied with power exclusively through the transformer station at Leonhardstanne. The new transformers will improve the performance of the pulse load supply, which will be needed in the future for the operation of the SIS18 and SIS100 particle accelerators.

The transformers were delivered to the FAIR construction site in the fall of 2017. They were then installed and have been put into operation as planned. The second transformer station, FAIR South, is expected to go into operation in the second quarter of 2018. The new transformers convert the 110 kV high-voltage electricity that arrives at GSI and FAIR through underground high-voltage cables to 20 kV so that the current reaches the various consumers on the campus in line with their needs.

The new transformer station will be needed for the facility’s next beam time, which is scheduled for the summer of 2018. In addition to the GSI accelerators UNILAC, SIS18, and ESR, as well as the current experiments, scientists will also be able to use components of FAIR, such as the CRYRING storage ring, for the planned FAIR Phase 0 experimentation program. The experiments using this beam time will involve scientists from all over the world.

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news-3198 Fri, 02 Mar 2018 09:45:46 +0100 Dr. Yusuke Tsunoda receives FAIR GENCO Award for young scientists https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////dr_yusuke_tsunoda_receives_fair_genco_award_for_young_scientists.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=65b5c9cbe8c8fbd808c5d5cc42a8e9f3 This year, Dr. Yusuke Tsunoda from the Center for Nuclear Study at the University of Tokyo received the FAIR GENCO Award for young scientists. The award is sponsored by the FAIR-GSI Exotic Nuclei Community (GENCO) and endowed with 1,000 Euro. The bestowal by GENCO president Professor Christoph Scheidenberger and vice-president Professor Nasser Kalantar-Nayestanaki took place on Thursday, March 1, 2017 in a special colloquium in the framework of the yearly GENCO meeting at FAIR and GSI. This year, Dr. Yusuke Tsunoda from the Center for Nuclear Study at the University of Tokyo received the FAIR GENCO Award for young scientists. The award is sponsored by the FAIR-GSI Exotic Nuclei Community (GENCO) and endowed with 1,000 Euro. The bestowal by GENCO president Professor Christoph Scheidenberger and vice-president Professor Nasser Kalantar-Nayestanaki took place on Thursday, March 1, 2017 in a special colloquium in the framework of the yearly GENCO meeting at FAIR and GSI. Every year, the FAIR-GSI Exotic Nuclei Community (GENCO) presents its Young Scientist Award to a young researcher at the beginning of their scientific career. The international GENCO jury, composed of seven renowned nuclear scientists, elects the winner in a competitive procedure, where several candidates, working in theory or experiment, are evaluated. Furthermore five scientists were honoured with a GENCO Membership Award.

Dr. Yusuke Tsunoda receives the Young Scientist Award for the invention of the so-called T-Plot method. This visualization method is the key for understanding and grasping the essence of complex many-body quantum systems like atomic nuclei. He developed this method to display mathematical solutions that can be assigned to different states and shapes of atomic nuclei. It helps to interpret and understand experimental results and is becoming a standard method in the study of the structure of exotic nuclei. The T-Plot method attracts great attention in the scientific community worldwide.

The five scientists assigned with the GENCO Membership Award are:

  • Professor Angela Bracco (INFN Milano) for her important contributions to the study of collective pygmy excitations and for her leadership role in NuPECC in Europe.

  • Professor Paolo Giubellino (GSI and FAIR) for outstanding contributions to the strategic development of the high-level physics program of GSI and to the ALICE experiment at CERN, which is an important asset of the GSI research portfolio.

  • Professor Thomas Glasmacher (MSU - FRIB) for exploring rare isotopes with new experimental techniques involving gamma-rays and for opening new horizons with design and construction of the FRIB facility.

  • Professor Olof Tengblad (CSIC Madrid) for advancing the nuclear-reaction program using relativistic radioactive beams and for remarkable findings in the reaction mechanisms and structure of drip-line nuclei.

  • Professor Remco Zegers (MSU – FRIB) for excellent achievements on charge-exchange reactions in connection with Giant Monopole and Giant Dipole Resonances, respectively, and the development of new techniques to study and disentangle these resonances using radioactive beams.
Further information
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news-3152 Tue, 20 Feb 2018 11:00:00 +0100 Spectacular low temperature: Research team measures liquid water with a temperature of -42.6 degrees Celsius https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////spectacular_low_temperature_research_team_measures_liquid_water_with_a_temperature_of_426_degrees.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=48bfb54360a369df7f63759dc9bdca05 It is a spectacular low temperature: A research team headed by Robert Grisenti from GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung has successfully detected liquid water at a temperature far below the freezing point: -42.6 degrees Celsius. This discovery is the result of development work on experiments for the future accelerator center FAIR, but it could also enable us to make great progress in our understanding of the earth’s climate. It is a spectacular low temperature: A research team headed by Robert Grisenti from GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung has successfully detected liquid water at a temperature far below the freezing point: -42.6 degrees Celsius. This discovery is the result of development work on experiments for the future accelerator center FAIR, but it could also enable us to make great progress in our understanding of the earth’s climate.

Although it has long been known that water can remain liquid far below 0 degrees Celsius without freezing, the result depends on the volume of the sample used. The fast evaporative cooling of tiny water droplets in a vacuum gives scientists a good means of analyzing supercooled water, i.e. water that is still liquid even though its temperature is below freezing. However, it’s difficult to get a reliable value for the droplet temperature under such extreme experimental conditions. Because this value is of crucial importance for further studies, the reliable and exact measurement of the temperature of supercooled water is a great challenge.

In their research, the scientists demonstrated a new technology that achieves an unparalleled level of precision when measuring the temperature of extremely small droplets of water. The system does this by determining the temperature of a droplet on the basis of its diameter. In this process, uniform droplets of warm ultrapure water that are only a few thousandths of a millimeter wide are sprayed in a targeted jet of liquid into a vacuum chamber. The upper layers of the droplets evaporate and the inner layers cool off greatly, so the droplets shrink. This shrinkage can be precisely measured with optical methods, and the result is used to determine the droplets’ temperature. A key element for such high-precision measurements is the unique instrumentation available at GSI for Raman spectroscopy, in which the droplets are illuminated with a laser beam. The spectrum and form of the scattered light enable scientists to determine the diameter of the droplets.

In its research, the team can build on the expertise gathered over many years at GSI and at the international FAIR accelerator center, which is currently under construction. This expertise especially benefits the development of targets for atomic and nuclear physics experiments. Inside the accelerator facility, the particle beams are guided to the experimental stations, where they hit the targets made of the material samples. Targets that consist of tiny jets of liquids also have to be specially developed for such studies in the target hall and in the experimental storage rings at GSI and FAIR. FAIR will be a unique accelerator center with great knowledge potential. As a result, the current research with supercooled water for the development of targets for FAIR is also an example of the innovation potential at FAIR.  

Droplets of supercooled water can also be found in nature — in the upper layers of the earth’s atmosphere, where they exist under conditions that are similar to those created experimentally by the research team. That’s why the work being conducted by the scientists under the direction of Robert Grisenti can also improve our understanding of ice formation in the atmosphere. It is thus an important step on the path toward the development of reliable climate models. (BP)

More Information

Publication in Physical Review Letters 120

Report in Nature - Research Highlights

Report in Physics World

 

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news-3175 Wed, 14 Feb 2018 13:00:00 +0100 The Universe in the Laboratory: ESA and FAIR form partnership for researching cosmic radiation https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////the_universe_in_the_laboratory_esa_and_fair_form_partnership_for_researching_cosmic_radiation.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=6559fd62af20951ca62dfdef131f7aa4 One of the key questions that need to be addressed regarding the future of human spaceflight as well as robotic exploration programs is how cosmic radiation affects human beings, electronics, and materials. The detailed investigation of this topic is one of the main tasks that must be accomplished in order to provide astronauts and space systems with effective protection. To achieve this goal, the European Space Agency (ESA) will be cooperating closely in the future with the international accelerator center FAIR (Facility for Antiproton and Ion Research GmbH), which is currently being built at GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung in Darmstadt. On Wednesday, February 14, 2018, the two partners signed a corresponding cooperation agreement at the GSI and FAIR campus in Darmstadt. One of the key questions that need to be addressed regarding the future of human spaceflight as well as robotic exploration programs is how cosmic radiation affects human beings, electronics, and materials. The detailed investigation of this topic is one of the main tasks that must be accomplished in order to provide astronauts and space systems with effective protection. To achieve this goal, the European Space Agency (ESA) will be cooperating closely in the future with the international accelerator center FAIR (Facility for Antiproton and Ion Research GmbH), which is currently being built at GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung in Darmstadt. On Wednesday, February 14, 2018, the two partners signed a corresponding cooperation agreement at the GSI and FAIR campus in Darmstadt.

By signing the agreement, ESA Director General Professor Johann-Dietrich Wörner and the FAIR Management Board, consisting of the Scientific Managing Director Professor Paolo Giubellino, the Administrative Managing Director Ursula Weyrich, and the Technical Managing Director Jörg Blaurock, sealed an international partnership that will open up far-reaching opportunities for new scientific findings. For example radiation is a showstopper for human missions to the Moon and Mars as well as for scientific missions to the depths of space. Also present was ESA astronaut Thomas Reiter, one of the initiators of the cooperation.

Unique research opportunities

“The partnership between FAIR and ESA will open up unique opportunities for carrying out outstanding research in the area of cosmic radiation and its effects,” said Professor Paolo Giubellino. “FAIR will be an institute that is unique in the world. It will enable researchers to reproduce the diversity of the universe in the laboratory, so to speak, in order to investigate fundamental questions such as how the chemical elements came into existence in the cosmos, gain knowledge about the effect of radiation on cells and solid objects, and forge ahead with practical applications in areas such as biophysics and materials research. We are eagerly looking forward to closer cooperation with the ESA.”

Professor Johann-Dietrich Wörner also emphasized the significance of the new partnership between the two international institutes: „GSI is the only facility in Europe capable of simulating high-energy heavy nuclei occurring in cosmic radiation.  With FAIR, experiments with an even wider range of particle energies and intensities will soon be possible. This reproduction of the cosmic radiation environment can support us in many areas, from materials research for satellite missions to radiobiology, which deals with the effects of cosmic radiation on the human organism, and is an important preparation for long-term astronautical missions to the moon and beyond.“

When they move beyond the Earth’s protective atmosphere and its magnetic field, astronauts, satellites, and space probes are exposed to cosmic rays. An essential component of cosmic rays are fast particles that are ejected into space during stellar explosions or emitted by the sun and by distant galaxies. What effects would radiation have on human beings and spacecraft during a long space journey, for example to Mars? What would happen to the sensitive electronics on board? What materials, in which thicknesses, would be suitable protective shields to mitigate these effects? Can radiation-resistant materials and electronic components be developed in a targeted manner? These are some of the basic questions that are crucial to the implementation of such space missions. The aim is to provide the best possible conditions for human beings and materials in space and to minimize the risks to health.

In the future, researchers at the FAIR accelerator facility will be able to generate the kinds of radiation that exist in space and make them available to scientists for their experiments. For example, researchers will be able to investigate how cells and human DNA are altered or damaged by exposure to cosmic radiation and how well microchips stand up to the extreme conditions in space.

The central points of the cooperation agreement between ESA and FAIR include the research fields of radiation biology, electronic components, materials research, shielding materials, and instrument calibration. The research will be conducted at the future FAIR facility as well as the existing accelerator facilities at GSI, which are currently being improved through major upgrading measures and prepared for their future use as preaccelerators for FAIR. The two partners have also agreed to cooperate on technology and software developments and on additional joint activities in areas such as innovation management.

Particle accelerator will enable broad range of radiation research

The new partnership is building on a very successful and reliable foundation of cooperation that has been formed between ESA and GSI over many years in several research projects. For example, the IBER (Investigations into Biological Effects of Radiation) research project has been running since 2008 and is currently entering a new round with the allocation of beam time. The project enables research groups to investigate the biological effects of space radiation at the existing accelerator facilities of GSI.

The GSI accelerator facility is the only one in Europe that can generate all of the ion beams that occur in our solar system, which range from the lightest one, hydrogen, to the heaviest, uranium. The research opportunities will be expanded even further by the future FAIR accelerator center. Thanks to its centerpiece, the ring accelerator SIS100 with a circumference of 1,100 meters, FAIR will enable researchers to conduct experiments with an even wider spectrum of particle energies and intensities, and to simulate the composition of cosmic radiation with a precision that no other accelerator facility will be able to match.

The fundamental research issues are being investigated against a background of complex relationships. There are many different kinds of cosmic rays, and they can have very different effects on spacecraft and their occupants, depending on the kinds of particles, the particles’ energies, and the duration of the exposure. In addition, cosmic rays’ interactions with matter, such as their impact on a protective shield, produce secondary cosmic rays that have very different effects. These secondary rays can do even more damage to biological tissue and sensitive electronics than the original primary cosmic radiation.

