The new accelerator facility FAIR is under construction at GSI. Learn more.


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16.01.2012 | Construction Site Preparation Begins for FAIR Accelerators

FAIR GmbH/GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung GmbH

3D-view of the planned facility FAIR


On December 5, 2011, workers began preparing the construction site for the planned particle accelerator facility FAIR (Facility for Antiproton and Ion Research). The new facility will be located close to the GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung GmbH in Darmstadt. The parks and gardens authority of the city of Darmstadt, a center of scientific research, had approved the preparation of the site in November.

The work will be carried out in two stages. The area to the east of GSI and south of Prinzenschneise is expected to be cleared by the end of February, although the time required for this task will depend greatly on the weather. In the second stage, the area north of Prinzenschneise will be cleared in the winter of 2012/2013 to make room for the underground ring accelerator.

“It will be possible to reforest a large part of the construction site once FAIR has been completed. The area to the north of Prinzenschneise, where the underground ring accelerator will be located, will once again be completely covered with woods,” explains Director Günther Rosner of FAIR GmbH. “The southern areas of the FAIR complex are also earmarked for reforestation. The construction site facilities will be located here when the building starts. In compensation, we will plant extensive forests in areas such as Arheilgen. Some of this work has in fact already been carried out. After FAIR is completed, the loss of woods will be fully offset as required by law. Once the building work is finished, the construction site will be transformed into a wooded parkland that is very similar to a natural forest.”

For safety reasons, the Prinzenschneise area will be closed to the public while the forest is being cleared. After the setting up of the construction site in the early summer of 2012, Prinzenschneise will probably be fully closed to the public for the duration of the construction work. Detour signs will be put up to steer cyclists, pedestrians, and joggers around the site. Prinzenschneise will again be fully accessible after the construction work is completed.

The FAIR accelerator will make it possible to conduct a wider range of experiments than ever before, enabling scientists from all over the world to gain new insights into the microscopic structure of matter and the evolution of the universe since the Big Bang. The FAIR accelerator center to be built in Darmstadt is one of the largest projects for basic research in physics worldwide. Roughly 3,000 scientists from more than 40 countries are already working on the plans for the accelerator and experimentation facilities. FAIR will generate antiproton and ion beams of a previously unparalleled intensity and quality. When it is completed, the compact FAIR facility will consist of eight ring accelerators up to 1,100 meters in circumference, two linear accelerators, and around 3.5 kilometers of beam pipes. The existing GSI accelerators will serve as pre-accelerators for the new facility.

3D-view of the planned facility FAIR
The beam lines are shown in red. The existing buildings of the GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung can be seen on the left.
FAIR GmbH/GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung GmbH