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The Universe in the Laboratory: Open House at GSI and FAIR on Sunday, May 7

Photo: Christian Grau for GSI

Fascinating science at Open House Day

Picture: GSI

Open House Day



Unravel the secrets regarding the structure and development of the universe. Visit the experimentation facility that was the first to create the new element darmstadtium, which is named after the city of Darmstadt. See the accelerator experts in the main control room at work and have talks with international scientists. Examine the treatment place where a new radiation treatment was developed to combat cancer. Explore the construction site, where the unique particle accelerator facility FAIR (Facility for Antiproton and Ion Research) will be built. These are just a few of the highlights that GSI Helmholtzzentrum and the future accelerator center FAIR will present at the location in Darmstadt when they open their doors to the public for Open House Day from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday, May 7 (last admission at 5 p.m.). 

On this day, researchers, engineers, and mechanics will be inviting visitors into their accelerator and experimentation facilities, workshops, computing center, and labs. They will provide tours, answer questions, and hold discussions with visitors at around 30 stations. This will enable visitors to explore the research campus on their own and to go on an exciting voyage of discovery into the world of GSI and FAIR.

Fascinating accelerators and detectors

The Open House Day will provide the public with a wide range of opportunities to get in touch with the science world: It extends from the accelerator facilities through which ions fly at around 270,000 kilometers per second during research operation to the large-scale experiments’ detectors that are up to six meter high and which provide the scientists with evidence of hundreds of reaction products at the same time. Among the other highlights of the day are unique infrastructure facilities such as the target lab, which produces extremely thin films that serve as targets for experiments, and a six-story high-performance computing center known as the Green IT Cube.

Tour of the FAIR construction site

On Open House Day, the general public will, for the first time, also be able to get a close-up view of the construction site of the FAIR facility. At the approximately 20-hectare site northeast of the GSI campus, builders are currently constructing a fascinating scientific facility that will encompass accelerator and storage rings, high-tech infrastructure, and experimentation opportunities for around 3,000 scientists from all over the world, who plan to create and investigate cosmic matter right in the laboratory. Guided bus tours will enable visitors to examine the construction site where preparatory building activities are already under way. The first high-tech systems for FAIR can also be viewed in Darmstadt, where experts will explain the construction plans. In addition, a huge 3D model of FAIR will provide visitors with a vivid impression of one of Europe’s largest research projects.

Experiments for children and teenagers

On Open House Day, GSI and FAIR will also offer a special program aimed primarily at younger visitors. It will enable them to satisfy their curiosity during exciting science shows devoted to “fire and ice” or to become active themselves by participating in experiments that reveal the nature of physical phenomena. Children will also be able to enjoy bouncy castles and additional animations.

People who would one day like to work at one of the fascinating research facilities can obtain information about the wide variety of job opportunities at GSI and FAIR: From traineeships and jobs in scientific, technical, and administrative areas to construction work and academic careers. The big exhibition tent will house presentations by the human resources department, trainees, and the Helmholtz Graduate School for Hadron and Ion Research (HGS Hire), which coordinates the training of doctoral candidates for scientific professions at GSI and FAIR. The works council and the equal opportunities office will also be on hand to present their work.

To the “Zum schnellen Ioni” restaurant

The open house day will be rounded out by an extensive supporting program, featuring outdoor music performances at the pond, various exhibitions, and a science quiz. A diverse range of food and beverages will be offered at the “Zum schnellen Ioni” restaurant, the “Quark-Teilchen” coffee bar, and various stands throughout the grounds.

Information about Open House Day 2017 and how to get there can be found at the special Web page www.gsi.de/open-house. Admission is free of charge to all of the features on the GSI and FAIR campuses. The organizer expects that thousands of visitors will take advantage of this opportunity to experience the fascination of science up close at GSI and FAIR.

Fascinating science at Open House Day
Open House Day
Like this young visitor on Open House Day several thousand guests can get an insight into the accelerators and resarch topics at FAIR and GSI.
Emblem for Open House Day.
Photo: Christian Grau for GSI
Picture: GSI