Optimized instruments, advantages for mission planning

The objective of the new partnership is to precisely identify these complex relationships and investigate them in even greater depth. For example, new findings could help scientists adapt sensitive instruments specifically for utilization in space. Such research projects are also of interest to the ESA´s European Space Operations Centre ESOC in Darmstadt. This is where satellite missions are controlled and their trajectories are calculated. Detailed knowledge of the radiation sources and effects is helpful for mission planning. It can help researchers select flight variants that will minimize the total radiation load. Both FAIR and ESOC very much look forward to the opportunities of enhanced collaboration between these two Darmstadt-based institutions, which contribute to strengthen Darmstadt as an internationally established City of Science.

Benefits for life on earth

The results of the new partnership will provide future-oriented information not only for space travel but also for life on earth. For example, data from the experiments can provide more detailed insights into radiation risks on earth. They can also help to optimize radiation protection measures and improve radiation therapies for treating cancer. (BP/IP)

Further Information

ESA Website

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news-3166 Fri, 09 Feb 2018 15:02:13 +0100 Visit to Azerbaijan: Scientific cooperation to be intensified https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////visit_to_azerbaijan_scientific_cooperation_to_be_intensified.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=892db4b259cada261eb9941eb63d2207 Perspectives and opportunities for future cooperation were the focus of a visit by Professor Paolo Giubellino, Scientific Director of FAIR and GSI, to the Republic of Azerbaijan. The aim is to intensify the scientific exchange between German and Azerbaijani researchers. In order to promote scientific and technological cooperation between FAIR and Azerbaijani research institutions, a “Memorandum of Understanding“ (MoU) has now been signed in the capital Baku on the Caspian Sea. Perspectives and opportunities for future cooperation were the focus of a visit by Professor Paolo Giubellino, Scientific Director of FAIR and GSI, to the Republic of Azerbaijan. The aim is to intensify the scientific exchange between German and Azerbaijani researchers. In order to promote scientific and technological cooperation between FAIR and Azerbaijani research institutions, a “Memorandum of Understanding“ (MoU) has now been signed in the capital Baku on the Caspian Sea.

Paolo Giubellino held very productive discussions with, among others, Minister Mr. Ramin Guluzade of the Ministry of Transport, Communication and High Technologies (MTCHT) of the Republic of Azerbaijan and Professor Abel Maharramov, Rector of the Baku State University (BSU), one of the largest universities in the country. During his visit, he also learned about current research and infrastructure in Azerbaijan.

The Memorandum of Understanding provides for scientific and technological cooperation and joint projects between scientists from BSU, MTCHT and FAIR. Among other things, the MoU encompasses a variety of opportunities for collaboration and information sharing, such as seminars, symposia, and science meetings. The memorandum will also promote cooperation by means of joint research projects and exchange activities between professors and scientists — particularly young scientists, and university students. The activities are coordinated by Professor Paolo Giubellino and Dr. Anar Rustamov, Deputy Director at the Institute for Physical Problems of BSU.

“FAIR will become a world-leading accelerator facility and a driver of innovation in many areas," said Paolo Giubellino. “In addition to scientific excellence, it is also an important task to promote relations with the scientific communities in countries around the world. We are looking forward to working with the Azerbaijani researchers in the future."

University Rector Abel Maharramov also emphasized the importance of cooperation in science and technology to strengthen links between the scientific communities of both countries. Minister Ramin Guluzade moreover announced that a roadmap for Azerbaijan's possible accession to the international FAIR GmbH would be developed. (BP)

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news-3158 Thu, 08 Feb 2018 16:15:57 +0100 Start-up Class 5 Photonics wins PRISM AWARD https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////start_up_class_5_photonics_wins_prism_award.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=aa5c51c2b67e21fb5940a90ea44d9d4b Class 5 Photonics, a spin-off from Helmholtz-Institut Jena, a branch of GSI, and from Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron DESY specialized in high-performance laser technology, is the proud winner of the PRISM AWARDS 2018 in the category lasers. SuperNova OPCPA is the Class 5 Photonics flagship product, which took the trophy home. The SuperNova OPCPA enables researchers to perform experiments ten times faster than with conventional lasers.

“We are delighted to win this prestigious award and being recognized as the premier laser technology partner for the most advanced R&D labs and institutions worldwide,” said Class 5 Photonics CEO and co-founder Robert Riedel. “With our products we aim to enable cutting-edge research to gain new insights in processes, building blocks and interactions in physics, chemistry and bio sciences.”

The PRISM AWARDS are the premier worldwide event in the photonics industry and awarded annually during the SPIE Photonics West conference and tradeshow in San Francisco. More than 150 applicants entered the competition in ten categories this year. With its high-performance laser SuperNova OPCPA Class 5 Photonics convinced the jury.

The spin-off company was founded in 2014 in Hamburg. The scientists from Helmholtz Institute Jena and DESY is developing high power lasers with pulses in the femtosecond range. One femtosecond is a quadrillionth of a second. Shorter laser pulses allow more precise working of materials, for instance. Also, such short laser pulses open up new innovative applications like 3D nanostructuring. For science, the technology is of great importance.

Further information 

 

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news-3144 Fri, 02 Feb 2018 16:30:00 +0100 French High-Commissioner for Atomic Energy Yves Bréchet visits FAIR and GSI https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////french_high_commissioner_for_atomic_energy_yves_brechet_visits_fair_and_gsi.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=c61987dadbce8cb6f17f8c016aa77886 Professor Yves Bréchet, the High-Commissioner for Atomic Energy, visited the FAIR and GSI research facilities in January. In an introductory talk he was informed by Professor Paolo Giubellino, Scientific Managing Director of FAIR and GSI, about the on-going research activities at the existing facility and the planning of the FAIR project. Professor Yves Bréchet, the High-Commissioner for Atomic Energy, visited the FAIR and GSI research facilities in January. In an introductory talk he was informed by Professor Paolo Giubellino, Scientific Managing Director of FAIR and GSI, about the on-going research activities at the existing facility and the planning of the FAIR project.

Subsequently the Technical Managing Director of FAIR and GSI, Jörg Blaurock, showed him the current progress of the SIS100 tunnel construction and the further construction activities in a bus tour of the FAIR construction site. In a guided tour through the existing accelerator facility he visited the materials research, the experimental site for the discovery of superheavy elements SHIP, the PHELIX laser, the therapy site for tumor treatments with carbon ions, the FAIR storage ring CRYRING and also the large-scale experiment R3B, which houses a French contribution to FAIR, the so-called GLAD magnet.

Yves Bréchet is the Government Scientific Advisor for the missions of the French Atomic Energy and Alternative Energies Commission (CEA, Commissariat à l’énergie atomique et aux énergies alternatives). The governmental institution is subordinate to the French ministries for research, energy, armed forces, and industry. Together with the French National Center for Scientific Research (Centre national de la recherche scientifique, CNRS) the CEA holds half of the French shares of FAIR.

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news-3138 Wed, 24 Jan 2018 11:50:34 +0100 "target" magazine issue 16 published https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////target_magazine_issue_16_published.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=b1af280c875f4f63fb2aedd68c960350 In the 16th issue of our magazine "target" we report the groundbreaking for FAIR as well as our Open House which enabled approx. 11,000 visitors to gain insight into our research. The detection of heavy elements in a merger of neutron stars has confirmed important predictions of our scientists. And you learn more about the work of our Technology Transfer who aims to convey utilizable developments from research into industry. In the 16th issue of our magazine "target" we report the groundbreaking for FAIR as well as our Open House which enabled approx. 11,000 visitors to gain insight into our research. The detection of heavy elements in a merger of neutron stars has confirmed important predictions of our scientists. And you learn more about the work of our Technology Transfer who aims to convey utilizable developments from research into industry.

Download of "target" – Issue 16, January 2018 (PDF, 6,5 MB)

Further information:

Registration and target archive

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news-3129 Tue, 23 Jan 2018 10:34:35 +0100 Deep learning as a tool for heavy ion physics https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////deep_learning_as_a_tool_for_heavy_ion_physics.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=38e94f5592d8b9734eff2836061270d8 A group of scientists from GSI, FIAS and the university Frankfurt used deep learning techniques to develop a tool for better understanding heavy ion collisions. The present study is a proof of principle study where Long-Gang Pang, Kai Zhou, Nan Su, Hannah Petersen, Horst Stöcker, former Scientific Director of GSI, and Xin-Nian Wang (University of California in Berkeley, USA) used more than 20,000 pictures from relativistic hydrodynamic simulations of heavy ion collisions, as they also occour in experiments with the GSI accelerators and the future FAIR accelerators, in a convolution neural network (CNN) to classify two regions in the phase diagram. This news is based an a press release by the Frankfurt Institute of Advanced Studies from 18 January 2018

A group of scientists from GSI, FIAS and the university Frankfurt used deep learning techniques to develop a tool for better understanding heavy ion collisions. The present study is a proof of principle study where Long-Gang Pang, Kai Zhou, Nan Su, Hannah Petersen, Horst Stöcker, former Scientific Director of GSI, and Xin-Nian Wang (University of California in Berkeley, USA) used more than 20,000 pictures from relativistic hydrodynamic simulations of heavy ion collisions, as they also occour in experiments with the GSI accelerators and the future FAIR accelerators, in a convolution neural network (CNN)  to classify two regions in the phase diagram. 

"We started the project when a human professional was defeated in the game of Go against AlphaGo designed by Google Deepmind. The news ignited our enthusiasm and we discussed a lot on whether artificial intelligence can assist scientists to tackle challenging unsolved scientific problems." explains Long-Gang Pang, a former FIAS postdoc from Hannah Petersens group, who is now at the University of California in Berkeley, USA.

Further information:
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news-3089 Thu, 30 Nov 2017 14:35:36 +0100 GSI and FAIR to present themselves at “Wissenswerte” in Darmstadt https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////gsi_and_fair_to_present_themselves_at_wissenswerte_in_darmstadt.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=37f49a449cecc6c5d32bbd535e9c1b28 The GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung and the future particle accelerator center FAIR will present cutting-edge research in the area of particle acceleration physics at the “Wissenswerte” (Worth Knowing) dialogue-oriented forum, which will be held at the Darmstadtium congress center in Darmstadt from December 4 to 6. Several hundred specialized journalists, science communicators, and researchers will attend the forum, which is Germany’s most important conference for science journalism. GSI and FAIR representatives will make specialized contributions to the conference program, host a major excursion, and staff an exhibition stand of their own. Not only the specialists but also the general public will have an opportunity to visit the GSI and FAIR stand on the second afternoon of the forum. The GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung and the future particle accelerator center FAIR will present cutting-edge research in the area of particle acceleration physics at the “Wissenswerte” (Worth Knowing) dialogue-oriented forum, which will be held at the Darmstadtium congress center in Darmstadt from December 4 to 6. About 400 specialized journalists, science communicators, and researchers will attend the forum, which is Germany’s most important conference for science journalism. GSI and FAIR representatives will make specialized contributions to the conference program, host a major excursion, and staff an exhibition stand of their own. Not only the specialists but also the general public will have an opportunity to visit the GSI and FAIR stand on the second afternoon of the forum.

The city of Darmstadt is organizing an event called “Wissenswerte Digitalstadt” (a digital city worth knowing) that will be open to all from 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, December 5. It will be followed by the “Wissenscampus” (knowledge campus) exhibition, which will include the GSI and FAIR stand and will be open to the public until 6:30 p.m. Among other things, GSI and FAIR will present the research opportunities that will be offered at the FAIR particle accelerator center now being constructed at GSI, as well as the construction project itself. The highlights of the presentation will include the best-known results of the scientific research at GSI, such as the development of an innovative cancer therapy using ions and the discovery of six new chemical elements in the periodic table. Visitors to the stand will also be able to simulate the creation of an element in a large-format model — and thus to understand how the new element called “Darmstadtium” was born at GSI. The venue of the “Wissenswerte” forum was named the Darmstadtium after this element.

GSI and FAIR will also play a major role in the conference program, which will give the participating specialists from all over Germany insights into the latest findings of current scientific research. In a moderated discussion, GSI Research Director Professor Karlheinz Langanke and the physicist Dr. Ingo Peter will present the topic “The Universe in the Laboratory — Creating Cosmic Matter in Accelerators.” At the Forum for Young Researchers, the leading young researcher Professor Tetyana Galatyuk will offer insights into the scientific work she is doing at the large-scale detector HADES at GSI.

Finally, on the third day of the event GSI and FAIR will host an excursion for the specialized visitors at “Wissenswerte.” It will include a walking tour of the research campus and a bus tour of the 20-hectare construction site of the new FAIR accelerator facility. This is one of the world’s biggest construction projects for a basic research facility, and it is currently one of the most exciting construction sites in the region. In the future, about 3,000 scientists from all over the world will conduct cutting-edge experiments at FAIR in order to gain new fundamental knowledge about the structure of matter and the evolution of the universe.

