Milestones and Perspectives: Parliamentary State Secretary Dr. Michael Meister and Member of the Bundestag Dr. Astrid Mannes visit GSI and FAIR


The significant progress made in the construction of the FAIR facilities and the current research priorities were the focus of the visit by Dr. Michael Meister, Parliamentary State Secretary to the Federal Minister of Education and Research, and Dr. Astrid Mannes, Member of the Bundestag from Darmstadt.

The guests were welcomed by Professor Paolo Giubellino, Scientific Managing Director and Jörg Blaurock, Technical Managing Director as well as Dr. Ingo Peter, Head of Public Relations. Dr. Michael Meister is directly elected Member of the Bundestag for the Bergstraße constituency, Dr. Astrid Mannes is directly elected Member of the Bundestag for the Darmstadt constituency.

First, the guests gained an overview of the 20-hectare construction site from the viewing platform directly adjacent to the construction area. Subsequently, the FAIR construction site was visited at close range during a tour. One highlight was the walk-through of the recently completed underground accelerator tunnel. The central ring accelerator SIS100 will be the heart of the future facility.

The CBM experiment, which is well advanced in construction, was also shown. The unique CBM (Compressed Baryonic Matter) experiment is one of the four research pillars of the future FAIR accelerator facility. The focus is on the investigation of highly compressed baryonic matter, as it exists in neutron stars and in the center of supernova explosions.

Efficient construction progress was also noted in the construction field south: this includes the structural work for six buildings and for a further experimental facility - the Superconducting Fragment Separator (Super-FRS). There, the focus is on research topics concerning the nuclear structure and interactions of extremely rare, exotic particles.

State Secretary Meister was impressed by the significant progress made on the construction site in recent years despite pandemic conditions: "I have seen today how a vision is becoming reality in an impressive way. With the ring closure of the accelerator tunnel, a major milestone of the FAIR project has been reached: For this I would like to congratulate all those involved very warmly."

Another important focus of the visit was the high-tech development for FAIR and the very successful current FAIR Phase 0 experiments. The guests were able to gain an insight into the high-tech developments in the test facility for cryogenic magnets, where all superconducting components for the SIS100 accelerator ring are tested for their specifications before being installed in the FAIR facility.

An example of the scientific capabilities at GSI and FAIR is the R3B (Relativistic Radioactive Reaction Experiment) experiment, which was also visited. Within the R3B experiment, which was set up for FAIR in international collaboration, reaction experiments with high-energy exotic nuclei are conducted. Through this, an understanding of the origin of heavy elements can be gained.

"I am particularly impressed by the fact that although FAIR is still in the middle of construction, groundbreaking science is already being carried out here today. Whether it is Covid 19 research with heavy ions or the first experiments at the CRYRING accelerator - FAIR is already making an important contribution to find solutions to major challenges faced by society," says Meister. (BP)