Further Information

"Wissenswerte" 2017

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news-3082 Sat, 25 Nov 2017 13:16:00 +0100 Physics for breakfast – Saturday Morning Physics at FAIR and GSI https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////physics_for_breakfast_saturday_morning_physics_at_fair_and_gsi.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=c4b4cfb5168c3e831b7a082d17cd7eba It is a success story with tradition and at the same time an anniversary: On Saturday, 25 November, for the 20th time 260 high-school students from all over the state of Hesse had the opportunity to gain an insight into current physical research at FAIR and GSI. During tours of the research facilities they explored the accelerators and experiments on the GSI and FAIR campus and learned about the construction of the international FAIR facility. At the beginning they joined for a traditional small breakfast. It is a success story with tradition and at the same time an anniversary: On Saturday, 25 November, for the 20th time 260 high-school students from all over the state of Hesse had the opportunity to gain an insight into current physical research at FAIR and GSI. During tours of the research facilities they explored the accelerators and experiments on the GSI and FAIR campus and learned about the construction of the international FAIR facility. At the beginning they joined for a traditional small breakfast.

"Saturday Morning Physics" is a project of the physics department of the TU Darmstadt. The series of lectures is held annually and aims to increase the interest of young people in physics. In lectures and experiments on six consecutive Saturdays the high-school students learn about the latest developments in physical research at the university. Those who take part in all six courses receive the "Saturday Morning Physics" diploma. The visit to FAIR and GSI takes place as an excursion within the series. GSI has been one of the sponsors and supporters of this project since the start.

More Information

Website of Saturday Morning Physics

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news-3046 Thu, 23 Nov 2017 09:47:00 +0100 Radon therapy research to continue https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////radon_therapy_research_to_continue.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=b858dc084c5319227dfc3926146b43b6 A multi-year research project led by the GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung has been investigating the anti-inflammatory therapeutic effect, as well as the risks, of treatment with the inert gas radon. The project has now received a green light for continuing this research. A total of €4 million will be available to it in the coming four years, with €1.9 million of that amount going to the groups working at GSI. A multi-year research project led by the GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung has been investigating the anti-inflammatory therapeutic effect, as well as the risks, of treatment with the inert gas radon. The project has now received a green light for continuing this research. A total of €4 million will be available to it in the coming four years, with €1.9 million of that amount going to the groups working at GSI.

The project funding will come from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. The new project, GREWIS alpha, is the successor of the project called GREWIS, a German acronym that stands for “the genetic risks and anti-inflammatory effect of ionizing radiation.” The word “alpha” stands for the strongly ionizing alpha particles that are emitted when radon and its daughter nuclei decay. The Scientific Managing Director of GSI and FAIR, Professor Paolo Giubellino, was pleased with the research funding: "The decision shows that the wealth of experience regarding biophysical und biological radiation research here at GSI has a very promising potential for the future. We will continue to conduct research in this area to gain fundamental insights, but also to enable optimal treatment options and targeted prevention. Biophysics is also an important part of our strategic long-term plans for the future accelerator facility FAIR."

The radiation biologist Professor Claudia Fournier from the Biophysics Department of GSI is the overall coordinator of this joint project, in which GSI is cooperating with TU Darmstadt, Goethe University Frankfurt, and the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg. A total of seven work groups from four institutions are working on this research project. The Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) is the project’s sponsor. A recent kick-off meeting on the GSI campus in Darmstadt marked the beginning of the new project. It was attended by over 30 participants from TU Darmstadt (Department of Biology), Goethe University Frankfurt (Centre for Radiotherapy), the University Clinic Erlangen, and the biophysics department at GSI, as well as representatives of KIT.

The radioactive element radon is used in the form of baths or inhalations in healing caves and baths to treat many patients, and it has met with success. The pain-relieving effects of low-dose radon therapies for patients with painful chronic inflammatory illnesses have been known for centuries on the basis of experience. These therapies are used for diseases of the locomotor system such as rheumatism and arthrosis, as well as diseases of the respiratory system and the skin, including neurodermatitis and psoriasis. But even though it is nowadays assumed that low doses of radiation can mitigate chronic inflammation, the cellular and molecular mechanisms of action that underlie the observed pain relief, especially in the case of a radon therapy, are still largely unknown. As a result, the objective of the GREWIS researchers is to investigate with increasing precision the potentially helpful aspects as well as the risks of low-dose exposure to radon and to put this therapy on a solid scientific foundation.

“We now have a good basis on which we can build and refine the questions we are asking,” says Project Lead Claudia Fournier regarding the new joint project. The cooperative work in the GREWIS project, which was launched in 2012, has been very successful so far. The researchers were able to clarify key questions regarding the physical and biological effect of the treatment and to demonstrate the resulting cellular changes. One of the aims of the first project was to create a radon chamber on the GSI campus. Experiments in this chamber have generated new insights, primarily through targeted examinations of tissue. For example, these experiments provided the first indications of the extent of DNA damage in organs such as the liver, lungs, kidneys, and heart after exposure to radon. A great deal of further research is still needed in this area. The researchers aim to use such insights to evaluate the risks and long-term effects of this radiation more reliably and to control the dosage of a radon therapy more effectively. These insights can also help medical personnel to decide whether a certain healing cave or therapeutic bath would be more appropriate for an individual patient, or whether a completely different therapy should be used.

Investigations conducted as part of the GREWIS project have also provided insights into the concrete mechanism by which radon therapy works. It was surmised that the activation of the patient’s immune system plays a central role in radon’s effects. However, the immune system responds to many stimuli, including warmth. As a result, it’s necessary to find out whether a warm radon bath has positive effects on pain relief or the alleviation of arthritis because of the heat or because of the radon. The scientists are therefore also trying to decode radon therapy’s underlying mechanisms in particular. In a new study that was published this year, the clinically observable pain-relieving effect of a radon therapy was associated for the first time with concrete changes in certain types of immune cell. For the first time, the study revealed a modulation of the immune cells of peripheral blood (the blood circulating through the blood vessels) after a standard radon bath therapy. These modulations could be connected with the suppression of inflammations. “We’re seeing a reduction of inflammatory factors in the serum of patients undergoing radon therapy. This reduction gives us indications of a suppression of an existing inflammatory immune reaction. In addition, in the patients’ serum we’re seeing a reduction of markers that indicate bone loss. Trials in irradiated cells have shown that the number and activity of bone-absorbing cells is decreasing. Both of these factors indicate that the bone loss is slowing down,” explains Professor Fournier.

The objective of GREWIS alpha is to add concrete details to such insights and to do even deeper research — for example, to go one step further in determining organ doses and also the long-term genetic risk — and to find out whether it’s really the radiation that causes the described effects of a radon therapy. The researchers also want to investigate, in greater detail than before, the molecular mechanisms that could depend on an interplay between the immune system and bone metabolism, according to the findings gained so far. They also want to investigate whether radon binds to the pain receptors in the body and thus changes the patient’s perception of pain.

Further information

Publication in Autoimmunity

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news-3070 Mon, 20 Nov 2017 11:38:57 +0100 Gerhard Kraft named Honorary President of ERRS https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////gerhard_kraft_named_honorary_president_of_errs.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=dc968a9ccd27c91b7600b51f5239d9b1 Professor Gerhard Kraft, the former Head of the Biophysics department of GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung, has been named the Honorary President of the European Radiation Research Society (ERRS). Gerhard Kraft initiated the use of ion beams for cancer treatment and founded the biophysical research department at GSI. He was named to this honorary position in recognition of his outstanding achievements, particularly in the fields of cancer research and heavy ion therapy. Professor Gerhard Kraft, the former Head of the Biophysics department of GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung, has been named the Honorary President of the European Radiation Research Society (ERRS). Gerhard Kraft initiated the use of ion beams for cancer treatment and founded the biophysical research department at GSI. He was named to this honorary position in recognition of his outstanding achievements, particularly in the fields of cancer research and heavy ion therapy.

The ERRS (formerly known as the European Society of Radiation Biology) is a European nonprofit organization for the promotion of radiation resarch. It was founded in 1959 in order to promote communication between scientists, especially in Europe. It does this by putting scientists into personal contact and holding annual conferences, which created networks throughout Europe even during the Cold War. The ERRS is an important platform for the discussion of new findings and processes in the field of radiation research.

Within about 20 years, the researchers at GSI in Darmstadt developed Kraft’s ion beam cancer treatment method from the basic physical and biological research to the stage of clinical application. This technique effectively destroys cancer cells while leaving healthy tissue untouched.

Gerhard Kraft created GSI’s biophysical research department in the early 1980s and was its director from 1981 to 2008. His vision was to develop an extremely precise irradiation technique that would fully bring to bear the advantages of ion beams: their precision and their intense biological effect. Between 1997 and 2008, GSI used ion beams to treat more than 440 patients for tumors of the head and throat with great success. The insights gained during the pilot project were directly incorporated into the Heidelberg Ion-Beam Therapy Center (HIT). Since 2009, the center has been using the technique developed at GSI to treat approximately 800 patients annually. In 2015 an ion-beam therapy facility also went into operation in Marburg.

Gerhard Kraft was involved in many initiatives for the development and adoption of ion beam therapy throughout Europe. He is also a founding member of the ion beam therapy initiative European Network for Research in Light Ion Hadron Therapy (ENLIGHT) at CERN. He has received many honors for his achievements, including the Helmholtz Association’s Erwin Schrödinger Prize in 1999 and the Officer’s Cross of Germany’s Order of Merit in 2008. He is also a recipient of the Bacq and Alexander Award, which is presented annually by the ERRS to an outstanding European scientist in order to honor achievements in the field of radiation research. Gerhard Kraft received this renowned award in 2006.

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news-3065 Fri, 17 Nov 2017 09:30:22 +0100 Three scientists honored with the Christoph Schmelzer Award 2017 https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////three_scientists_honored_with_the_christoph_schmelzer_award_2017.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=7c735f17406e5eee059d44dfce17c070 This year’s Christoph Schmelzer Award has been granted to three young scientists. Lennart Volz from the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) in Heidelberg, Dr. Johannes Petzoldt from the IBA Group in Louvain-la-Neuve (Belgium), and Dr. Kristjan Anderle from the GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung in Darmstadt were presented with the award on November 16 at the GSI campus in Darmstadt. The Association for the Promotion of Tumor Therapy with Heavy Ions presents this award annually in recognition of outstanding master’s and doctoral theses in the field of tumor therapy with heavy ions. This year’s Christoph Schmelzer Award has been granted to three young scientists. Lennart Volz from the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) in Heidelberg, Dr. Johannes Petzoldt from the IBA Group in Louvain-la-Neuve (Belgium), and Dr. Kristjan Anderle from the GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung in Darmstadt were presented with the award on November 16 at the GSI campus in Darmstadt. The Association for the Promotion of Tumor Therapy with Heavy Ions presents this award annually in recognition of outstanding master’s and doctoral theses in the field of tumor therapy with heavy ions.

Helmut Zeitträger, a former Administrative Director of GSI, gave a welcoming address commemorating the association’s 20th anniversary. The participants had previously been greeted by the chairman of the association, Dr. Dieter Schardt. A talk celebrating the anniversary, titled “Particle Therapy: from a Niche Existence to a Clinical Routine?”, was delivered by Prof. Eugen B. Hug, Chief Medical Officer and Managing Director of MedAustron GmbH.

In his master’s thesis at Heidelberg University, Lennart Volz addressed the feasibility of using ion beams for the imaging of patients. In this process, ion beams with low intensity but high energy are used to penetrate the patient’s body in order to assess the retardant behavior of various tissue types at diverse locations in the bodies of individual patients. If the individual behavior of these tissue types is known, the precision of the subsequent ion beam therapy can be improved. Volz developed a formal process for describing the trajectory of ions in matter, and in an experiment he was able to demonstrate that helium ions would be very suitable for this imaging technique.

Dr. Johannes Petzoldt’s dissertation at TU Dresden addresses the measurement of the ion beam during tumor treatment. A new procedure called “prompt gamma timing” could be used for this purpose. In this procedure, the gamma radiation generated by nuclear reactions of the ions used for tumor treatment are evaluated along their course toward the target volume. Petzoldt systematically used this procedure to find the detector material that is best suited for measuring the gamma radiation in this type of treatment. He also investigated the degree to which fluctuations of the parameters of the treatment beam influence the measurement procedure, as well as the methods for determining these fluctuations. Finally, he demonstrated the clinical feasibility of prompt gamma timing by creating a prototype of a measurement setup.

In his dissertation at TU Darmstadt, Dr. Kristjan Anderle improved the frequently used TRiP software for planning treatments with ion beams. The software is now able to quickly and efficiently carry out computations in complex cases involving large tumors or several tumors and numerous high-risk organs. He also conducted studies of radiation therapy planning for cases of lung tumors. Thanks to the tremendous technical progress in the fields of radiation technology and imaging in conventional radiation technology with photons, it is now possible to effectively irradiate small lung tumors at high doses in a few sessions. However, in the case of larger tumors and more complex situations with nearby high-risk organs, effective irradiation is often not possible because it puts too much strain on the healthy surrounding tissue. Anderle was able to demonstrate that irradiation with ions could also be used in a large proportion of these cases and that significantly more patients could thus be treated effectively.

The prize money amounts to €750 for the master’s thesis and €1,500 for each of the doctoral dissertations. The awards, which were presented this year for the 19th time, are named after Professor Christoph Schmelzer, the co-founder and first Scientific Director of GSI. The GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung, where heavy ion therapy was developed in Germany to the clinical use stage in the 1990s, traditionally offers an appropriate setting for the annual presentation ceremony.

The Association for the Promotion of Tumor Therapy supports activities conducted within the research project Tumor Therapy with Heavy Ions at GSI, with the goal of improving tumor treatment by refining the system and making it available for general use in patient care. During a pilot project conducted at the accelerator facility at GSI from 1997 to 2008, more than 400 patients with tumors in the head and neck were treated with ion beams. The cure rate of this method has been more than 90 percent in some categories, and the side effects are very slight. At the Heidelberg Ion-Beam Therapy Center (HIT), patients have routinely been treated with heavy ions since 2009. Germany’s second major therapy facility using 12C ions and protons, the Marburger Ionenstrahl-Therapiezentrum (MIT), was opened in Marburg in 2015.

Further Information:

Verein zur Förderung der Tumortherapie mit schweren Ionen e.V.

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news-3060 Thu, 16 Nov 2017 14:24:18 +0100 The Universe in the Laboratory — New FAIR science film published https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////the_universe_in_the_laboratory_new_fair_science_film_published.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=ed747acfa532a98daf512d7932d138b9 Matter: the stuff the world is made of. Matter was created in the universe, but how exactly did it come into being? What are its properties? And how can we use the future particle accelerator FAIR, which is currently under construction at GSI, to give answers to these questions? Matter: the stuff the world is made of. Matter was created in the universe, but how exactly did it come into being? What are its properties? And how can we use the future particle accelerator FAIR, which is currently under construction at GSI, to give answers to these questions?

Our new film "FAIR — The Universe in the Laboratory" introduces the FAIR facility and shows in a comprehensible fashion which scientific questions will be addressed with FAIR. Furthermore, we explain, which technologies will be used and why our location is the right place for the construction of the facility.

More information:
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news-3038 Thu, 02 Nov 2017 16:49:52 +0100 GSI and FAIR calendar 2018 https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////gsi_and_fair_calendar_2018.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=c4b6c3680a3ec80730c6df3575f847a6 Our calendar 2018 is now available. Update: calendars for shipping are out of stock. GSI and FAIR employees can get a copy at the foyer or the storage. Our calendar 2018 is now available.

Update: calendars for shipping are out of stock.

If you want to order the DIN A2 sized calendar, please contact Kalender(at)gsi.de directly and we will immediately send the calendar to you by post. Be sure to mention the following information: your name, your address and the number of calendars you wish to order (3 max.). GSI and FAIR employees can get a copy at the foyer or the storage.

Please understand that because of the limited edition you can only request a maximum of three calendars (while supplies last) per order.

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news-3030 Fri, 27 Oct 2017 11:17:59 +0200 Delegation from San Antonio visits GSI and FAIR https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////delegation_from_san_antonio_visits_gsi_and_fair.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=8e0af43760e0b7ba774e378d0fc6e311 Current research and future developments at GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung and FAIR (Facility for Antiproton and Ion Research) were main topics during the visit of a delegation from Darmstadt's new sister city San Antonio in Texas. The programme of the high-ranking delegation from the US-American metropolis, which is visiting Darmstadt to finalize signing of the sister city agreement, included after the greeting by Joint Research Director Professor Karlheinz Langanke a visit to the research facilities on campus. The guests also had the opportunity to find out about the current status of the unique FAIR accelerator facility, which at the present is being built at GSI. Current research and future developments at GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung and FAIR (Facility for Antiproton and Ion Research) were main topics during the visit of a delegation from Darmstadt's new sister city San Antonio in Texas. The programme of the high-ranking delegation from the US-American metropolis, which is visiting Darmstadt to finalize signing of the sister city agreement, included after the greeting by Joint Research Director Professor Karlheinz Langanke a visit to the research facilities on campus. The guests also had the opportunity to find out about the current status of the unique FAIR accelerator facility, which at present is being built at GSI.

Among the members of the delegation visiting GSI and FAIR were representatives of the political committees of the city of San Antonio, its scientific institutions and the Chamber of Commerce as well as representatives of the city of Darmstadt. Hightech, research and development were among the leading themes of the programme for the American guests during their stay in Darmstadt.

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news-3021 Mon, 23 Oct 2017 09:00:00 +0200 Arrival of the first main magnet for the new large FAIR ring accelerator: Start of series delivery of 110 magnets https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////arrival_of_the_first_main_magnet_for_the_new_large_fair_ring_accelerator_start_of_series_delivery_o.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=049628985dcce742b1f7b5d93da8cb49 Big progress is being made in the production of the components of the new FAIR particle accelerator facility at GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung in Darmstadt. At the heart of the future facility will be the 1.1-kilometer ring accelerator SIS100, which is very challenging from a technological point of view. An important step has now been taken in the accelerator’s creation. It consists of the delivery of the first series-production main magnet for the new heavy-ion ring accelerator. The manufacture of magnets weighting several tons requires high-precision mechanical processing and analysis methods. Big progress is being made in the production of the components of the new FAIR particle accelerator facility at GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung in Darmstadt. At the heart of the future facility will be the 1.1-kilometer ring accelerator SIS100, which is very challenging from a technological point of view. An important step has now been taken in the accelerator’s creation. It consists of the delivery of the first series-production main magnet for the new heavy-ion ring accelerator. The manufacture of magnets weighting several tons requires high-precision mechanical processing and analysis methods.

Special electromagnets and a special vacuum chamber are used to generate the magnetic field that forces the beams along a circular path. Both of these components are being produced by German manufacturers. The dipole magnets are being made by the company Babcock Noell (BNG) in Würzburg, while the vacuum chamber is being produced at the company PINK in nearby Wertheim. During operation, the dipole magnets are cooled to a temperature of -270 degrees Celsius in order to make the associated magnet coil superconducting. Unlike conventional copper cables, superconductors enable electricity to flow through them without any resistance. This allows the magnets to be made very compact and limits the amount of electrical pulse power that is needed for the accelerator facility.

Moreover, the magnets that are cooled to near absolute zero will enable the integration of a similarly cold vacuum chamber through which accelerated ion beams will travel. To accelerate intense beams of heavy ions, the interior of the beam pipe needs to have vacuum conditions that are very close to those found in outer space. The vacuum chamber acts like a superpump on whose walls the gas particles that are not eliminated by conventional vacuum pumps freeze.

The magnets are technologically challenging not only with regard to their superconductivity, but also with respect to the level of mechanical precision that has to be achieved in the interior. To achieve optimal results, each of the two magnetic poles have to be positioned parallel to one another with a precision of ±50 micrometers.

BNG, which was awarded to contract for manufacturing the 110 dipole magnets that are required for the heavy-ion synchrotron SIS100, was able to demonstrate that it has the production technology needed to do the job with the first of series (FOS) magnet. This first dipole magnet, which has already been delivered to GSI in Darmstadt, was cooled to near absolute zero at the series test facility that was especially created for this purpose and then operated at the high electric currents that are needed in accelerator operation. In this test, about 17,000 amperes of current flowed through a superconducting wire approximately one-centimeter in diameter. By way of comparison, a household circuit breaker generally trips at 25 amperes. High precision is crucial here as well. At such high currents, imprecise manufacturing could cause the wire to lose its superconductivity. The FOS dipole magnet achieved all of the specified properties during testing at GSI. After the acceptance tests were completed, GSI approved the magnets’ series production. BNG has equipped a new assembly hall specifically for this purpose.

The first dipole magnet to be completed after series-production approval was recently delivered to GSI following a successful factory acceptance test (FAT). Superconducting dipole magnets will be regularly delivered to GSI from now on. A total of 110 magnets will be supplied by 2019. Each magnet undergoes four weeks of testing after it arrives at GSI. Magnets that successfully pass these tests will be stored until the new accelerator tunnel is completed. The magnets will be installed into the tunnel beginning in 2021. The assembled particle accelerator is scheduled to be cooled to its operating temperature of -270 degrees Celsius for the first time in 2023. Soon thereafter, it will generate the first beam for experiments at the FAIR research facility.

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news-3014 Thu, 19 Oct 2017 13:06:00 +0200 Riddle of matter remains unsolved: Proton and antiproton share fundamental properties https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////riddle_of_matter_remains_unsolved_proton_and_antiproton_share_fundamental_properties.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=2078b035230fd26d6ba7ba53d3f45a2d The search goes on. No difference in protons and antiprotons have yet been found which would help to potentially explain the existence of matter in our universe. However, physicists in the BASE collaboration at the CERN research center have been able to measure the magnetic force of antiprotons with almost unbelievable precision. Nevertheless, the data do not provide any information about how matter formed in the early universe as particles and antiparticles would have had to completely destroy one another. The most recent BASE measurements revealed instead a large overlap between protons and antiprotons, thus confirming the Standard Model of particle physics. Around the world, scientists are using a variety of methods to find some difference, regardless of how small. The matter-antimatter imbalance in the universe is one of the hot topics of modern physics. The search goes on. No difference in protons and antiprotons have yet been found which would help to potentially explain the existence of matter in our universe. However, physicists in the BASE collaboration at the CERN research center have been able to measure the magnetic force of antiprotons with almost unbelievable precision. Nevertheless, the data do not provide any information about how matter formed in the early universe as particles and antiparticles would have had to completely destroy one another. The most recent BASE measurements revealed instead a large overlap between protons and antiprotons, thus confirming the Standard Model of particle physics. Around the world, scientists are using a variety of methods to find some difference, regardless of how small. The matter-antimatter imbalance in the universe is one of the hot topics of modern physics.

The multinational BASE collaboration at the European research center CERN brings together scientists from the RIKEN research center in Japan, the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg, Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU), the University of Tokyo, GSI Darmstadt, Leibniz Universität Hannover, and the German National Metrology Institute (PTB) in Braunschweig. They compare the magnetic properties of protons and antiprotons with great precision. The magnetic moment is an essential component of particles and can be depicted as roughly equivalent to that of a miniature bar magnet. The so-called g-factor measures the strength of the magnetic field. "At its core, the question is whether the antiproton has the same magnetism as a proton," explained Stefan Ulmer, spokesperson of the BASE group. "This is the riddle we need to solve.“

The BASE collaboration published high-precision measurements of the antiproton g-factor back in January 2017 but the current ones are far more precise. The current high-precision measurement determined the g-factor down to nine significant digits. This is the equivalent of measuring the circumference of the earth to a precision of four centimeters. The value of 2.7928473441(42) is 350 times more precise than the results published in January. "This tremenduous increase in such a short period of time was only possible thanks to completely new methods," said Ulmer. The process involved scientists using two antiprotons for the first time and analyzing them with two Penning traps.

Antiprotons stored a year before analysis

Antiprotons are artificially generated at CERN and researchers store them in a reservoir trap for experiments. The antiprotons for the current experiment were isolated in 2015 and measured between August and December 2016, which is a small sensation as this was the longest storage period for antimatter ever documented. Antiprotons are usually quickly annihilated when they come into contact with matter, such as in air. Storage was demonstrated for 405 days in a vacuum, which contains ten times fewer particles than interstellar space. A total of 16 antiprotons were used and some of them were cooled to approximately absolute zero or minus 273 degrees Celsius.

The new principle uses the interaction of two Penning traps. The traps use electrical and magnetic fields to capture the antiprotons. Previous measurements were severely limited by an ultra-strong magnetic inhomogeneity in the Penning trap. In order to overcome this barrier, the scientists added a second trap with a highly homogeneous magnetic field. "We thus used a method developed at Mainz University that created higher precision in the measurements," explained Ulmer. "The measurement of antiprotons was extremely difficult and we had been working on it for ten years. The final breakthrough came with the revolutionary idea of performing the measurement with two particles." The larmor frequency and the cyclotron frequency were measured; taken together they form the g-factor.

The g-factor ascertained for the antiproton was then compared to the g-factor for the proton, which BASE researchers had measured with the greatest prior precision already in 2014. In the end, however, they could not find any difference between the two. This consistency is a confirmation of the CPT symmetry, which states that the universe is composed of a fundamental symmetry between particles and antiparticles. "All of our observations find a complete symmetry between matter and antimatter, which is why the universe should not actually exist," explained Christian Smorra, first author of the study. "An asymmetry must exist here somewhere but we simply do not understand where the difference is. What is the source of the symmetry break?“

The BASE scientists now want to use even higher precision measurements of the proton and antiproton properties to find an answer to this question. The BASE collaboration plans to develop further innovative methods over the next few year and improve on the current results.

Nature Publication:

A parts-per-billion measurement of the antiproton magnetic moment; Nature, 19. Oktober 2017

Further Information:

BASE: Baryon Antibaryon Symmetry Experiment
 Ulmer Fundamental Symmetries Laboratory
press release "Magnetic moment of a single antiproton determined with greatest precision ever" (19 Jan. 2017)
 press release "Magnetic moment of the proton measured with unprecedented precision" (6 June 2014)
 press release "Quantum leap: Magnetic properties of a single proton directly observed for the first time" (21 June 2011)

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news-2999 Mon, 16 Oct 2017 18:01:32 +0200 Predictions by GSI scientists now confirmed: Heavy elements in neutron star mergers detected https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////predictions_by_gsi_scientists_now_confirmed_heavy_elements_in_neutron_star_mergers_detected.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=a8f835502bf5a9eaa79b4a806c7687b7 Central predictions by GSI scientists on the formation of heavy elements such as gold and platinum in the universe have now been observed astrophysically. For the first time gravitational waves of merging neutron stars were detected. This also puts further focus on the future accelerator facility FAIR, as conditions for further research on neutron stars can be simulated there. Central predictions by GSI scientists on the formation of heavy elements such as gold and platinum in the universe have now been observed astrophysically. For the first time gravitational waves of merging neutron stars were detected. This also puts further focus on the future accelerator facility FAIR, as conditions for further research on neutron stars can be simulated there.

On October 16 a team of scientists, including members from the LIGO and Virgo collaborations and several astronomical groups, announced the detection of both gravitational and electromagnetic waves, originating from the merger of two neutron stars. These mergers have been speculated as the yet unknown production site of heavy elements including Gold, Platinum and Uranium in the Universe. In 2010 an international collaboration led by Gabriel Martínez-Pinedo (GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung and Technische Universität Darmstadt) and Brian Metzger (Columbia University) pointed out that the heavy element synthesis in the merger process leads to a unique electromagnetic wave emission pattern.

The electromagnetic signal observed from the merging neutron stars indeed shows this pattern and confirms that the site for the heavy element production in the Universe is finally found, solving one of the 11 most important question in physics, as named by the US National Academies in 2003. This breakthrough puts even further focus on the Facility for Antiproton and Ion Research (FAIR), which is currently being built in Darmstadt and at which the short-lived and very neutron-rich nuclei which drive the observed electromagnetic signal will be produced and studied for the first time.

60 years ago the main processes responsible for the production of elements in the Cosmos were outlined. Since then, it has been possible to identify the astrophysical sites for most of those processes except for the so called r process that is responsible for producing half of the elements heavier than Iron. It requires an environment with extreme neutron densities, permitting neutron captures on nuclei to proceed much faster than beta-decays. „Identifying the site of the astrophysical origin of elements heavier than Iron is viewed as one of the Millenium problems in physics" says Friedrich-Karl Thielemann, Professor at the University of Basel and now also member of the GSI theory group, who in 1999 performed the first nucleosynthesis study showing that the r-process can operate in material ejected during the coalescence of two merging neutron stars.

Almost simultaneously, it was suggested that the radioactive decay of the freshly synthesized nuclei will trigger an electromagnetic transient. The first realistic modeling of the electromagnetic signal was performed in 2010 by an international  team led by Gabriel Martinez-Pinedo and Brian Metzger, including Almudena Arcones, GSI and Technische Universität Darmstadt, and key experimental guidance from GSI scientists Aleksandra Kelic-Heil and Karl-Heinz Schmidt. They predicted that such an event will be a thousand times brighter than a nova and will reach its maximum on timescales of a day. It was named "kilonova". This picture has been confirmed by the recent observation of an optical/infrared counterpart associated with GW170817. „This represents a unique case in nuclear astrophysics, as usually astronomers observe a new phenomenon which is much later explained by theorists. In the present case we anticipated a novel astronomical signal without the benefit of observational guidance much before it was confirmed by observations“, says Gabriel Martinez-Pinedo.

Several signatures point to the radioactive decay of r-process nuclei to explain the observations. The time dependence of the signal corresponds to what is expected assuming that the energy is produced from the decay of a large ensemble of radioactive nuclei. Furthermore, the evolution in color of the signal shows that a broad range of r-process nuclei has been produced from the lighter elements with Z ~ 50 to the heavier with Z ~ 82. It has been estimated that GW170817 produced around 0.06 solar masses of r-process ejecta with over ten times Earth's mass in Gold and Uranium.

The LIGO and Virgo collaborations predict that once the gravitational wave detectors reach the design sensitivity in 2019 we may be able to detect neutron star mergers as frequently as once per week. This will represent a complete change of paradigm in our understanding of heavy element nucleosynthesis demanding high precision nuclear data, in particular of heavy neutron-rich nuclei  to reproduce the observations.

It is very fortunate that with FAIR the facility needed to provide these data is already under construction in  Darmstadt. First results are expected from experiments performed in the FAIR phase-0 starting 2018. Once FAIR reaches its complete potential in 2025, it will offer unique physics opportunities to determine the properties of heavy  neutron-rich nuclei of relevance to r-process nucleosynthesis. In the meantime, it is the aim of the GSI theory group to identify key nuclear information to fully characterize the variety of electromagnetic transients expected from neutron star mergers.

Further information

Publication in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

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news-3007 Mon, 16 Oct 2017 14:00:00 +0200 GET_INvolved Programme: Initiating Bilateral Cooperation between IIT Ropar, India, and FAIR/GSI https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////get_involved_programme_initiating_bilateral_cooperation_between_iit_ropar_india_and_fairgsi.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=58652c6032b4d75661c268feec7d859a The FAIR/GSI received recently a delegation from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Ropar. The delegation from IIT Ropar included scientists, faculty members and members of international affairs. The visit to FAIR and GSI included a warm welcome by the NUSTAR collaboration followed by a roundtable meeting with Joint Scientific Managing Director Prof. Paolo Giubellino and Joint Research Director Prof. Karlheinz Langanke and a delegation of heads of several departments at FAIR/GSI. The FAIR/GSI received recently a delegation from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Ropar. The delegation from IIT Ropar included scientists, faculty members and members of international affairs. The visit to FAIR and GSI included a warm welcome by the NUSTAR collaboration followed by a roundtable meeting with Joint Scientific Managing Director Prof. Paolo Giubellino and Joint Research Director Prof. Karlheinz Langanke and a delegation of heads of several departments at FAIR/GSI.

Professor Giubellino informed the delegation about the current and future research program of FAIR/GSI along with opportunities where both parties can strengthen their collaboration with the NUSTAR Collaboration and also expand by participating in the GET_INvolved Programme. Professor Munjal on behalf of the IIT Ropar’s delegation put forward the interest to participate in the active training of young students and researchers of the IIT Ropar and also an exchange of the scientific staff from both institutes strengthening their relationship. The delegation also had an active session with the heads of different research pillars. The delegation expressed their keen interest in formulating a Memorandum of Understanding for joint areas of cooperation and a dedicated agreement for student training and exchange programme of research staff.

IIT Ropar

IIT Ropar is an advanced technical institute located in the north-west of India in the state of Punjab (approximately 300 km drive north of New Delhi). IIT Ropar is already a member of NUSTAR Collaboration with several researchers and students working actively on optimisation and development of Gamma camera (a patented technology manufactured and developed in GSI). The institute is also involved in the testing of the components for the DEGAS detector (NUSTAR) at IIT Ropar.

GET_INvolved Programme

GET_INvolved Programme is an initiative by the FAIR/GSI management to provide international students and early stage researchers with opportunities to perform Internships or Traineeships and early research experience in order to GET_INvolved in the FAIR project while receiving scientific and technical training. This programme is also creating synergies between collaborating universities and advanced technical institutes in shareholder and partner countries by offering mobility opportunities for young students and researchers and contribute to the project in research and development. For more information contact the programme coordinator at International@fair-center.eu or International@gsi.de.

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news-2988 Mon, 16 Oct 2017 11:00:00 +0200 Very dynamic trade fair presentation: FAIR draws positive balance after Expo Real https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////very_dynamic_trade_fair_presentation_fair_draws_positive_balance_after_expo_real.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=e01184af60b568f96b380e4e04c55c75 Dynamic developments and lots of news concerning the construction status of the unique particle accelerator facility FAIR (Facility for Antiproton and Ion Research) sparked considerable interest at the international real estate trade fair Expo Real in Munich. Over a period of three days at Expo Real, FAIR provided an in-depth presentation of the construction planning and the next development steps of the mammoth building project. This year, the focus was primarily on the technical building equipment and the next construction tasks. Dynamic developments and lots of news concerning the construction status of the unique particle accelerator facility FAIR (Facility for Antiproton and Ion Research) sparked considerable interest at the international real estate trade fair Expo Real in Munich. Over a period of three days at Expo Real, FAIR provided an in-depth presentation of the construction planning and the next development steps of the mammoth building project. This year, the focus was primarily on the technical building equipment and the next construction tasks.

Following the trade fair, Jörg Blaurock, the Technical Managing Director of FAIR GmbH and GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung GmbH, expressed his satisfaction with the event’s positive results. “We continued to very successfully showcase FAIR as an attractive construction project and to present our detailed, market-oriented contracting plans for the various services needed for the FAIR project,” he said. At Expo Real, FAIR also presented the underlying project organization, especially that of the construction unit, which has increased its workforce.

Trade fair visitors and potential contractors were able to gain comprehensive information about the FAIR construction project and the opportunities for participating in it. Questions about the latest developments and the next steps were answered in detail. The numerous one-on-one discussions and in-depth talks at the trade fair stand once again showed that such a scientific megaproject is extremely attractive for a construction company’s portfolio, said Blaurock. “We were able to conduct important talks in a very focused manner and promote our strategy,” he added. “Many companies were impressed by the project’s dynamism. The market continues to be greatly interested in realizing the project, and we have made many valuable contacts with experts.”

Because many decision-makers and important players from the construction sector were present, the trade fair provided an outstanding platform on which FAIR could describe the huge progress that has been made in recent months and actively present the next steps in awarding further contracts to the construction industry. The construction of the FAIR particle accelerator facility at the GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung in Darmstadt began a few weeks ago. The groundbreaking ceremony for the FAIR ring accelerator SIS 100 was an important step for the project. The gigantic FAIR construction project is progressing as planned, with work being carried out on drainage, excavation, and shoring measures.

In the next phases of the ongoing construction activities, numerous separate systems will be integrated with one another. One of the biggest measures and the current focus of the activities is the technical building equipment, which includes heating, air conditioning, ventilation, and power supply. FAIR will begin to call for bids for the technical building equipment in the summer of 2018. The contracts will be awarded in 2019. The complex construction project is divided into contracting units that are appropriate for the market. As a result, the presentation of the new Project Director FAIR Site & Buildings Michael Ossendorf at a special Expo Real event could not have come at a better time, especially given that Ossendorf’s focus is on the technical building equipment.

FAIR’s partnership with Darmstadt as a science city once again paid off this year with regard to trade fairs. More specifically, the FAIR project had its own presentation at the Darmstadt stand, which was featured as part of the Frankfurt Rhine-Main metropolitan area. The Expo Real trade fair attracts around 40,000 visitors each year and is one of Europe’s most important get-togethers for the real estate, construction, and location marketing sectors.

About FAIR

FAIR will be one of the largest and most complex accelerator facilities in the world. The centerpiece of the facility is a ring accelerator with a circumference of 1,100 meters. Engineers and scientists are working in international partnership to advance new technological developments in a number of areas, – such as information technology and superconductor technology. Around 3,000 scientists from all over the world will be able to conduct top-level research at FAIR. Their outstanding experiments will generate new fundamental insights into the structure of matter and the evolution of the universe. Alongside Germany, FAIR's shareholders are the countries Finland, France, India, Poland, Romania, Russia, Sweden, and Slovenia. The United Kingdom is an associated partner.

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news-2992 Mon, 16 Oct 2017 10:23:59 +0200 Chinese Professorship for Peter Senger https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////chinese_professorship_for_peter_senger.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=a6dfa57708adb2d7109b445f8eb0494c Prof Dr. Peter Senger was appointed Professor of Physics at the Central China Normal University in Wuhan. The letter of appointment was presented by the vice-president of CCNU, Prof. NanSheng Peng. Prof. Dr. Peter Senger was appointed Professor of Physics at the Central China Normal University in Wuhan. The letter of appointment was presented by the vice-president of CCNU, Prof. NanSheng Peng. Since 2015 Peter Senger is Co-Director of the FAIR Centre of International Collaboration (FCIC) at CCNU Wuhan, which aims at the coordination of FAIR related activities in China, the development and construction of modern detectors and read-out electronics for FAIR experiments, the organization of workshops and seminars on FAIR topics, and the support of young scientists who participate in FAIR experiments. The FCIC has a budget of 8 million Euro over 8 years, part of which is used to build high-rate time-of-flight detectors for the CBM experiment.

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news-2983 Fri, 29 Sep 2017 09:40:24 +0200 Markus Steck receives Dieter Möhl Medal https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////markus_steck_receives_dieter_moehl_medal.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=35315b71c3ba69b438e30faee7c7ec3d This year's Dieter Möhl Medal for achievements in and contributions to the field of beam cooling and applications goes to Dr. Markus Steck, head of the GSI department "Storage Rings". He received the award for his leading role in the systematic studies of electron and stochastic cooling at GSI leading to the first experimental observation of ordering in an ion beam. The medal was handed over by the chairman of the programme committee, GerardTranquille of the European research centre CERN, on September 22, 2017 in the framework of the COOL17 conference in Bonn, Germany. Takeshi Katayama of Nihon University, Japan, also received the award. This year's Dieter Möhl Medal for achievements in and contributions to the field of beam cooling and applications goes to Dr. Markus Steck, head of the GSI department "Storage Rings". He received the award for his leading role in the systematic studies of electron and stochastic cooling at GSI leading to the first experimental observation of ordering in an ion beam. The medal was handed over by the chairman of the programme committee, GerardTranquille of the European research centre CERN, on September 22, 2017 in the framework of the COOL17 conference in Bonn, Germany. Takeshi Katayama of Nihon University, Japan, also received the award.

The medal was sponsored after the death of Dieter Möhl in 2012 by CERN. The awardee is chosen by a selection committee. The medal is awarded every two years during the COOL conference. Name patron Dieter Möhl supported the planning of new accelerator facilities at GSI in committees and as advisor for many years. After his retirement he provided important contributions to the planning of the FAIR storage rings and especially the design of their beam cooling systems with his counsel.

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news-2976 Wed, 27 Sep 2017 14:09:00 +0200 The FAIR presentation at Expo Real: Next steps in the construction https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////the_fair_presentation_at_expo_real_next_steps_in_the_construction.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=39d030278ad9d015ad8b52d6df69a8ed Lots of news about the construction status of the future particle accelerator center FAIR will be presented at the renowned international real estate trade fair Expo Real in Munich. FAIR is a unique facility that is currently being built at the GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung in Darmstadt. After the successful premiere presentation of the FAIR project last year, which attracted great interest, the focus at Expo Real will mainly be on the technical building equipment and other construction work. Expo Real will be held from October 4 to 6, 2017. Lots of news about the construction status of the future particle accelerator center FAIR will be presented at the renowned international real estate trade fair Expo Real in Munich. FAIR is a unique facility that is currently being built at the GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung in Darmstadt. After the successful premiere presentation of the FAIR project last year, which attracted great interest, the focus at Expo Real will mainly be on the technical building equipment and other construction work. Expo Real will be held from October 4 to 6, 2017.

The research center construction project is extraordinary in both scientific and technical terms. It requires customized solutions in many areas and is continually growing. In Munich, trade fair visitors and potential contractors will be able to gain comprehensive information about the FAIR construction project and the opportunities for participating in it. The FAIR project will be presented at the stand that showcases the “science city” Darmstadt (stand number C1 331). In addition, the Technical Managing Director of FAIR and GSI, Jörg Blaurock, will report on current developments and the next steps of the project at the FAIR event beginning at 1:45 p.m. on October 4 in the Metropolarena at Expo Real. The title will be “A Megaproject under Construction — the FAIR Particle Accelerator Research Facility at Darmstadt.”

In the next phases of the ongoing construction activities, numerous separate systems will be integrated with one another. Building construction, civil engineering, accelerator development and construction, and scientific experiments are closely coordinated with one another in an integrated overall plan. The complex construction project is divided into manageable contract award packages. One of the biggest areas is the technical building equipment, which includes heating, air conditioning, ventilation, and power supply. The total amount of the contract award packages for the technical building equipment lies in the nine-digit range. These contracts are also divided into contract award units that are appropriate for the market. The contract awarding calendar for this package, from the call for tenders to the contract award, will last from summer 2018 until summer 2019. In addition, plans call for the contract for the shell construction on the North building site to be awarded in the last quarter of 2017. This is in line with the detailed contract awarding plan for FAIR. One year later, in the fourth quarter of 2018, it will be followed by the shell construction on the South building site. The contracts for construction logistics, crane systems, and lifts will be awarded by spring 2018.

The construction of the unique FAIR particle accelerator facility at the GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung in Darmstadt began a few weeks ago. The groundbreaking ceremony for the FAIR ring accelerator SIS 100, which attracted great media interest all over Germany, was an important step for the project. It marked the start of the building construction and civil engineering work. A further milestone for the construction activities is the ongoing work to connect the existing accelerator systems of the GSI Helmholtzzentrum to the new international FAIR center.

FAIR at the Expo Real

International Trade Fair for Property and Investment, October 4 - 6, 2017, Munich

FAIR Stand No.: C1 331

FAIR event (in German):  Metropolarena, Stand No.: C1 334
Wednesday, 4. Oktober 2017, 13.45-14.15 Uhr
„Megaprojekt in der Realisierung – Der Forschungsbeschleuniger FAIR in Darmstadt“

Jörg Blaurock, Technischer Geschäftsführer FAIR und GSI
Thomas Burkhard, Project Director (ad interim) FAIR Site and Buildings
Moderation: Klaus Ringsleben, Chair FAIR Building Advisory Committee

About FAIR

FAIR will be one of the largest and most complex accelerator facilities in the world. The centerpiece of the facility is a ring accelerator with a circumference of 1,100 meters. Engineers and scientists are working in international partnership to advance new technological developments in a number of areas, – such as information technology and superconductor technology. Around 3,000 scientists from all over the world will be able to conduct top-level research at FAIR. Their outstanding experiments will generate new fundamental insights into the structure of matter and the evolution of the universe. Alongside Germany, FAIR's shareholders are the countries Finland, France, India, Poland, Romania, Russia, Sweden, and Slovenia. The United Kingdom is an associated partner.

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news-2968 Tue, 26 Sep 2017 10:09:00 +0200 ESA and GSI to offer experimentation opportunities for studying cosmic radiation https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////esa_and_gsi_to_offer_experimentation_opportunities_for_studying_cosmic_radiation.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=b0443ca087998be3af47744888b3415e Cosmic radiation poses a major threat to the health of astronauts exploring outer space. In order to study in more detail the biological effects of cosmic radiation and find out solutions for effective radiation protection measures in space, the European Space Agency (ESA) and GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung have been cooperating on the research project IBER (Investigations into Biological Effects of Radiation) for almost ten years. The project enables groups of researchers to use the GSI accelerator facilities to study the biological effects of cosmic radiation. Now, scientists will have a further opportunity to study this topic at GSI and utilize beam time. Cosmic radiation poses a major threat to the health of astronauts exploring outer space. In order to study in more detail the biological effects of cosmic radiation and find out solutions for effective radiation protection measures in space, the European Space Agency (ESA) and GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung have been cooperating on the research project IBER (Investigations into Biological Effects of Radiation) for almost ten years. The project enables groups of researchers to use the GSI accelerator facilities to study the biological effects of cosmic radiation. Now, scientists will have a further opportunity to study this topic at GSI and utilize beam time. On September 26, an information workshop will be held at the GSI Campus to prepare researchers to use the facility.

Last summer the ESA called on scientists to submit ideas for experiments that would help to improve the risk assessment of cosmic radiation doses or enable protective countermeasures that would make safe manned space travel possible. Out in space, the crews of spacecraft can be subjected to a variety of doses and types of radiation that can impair their health.

The results of such studies will not only serve future space travel but also provide information for a better life on earth. For example, data from the experiments can provide insights about the radiation risks on earth and help improve radiation therapies for treating cancer.

At the workshop, the participants will discuss the various project ideas and their feasibility. Researchers will then be able to submit detailed proposals, which a committee of experts will decide on by the end of the year. Scientists from GSI will assist the committee in evaluating the proposals. After the committee has made its evaluations, GSI will set aside a total of 160 hours of beam time in 2018 and 2019 for the selected proposals. To conduct their experiments, the researchers will use the GSI accelerator facilities. These have already been vastly improved and will be further upgraded technically for their future use as preaccelerators for the unique accelerator center FAIR (Facility for Antiproton and Ion Research), which is currently being built at GSI.

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news-2961 Fri, 22 Sep 2017 13:22:37 +0200 PANDA Collaboration honors PhD: Prize for Dr. Erik Etzelmüller https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////panda_collaboration_honors_phd_prize_for_dr_erik_etzelmueller.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=f0bc0f7dc77248963506eef72053eb7a Dr. Erik Etzelmüller has received the PANDA PhD Prize 2017 for his doctoral thesis at GSI, FAIR, and the Justus Liebig University in Gießen. The award was presented by the spokesman of the Panda Collaboration, Klaus Peters from GSI, at the most recent Panda Collaboration meeting at the BINP in Novosibirsk. Dr. Erik Etzelmüller has received the PANDA PhD Prize 2017 for his doctoral thesis at GSI, FAIR, and the Justus Liebig University in Gießen. The award was presented by the spokesman of the Panda Collaboration, Klaus Peters from GSI, at the most recent Panda Collaboration meeting at the BINP in Novosibirsk.

Physicist Erik Etzelmüller, 30, received the prize of €200 and a certificate for his dissertation titled “Developments towards the technical design and prototype of the PANDA Endcap Disc DIRC“. His doctoral advisor was Professor Dr. Michael Düren from the Justus Liebig University in Gießen. The Panda Collaboration has awarded the PhD Prize once per year since 2013 in order to honor the best dissertation written in connection with the Panda Experiment. Panda will be one of the key experiments of the future accelerator center FAIR. The experiment focuses on antimatter research as well as on various topics related to the weak and the strong force, exotic states of matter, and the structure of hadrons. More than 500 scientists from 17 countries currently work in the Panda Collaboration.

In his dissertation, Dr. Etzelmüller studied the Endcap Disc DIRC, a Cherenkov detector that forms one of the main components of the charged particle identification of the Panda detector, which is being built at the FAIR accelerator facility.

Candidates for the PhD Prize are nominated by their doctoral advisors. In addition to being directly related to the Panda Experiment, the nominees’ doctoral degrees must have received a rating of “very good” or better. Up to three candidates are shortlisted for the award and can present their dissertations at the Panda Collaboration meeting. The winner is chosen by a committee that is appointed for this task by the Panda Collaboration. The Panda Collaboration awards the PhD Prize to specifically honor students’ contributions to the Panda project.

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news-2949 Wed, 20 Sep 2017 09:40:45 +0200 Transformers delivered for FAIR https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////transformers_delivered_for_fair.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=892f5f64a58c4f572e7d54550355b516 Three high-performance transformers that will be needed for the future particle accelerator facility FAIR were delivered to the FAIR construction site in Darmstadt. Together with a fourth transformer that was already on site, the approximately eight-meter-long devices will connect FAIR to the regional power grid. Three high-performance transformers that will be needed for the future particle accelerator facility FAIR were delivered to the FAIR construction site in Darmstadt. Together with a fourth transformer that was already on site, the approximately eight-meter-long devices will connect FAIR to the regional power grid.

The transformers were manufactured in Turkey and transported by ship from Izmir to Rotterdam. From there, they were carried by 30-meter-long lowboys to Darmstadt-Wixhausen. “Thanks to our foresighted planning, everything went well despite the long distances and the lengthy approval process for obtaining a special road transport permit,” says transformer specialist Udo Zerb from e-netz Südhessen.

In the next step, the transformers will be installed into the North and South Transformer Stations, which are currently under construction. Each transformer will weigh 114 tons when it is in operation. “The transformers will convert the 110 kV high-voltage electricity that arrives at GSI and FAIR through underground high-voltage cables to 20 kV so that the current reaches the various consumers on our campus in line with their needs,” says Karl-Heinz Trumm, Head of the Electric Power Systems department at FAIR and GSI. FAIR will need up to 90 megawatts of electricity for its powerful electromagnets, infrastructure, cooling purposes, and other needs. The South Transformer Station will ensure that FAIR is supplied with enough electricity to meet its normal needs. The North Transformer Station is being built to supply energy to the SIS18 and SIS100 ring accelerators, because the special mode of operation of the normally conducting and superconducting magnets puts extreme demands on the quality of the electricity supply system. The North Transformer Station is scheduled to go into operation in December 2017, while the South Transformer Station is expected to go on line in spring 2018.

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news-2943 Fri, 15 Sep 2017 09:34:39 +0200 GET_INvolved — new internship and training programme at GSI and FAIR https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////get_involved_new_internship_and_training_programme_at_gsi_and_fair.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=afe5673dbe3b1b5977709eb6eebbe2dc It has been a few weeks since the first participants of the GET_INvolved programme have arrived at GSI and FAIR. The new initiative is intended to give international students and young scientists a chance to do an internship and/or a training at GSI and FAIR — a special opportunity to get to know the research institute and life in Germany! Read more in the interview with the three participants Anushka Tibrewal, Jayati Vijaywargiya and Mateusz Sewiolo. Information on applications for GET_INvolved (see below). It has been  a few weeks since the first participants of the GET_INvolved programme have arrived at GSI and FAIR. The new initiative is intended to give international students and young scientists a chance to do an internship and/or a training at GSI and FAIR — a special opportunity to get to know the research institute and life in Germany! Read more in the interview with the three participants Anushka Tibrewal, Jayati Vijaywargiya and Mateusz Sewiolo. Information on applications for GET_INvolved (see below).

 

Where do you come from and what are you studying?

Anushka: I’m studying Bachelor of Engineering with focus on Computer Science in North West India.

Jayati: Me too. We both are studying at Mody University. I’m writing my bachelor’s thesis at the Department for Superconducting Magnets.

Mateusz: I’m doing my bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering at Technical University of Bialystok in Poland.

 

How did you learn about the GET_INvolved programme?

J: I learned about GSI already in my first year because some of our senior students were here before. I can say that it was my goal to come here from the beginning, which is one reason why I studied so hard. Earlier this year one of my professors asked me if I was interested to do an internship here.

A: I got to know about GET_INvolved through my professor, too. I took the chance at once!

M: I was chosen for this programme because I stood out in the skills that are involved in my tasks here. I guess I was considered a good representative of my university.

 

What makes GET_INvolved special for you?

M: I’m working on a dedicated software for calibrations of precise measurement devices. It's great to be part of a project which is important for so many detectors!

A: It's the first time that I work on my own project and that I can apply the knowledge I learned at university on a theoretical level. I create a database for the fragment separator group which allows for a better sorting of data. I have the feeling that I already learned an incredible lot and could evolve personally and intellectually in a very short period of time.

J: It's great that we have three months here and are supported by a dedicated mentor.  With the support, we could realize our own ideas after getting familiar with the surroundings. To get to know Germany and Europe a bit is also very interesting! I visited Paris, Heidelberg and was in a beer garden for the first time in Darmstadt.

 

Which experiences did you have at GSI and FAIR so far?

A: The tasks and challenges I faced here made me more independent. In the beginning I was quite shy but by now I dare to be more extroverted.

J: I’m impressed by the motivation and passion of the people who work here. Sometimes it is just more important to solve a problem than to have “Feierabend” (editor: see below). I have the feeling that one enjoys more freedom in individual organisation and execution of tasks here. That gives me more room for creativity.

M: I noticed that as well. This freedom makes working here enjoyable.

 

What would you tell your fellow students about the GET_INvolved programme?

A: I would very much recommend my fellow students to apply for this programme. I am in Europe for the first time — in the beginning it wasn’t easy because I was a bit homesick — but now I would love to stay longer. I made friends and really like it here!

M: I think that the programme would be interesting for many students at my university because there are many projects in coding and about measuring technique. It is important though to be able to speak English well.

J: If you get the chance you should really do an internship here. Many questions and doubts I had in university were clarified because I got to know how Computer Science gets implemented in the scientific field of research.

 

Do you have plans for the future?

M: I like what I am doing here. I would be happy to come back.

A: When I complete my bachelor I would like to do my master in Europe. Maybe I could come to GSI and FAIR for my PhD or Postdoc.

J: I would like to continue working in physics for my master — preferably in Germany!

More information on GET_INvolved

The GET_INvolved Programme welcomes applications throughout the year. The available positions depend on the applicants’ interests and profile.

Participants benefit from multiple forms of support. Accommodation and travel expenses can be funded. Scholarships from European or national funds, fellowship programmes and enterprise funding to sponsorship by GSI/FAIR are available for prospective participants to apply. Participants are also extensively supported in administrative processes.

Interested in participating in the GET_INvolved programme? Apply by sending your CV and a motivation letter indicating you research interest, in particular, how it corresponds to the topics or projects at GSI. Successful applicants will be able to demonstrate the relevance of their research interest to existing projects at GSI, and how they can contribute to the projects. Applications can be sent to the Office of International Student Programme at international(at)gsi.de or international(at)fair-center.eu. There is no deadline.

Footnote: Feierabend = a German word referring to getting off work, and literally means ‘evening celebration’

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news-2935 Fri, 08 Sep 2017 10:53:24 +0200 40 years of cooperation with the Institute of Modern Physics in China https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////40_years_of_cooperation_with_the_institute_of_modern_physics_in_china.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=acd2169a2b1b9e4cb9cceb12db5d2146 The collaboration between GSI and the Institute of Modern Physics (IMP) in Lanzhou, China, celebrates its 40th anniversary this year. On this occasion, a commemorative event was held on 4 September 2017 in Beijing, China, followed by a workshop for storage ring physics and accelerator technologies. Speakers at the ceremonial act were the head of the IMP, Professor Guoqing Xiao, as well as the Scientific Managing Director of GSI and FAIR, Professor Paolo Giubellino. The collaboration between GSI and the Institute of Modern Physics (IMP) in Lanzhou, China, celebrates its 40th anniversary this year. On this occasion, a commemorative event was held on 4 September 2017 in Beijing, China, followed by a workshop for storage ring physics and accelerator technologies. Speakers at the ceremonial act were the head of the IMP, Professor Guoqing Xiao, as well as the Scientific Managing Director of GSI and FAIR, Professor Paolo Giubellino.

The cooperation between GSI and Chinese research facilities can look back on a long tradition. The starting points were personal contacts between Professor Yang Chengzhong, the founding director of IMP, and Professor Rudolf Bock, member of the founding directorate and for many years head of the former Nuclear Physics I department of GSI, at the International Nuclear Physics Conference at Caen in 1976, and during mutual visits to GSI and Beijing in 1977. At that time, the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) launched a program in heavy-ion physics, aiming for the construction of a heavy-ion accelerator at the IMP. In 1979, the first three guest scientists from China visited GSI in the framework of the Humboldt fellow program and worked in the field of nuclear reactions for about two years. A regular exchange program was established in the following years with stays of Chinese researchers at GSI and visits of GSI scientists to Lanzhou, which is still on-going. Contacts with other CAS institutes were also established during that time.

Scientific exchange and cooperation with China has since prospered into many areas ranging from hadron, nuclear and atomic physics to plasma research, radiation-biology, radiation safety, accelerator physics and vacuum technology. In particular with the start of the Chinese Cooler-Storage Ring project (CSR) in 1998 in Lanzhou and FAIR and the Chinese accelerator project HIAF lately, scientific and technical cooperation has been further intensified. Due to the good and efficient cooperation the International Cooperation Award in 2002 and the Friendship Award for Foreign Experts of China in 2006 were conferred to Dr. Nobert Angert and the ‘Dunhuang award’ for international cooperation of Gansu local government in 2004 was granted to Dr. Otto Klepper, both GSI experts. A Helmholtz-CAS Joint Research Group has been established, which facilitated exchange of students and young postdocs between both institutions. The group has produced approx. 100 peer-reviewed scientific publications so far. Several GSI/FAIR scientists hold IMP guest professorship awards, are members of Chinese programme advisory committees or collaborate on R&D work for both GSI and the IMP.

The course for a continuation of this valuable collaboration has already been set. In spring 2017 the agreement of collaboration between IMP and GSI has been prolonged for another five years and also the FAIR GmbH has been added as a partner.

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news-2925 Tue, 05 Sep 2017 08:53:00 +0200 Yuri Litvinov is adjunct professor at the university of Heidelberg https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////yuri_litvinov_is_adjunct_professor_at_the_university_of_heidelberg.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=3e7aa12e26510f22f4c65b637a54db4e GSI and FAIR researcher Dr. Yuri Litvinov was awarded with an adjunct (German: außerplanmäßige or APL) professorship at the Ruprecht-Karls-University in Heidelberg. Already in 2011 Litvinov had completed his habilitation and was teaching atomic- and – since the last year – also accelerator physics as a so-called Privatdozent. His achievements in teaching and research were honoured by the nomination for an APL professorship. This took place in January 2017, and the evaluation process was now completed: The faculty and the senate of the university approved the appointment. GSI and FAIR researcher Dr. Yuri Litvinov was awarded with an adjunct (German: außerplanmäßige or APL) professorship at the Ruprecht-Karls-University in Heidelberg. Already in 2011 Litvinov had completed his habilitation and was teaching atomic- and – since the last year – also accelerator physics as a so-called Privatdozent. His achievements in teaching and research were honoured by the nomination for an APL professorship. This took place in January 2017, and the evaluation process was now completed: The faculty and the senate of the university approved the appointment. The certificate of the adjunct professorship has been handed to Dr. Litvinov by the vice-president of the University of Heidelberg, Professor Beatrix Busse, on 29 August 2017.

Litvinov studied physics in St. Petersburg and is a GSI researcher since 1999. In 2003 he defended with distinction his PhD thesis at the university of Gießen (doctoral supervisor Professor Hans Geissel). Starting in 2009 he spent two years at the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg for his habilitation. Since then Litvinov is actively involved in the APPA/SPARC research activities led by Professor Thomas Stöhlker. Among other tasks at GSI he is the coordinator of the experiments at the experimental storage ring ESR, and since 2012 he is the head of the SPARC Detectors department, which has now moved to the Atomic Physics division. Since 2016, Litvinov is the principal investigator of the ERC Consolidator Grant „ASTRUm“ funded by the EU.

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news-2915 Wed, 30 Aug 2017 14:35:38 +0200 In the roadshow “33 Stories – One State-of-the-art Treatment,” patients tell their stories. One of them is about tumor therapy at GSI https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////in_the_roadshow_33_stories_one_state_of_the_art_treatment_patients_tell_their_stories_on.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=b0e3b9eb07e0baf6eb85844aaf5c60e6 When he was six years old, Pascal was diagnosed with a malignant bone tumor. He received heavy-ion radiation treatment at the GSI Helmholtzzentrum in Darmstadt, where this therapy was developed. And he recovered. Today Pascal is 18 years old, and he’s one of the ambassadors of the traveling exhibition “33 Stories – One State-of-the-art Treatment.” This roadshow, which was organized by the German Association of University Clinics, is currently touring university hospitals all over Germany. It will open at the University Medical Center Mainz on September 4. When he was six years old, Pascal was diagnosed with a malignant bone tumor. He received heavy-ion radiation treatment at the GSI Helmholtzzentrum in Darmstadt, where this therapy was developed. And he recovered. Today Pascal is 18 years old, and he’s one of the ambassadors of the traveling exhibition “33 Stories – One State-of-the-art Treatment.” This roadshow, which was organized by the German Association of University Clinics, is currently touring university hospitals all over Germany. It will open at the University Medical Center Mainz on September 4.

In the exhibition, patients tell their stories, briefly or at length, on life-sized photo posters. There are 33 stories altogether, told directly from 33 German university clinics. They are representative of the millions of people in Germany who place their trust in the top performance of German university medicine day after day. The stories are moving, because they offer personal insights into the patients’ lives. The exhibition will run from September 4 to 13 in the foyer of the Clinic and Polyclinic for Obstetrics and Gynecology, Building 102, Langenbeckstraße 1, 55131 Mainz.

Pascal’s story will also be told there. He was one of the patients for whom the new ion-beam cancer therapy was considered viable. From 1997 to 2008, more than 440 patients with tumors of the head and neck were treated very successfully with ion beams at GSI’s accelerator facility as part of a pilot project. The advantage of this new therapy is that the ion beam selectively destroys tumors while sparing the surrounding healthy tissue. The pilot project, which is now over, was conducted by GSI together with the Radiation Oncology Center at Heidelberg University Hospital, the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), and the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf. Since 2009, patients have routinely been treated with heavy ions at the Heidelberg Ion-Beam Therapy Center (HIT). In November 2015 a second large treatment center for 12C ions and protons began operating in Germany with the opening of the Marburg Ion-Beam Therapy Center. On the basis of these very positive results, this form of therapy is now an accepted medical procedure. Further research will focus on applying the new treatment method to other tumors as well.

“Thanks to this therapy, I can lead a completely normal life today,” Pascal says. You can read his story here.

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news-2894 Fri, 25 Aug 2017 14:35:57 +0200 In Neptune, it’s raining diamonds: International team of researchers with GSI participation uncovers the inner workings of cosmic ice giants https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////in_neptune_its_raining_diamonds_international_team_of_researchers_with_gsi_participation_uncove.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=755cbf679f98adbef29356db1c78d515 In cooperation with colleagues from Germany and the United States, researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have managed to demonstrate ‘diamond showers’ forming in the ice giants of our solar system. Using the ultra-strong X-ray laser and other facilities at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC) in California, they simulated the conditions inside the cosmic giants. For the first time ever, they were able to observe the fission of hydrocarbon and the conversion of carbon into diamonds in real time. One GSI scientist participated in the experiments. The results were published in the journal “Nature Astronomy”. Press release of the Helmholtz-Zentrums Dresden-Rossendorf from 21 August 2017

In cooperation with colleagues from Germany and the United States, researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have managed to demonstrate ‘diamond showers’ forming in the ice giants of our solar system. Using the ultra-strong X-ray laser and other facilities at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC) in California, they simulated the conditions inside the cosmic giants. For the first time ever, they were able to observe the fission of hydrocarbon and the conversion of carbon into diamonds in real time. One GSI scientist participated in the experiments. The results were published in the journal “Nature Astronomy”.

The interior of planets like Neptune or Uranus consists of a solid core swathed in thick layers of “ice”, which is mostly made up of hydrocarbons, water and ammonia. For a long time, astrophysicists have been speculating that the extreme pressure that reigns more than 10,000 kilometers beneath the surface of these planets splits the hydrocarbons causing diamonds to form, which then sink deeper into the planet’s interior. “So far, no one has been able to directly observe these sparkling showers in an experimental setting,” says Dr. Dominik Kraus, who is the head of a Helmholtz Young Investigator Group at HZDR. That was precisely the breakthrough Kraus and his international team have now achieved: “In our experiment, we exposed a special kind of plastic – polystyrene, which also consists of a mix of carbon and hydrogen – to conditions similar to those inside Neptune or Uranus.”

Shock waves charging through the sample

They did this by driving two shock waves through the samples, triggered by an extremely powerful optical laser in combination with the X-ray source Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS) at SLAC. At a pressure of about 150 gigapascal and temperatures of about 5,000 degrees Celsius, they compressed the plastic. “The first smaller, slower wave is overtaken by another stronger second wave,” Dominik Kraus explains. “Most diamonds form the moment both waves overlap.” And since this process takes only a fraction of a second, the researchers used ultrafast X-ray diffraction to take snapshots of the diamonds’ creation and the chemical processes involved. “Our experiments show that nearly all the carbon atoms compact into nanometer-sized diamonds,” the Dresden researcher summarizes.

Based on these results, the authors of the study assume that the diamonds on Neptune and Uranus are much larger structures and likely sink down to the planet core over a period of thousands of years. “Our experiments are also providing us with better insights into the structure of exoplanets,” Kraus anticipates. Researchers can measure two main metrics in these cosmic giants outside of our solar system: The first one is mass, based on positional changes of the mother star; and the other is its radius, derived from the shadow that is cast as the planet passes a star. The relation between these two metrics offers clues about the planet’s chemical make-up, for instance, whether it consists of light or heavy elements.

“And, for their part, these chemical processes inside the planet tell us something about its vital properties,” Dominik Kraus continues. “This allows us to improve planetary models. As our studies show, previous simulations have not been accurate.” In addition to astrophysical insights, these experiments also hold potential for practical application. The nano-diamonds created in the experiments can be used in electronic instruments, medical procedures, or as cutting  materials in industrial production. Current production of such diamonds is mainly done by blasting. Laser-based production could mean a cleaner and more controllable process.

The researchers from HZDR and SLAC were joined by scientists from the University of California in Berkeley, the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, the GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung, the Osaka University, the TU Darmstadt, the European XFEL, the University of Michigan and the University of Warwick.

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news-2874 Mon, 14 Aug 2017 10:43:00 +0200 Successful demonstration of a new superconducting RF cavity design with beam https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////successful_demonstration_of_a_new_superconducting_rf_cavity_design_with_beam.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=cbfc7e8e0987a51fe5157fbf67cf766d In cooperation with GSI, physicists and engineers from the Helmholtz Institute Mainz and the Goethe University Frankfurt have performed the first successful test of the novel design of crossbar (CH) superconducting RF cavity with beam. This is one of the main milestones for the proposed superconducting continuous wave (cw) linac, which can open up new research opportunities at GSI and FAIR with its a continuous beam of particles. Among other things, this makes the accelerator particularly well suited for the creation of new chemical elements. In cooperation with GSI, physicists and engineers from the Helmholtz Institute Mainz and the Goethe University Frankfurt have performed the first successful test of the novel design of crossbar (CH) superconducting RF cavity with beam. This is one of the main milestones for the proposed superconducting continuous wave (cw) linac, which can open up new research opportunities at GSI and FAIR with its a continuous beam of particles. Among other things, this makes the accelerator particularly well suited for the creation of new chemical elements.

The cw-linac demonstrator that consists of one CH-cavity was studied with beam for the first time in June and July 2017, using a beam of heavy ions at a test facility of GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung. In this test, argon ions were injected into this innovative system and accelerated. “The continuous wave linac demonstrator achieved full particle transmission and reached the target beam energy,” says Dr. Winfried Barth, who heads the cw-linac development team. “The cw-linac demonstrator used an acceleration voltage of 1.6 megavolts to accelerate a heavy-ion beam with an intensity of 1.5 particle microamperes to the target energy over a distance of just 70 cm,” said Barth, describing the success of the test. The result confirms the effectiveness and capabilities of the novel design of CH-cavity, whose development was largely funded by the Helmholtz Institute Mainz through the Acceleraor R&D programme "Matter and Technologies" by the Helmholtz Association.

Because the proposed cw-linac is to generate a continuous beam of particles, it is particularly useful for the creation and examination of super-heavy elements, which is one of the traditional fields of research at GSI, the Helmholtz Institute Mainz, and the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz. At GSI, scientists have discovered a total of six new elements and investigated their chemical and physical properties. The proposed cw-linac’s continuous beam will not only benefit the heavy element programme, but also experiments in the field of materials research.

“A normally conducting accelerator would have to be much longer than the proposed superconducting cw-linac. Moreover, it would need huge amounts of energy to create such strong electromagnetic fields and it would also have to be strongly cooled,” says Dr. Florian Dziuba, who designed, developed, and commissioned the CH-cavity, a radio-frequency accelerator structure that is the key component of the continuous wave linac. Dziuba performed this work as part of his doctoral thesis at Goethe University in Frankfurt.

Because of its compact structure, the superconducting continuous wave linac will be able to save space and conserve considerable amounts of resources in the future. The linac is expected to accelerate ions to as much as 10% of the speed of light over a distance of 13 meters. “The system’s multicellular structure, which is being used here for the first time, is the most complex superconducting radio-frequency structure to have ever been built for use with an ion beam,” says Dziuba, who is now employed at the Helmholtz Institute Mainz.

The current test module of the cw-linac is approximately 2.20 m long and has a diameter of 1.10 m. In order to become superconducting, the accelerator’s interior, which is made of niobium, is cooled down to -269°C. “The fact that the demonstrator achieves the expected performance is a big success for the whole team and shows that the new design of the CH-cavity is groundbreaking”, says Barth.

About the Helmholtz Institute Mainz

GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung (GSI), Darmstadt, and Johannes Gutenberg University (JGU), Mainz, jointly established the Helmholtz Institute Mainz (HIM) in 2009 in order to further strengthen their partnership, which has existed for many years. At its location in Mainz, the HIM conducts experiments and theoretical investigations concerning the structure, symmetry, and stability of matter and antimatter. The institute receives its basic funding from the German federal government and the state of Rhineland-Palatinate. JGU supports the HIM by providing it with infrastructure.

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news-2859 Thu, 10 Aug 2017 10:43:05 +0200 Funding for quantum dynamics research at GSI and FAIR https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////funding_for_quantum_dynamics_research_at_gsi_and_fair.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=1edd0b09f7238d69a76f58bd4cc1362d FAIR (Facility for Antiproton and Ion Research), which is currently being built at GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung, will open up outstanding possibilities for experimentation. These possibilities are already attracting a great deal of interest from the scientific community. That’s because the planned FAIR accelerator facility has a huge potential to provide us with new insights. This view is also shared by the German Research Foundation (DFG), which has now approved around €168,000 in German funding for a research project that combines the activities of two world-renowned research groups (one from Germany, the other from Russia) and focuses on the research that will be conducted at GSI and FAIR in the future. Russia will provide an equivalent amount in funding for the Russian group.  FAIR (Facility for Antiproton and Ion Research), which is currently being built at GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung, will open up outstanding possibilities for experimentation. These possibilities are already attracting a great deal of interest from the scientific community. That’s because the planned FAIR accelerator facility has a huge potential to provide us with new insights. This view is also shared by the German Research Foundation (DFG), which has now approved around €168,000 in German funding for a research project that combines the activities of two world-renowned research groups (one from Germany, the other from Russia) and focuses on the research that will be conducted at GSI and FAIR in the future. Russia will provide an equivalent amount in funding for the Russian group.

Among other things, the money will be used to provide two years of funding for a postdoc position for studying the theory and experiments at GSI and FAIR. This research will focus on the PHELIX high-energy laser system, the CRYRING storage ring (FAIR’s first ion storage ring), and the ESR experimental storage ring. More specifically, the research will address the preconditions for investigating relativistic quantum dynamics in experiments at the GSI and FAIR research facilities. The DFG funding proposal was made in response to a joint German-Russian application submitted by Professor Thomas Stöhlker, Head of the Atomic Physics Division at GSI, Director of the Helmholtz Institute Jena, an outstation of GSI in Jena (HIJ), and holder of the Chair at the Friedrich Schiller University Jena, Institute for Optics and Quantum Electronics, and by Professor Vladimir Shabaev, Head of the Quantum Mechanics Division at St. Petersburg State University. Moreover, Dr. Angela Bräuning-Demian and Dr. Alexandre Gumberidze from the Atomic Physics Division of GSI Darmstadt are also extensively involved in the project.

Collisions of heavy ions play a key role in researching the relativistic quantum dynamics of electrons in very strong electromagnetic fields. The implementation of the FAIR project will open up new opportunities for investigating the collisions of super-heavy ions and atoms at low energies. Experimental investigations of such collisions are being planned at GSI and FAIR, and the associated theoretical studies are urgently needed. “This will be addressed by our research project, which is why it is coming at precisely the right time,” state Stöhlker and Shabaev, who also emphasize how important this work will be for the understanding of additional experimental findings at GSI/FAIR in Darmstadt.

Another important aspect is the collaboration between the two groups. While Russia covers the costs of the Russian group, Germany does the same for the German group. “It’s a very effective way for promoting international cooperation between the groups,” say Stöhlker and Shabaev.

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news-2847 Wed, 26 Jul 2017 09:25:00 +0200 Welcome Summer Students! https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////welcome_summer_students.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=6e21c43581528dc277f77b271121617a 36 students from 17 countries take part in this year’s Summer Student Programme at GSI and FAIR. They spend eight weeks on the campus. During their stay they participate actively in GSI and FAIR experiments and get to know the everyday life at an accelerator institute. 36 students from 17 countries take part in this year’s Summer Student Programme at GSI and FAIR. They spend eight weeks on the campus. During their stay they participate actively in GSI and FAIR experiments and get to know the everyday life at an accelerator institute.

Every summer student gets the chance to work on his own research project within the current GSI and FAIR experiments. The topics range from accelerator science to tumour therapy and astrophysics. In public lectures, which are part of the programme, the summer students learn about GSI and FAIR research and scientific results.

For many of the students, who come mainly from European but also from more distant countries like Mexico, China, India or South Africa, the Summer Student Programme is the first step to a masters or doctorates thesis at GSI. The Summer Student Programme, which takes place for the 37th time, is organised together with the graduate school HGS-HIRe. Apart from the scientific programme there are also social events like cooking together or exploring the region.

The public lectures are in English and are open to everyone. Lecture Programme

More Information

Summer Student Programme of GSI and FAIR

Programme, lectures and more

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news-2826 Wed, 19 Jul 2017 15:23:10 +0200 Collaboration of CNAO and GSI to develop a next generation ion beam therapy system https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details////collaboration_of_cnao_and_gsi_to_develop_a_next_generation_ion_beam_therapy_system.htm?no_cache=1&cHash=1439e1fac81fe1bba0b325ed2433b9f3 The Italian National Center for Oncological Hadrontherapy “Centro Nazionale di Adroterapia Oncologica” (CNAO) and the GSI Helmholtz Center for Heavy Ion Research signed a contract to improve the technology of cancer therapy with heavy ions. Within the collaboration the established CNAO control system will be installed and further developed at GSI in Darmstadt. The Italian National Center for Oncological Hadrontherapy “Centro Nazionale di Adroterapia Oncologica” (CNAO) and the GSI Helmholtz Center for Heavy Ion Research signed a contract to improve the technology of cancer therapy with heavy ions. Within the collaboration the established CNAO control system will be installed and further developed at GSI in Darmstadt.

Ion beam therapy has been established as cutting edge technology in the fight against cancer permitting a more precise irradiation in comparison to conventional therapy with high doses to the tumour while sparing surrounding healthy tissue. CNAO in Italy is one of the facilities in Europe where this radiation modality is available for therapy; it uses the raster scan technology that has been developed at GSI. To enhance this technique the irradiation control system of CNAO will now be installed at GSI. “The control system developed at CNAO has the advantage of flexibility and easy maintenance because it is based on modern industrial components”, explains Michael Scholz, head of the GSI Biophysics department. “This facilitates rapid implementation of the new developments planned at GSI.”

The main goals of these improvements are to reduce the irradiation time and to integrate motion management techniques, allowing a more precise treatment of tumors that move with breathing. The transfer of these upgrades to the clinical environment for the benefit of patients is then largely facilitated thanks to the close collaboration with CNAO. “We expect this collaboration to offer great advantages for the future treatment of patients with moving tumoral targets, such as liver or lung cancer”, says Sandro Rossi, General Director of CNAO. First test irradiations with the new control system at the GSI therapy cave are planned for 2018.

CNAO and GSI have been collaborating successfully for many years. For the therapy center in Italy GSI for example developed, installed and launched parts of the injector lin