The Helmholtz Research Academy Hesse for FAIR (HFHF) has been established for fundamental research to improve our understanding of the universe.
As an unique "think tank" at the forefront of fundamental physics research, the aim is to use the properties and behavior of particles to gain new insights into the past of the cosmos and to make predictions about how the universe will develop.
The research academy serves and combines five institutions in Hesse, namely: the Goethe University Frankfurt (GUF), the Frankfurt Institute for Advanced Studies (FIAS), the Technical University Darmstadt (TUDa), the Justus-Liebig University Giessen (JLU) and the GSI Helmholtz Centre for Heavy Ion Research in Darmstadt (GSI).
In total more than 50 professors and principal investigators from these five institutions are brought together by the academy in order to perform excellent research in a collaborative way making use of strong synergies between the partners.
The research funded by HFHF makes especially use of and is related to the upcoming FAIR accelerator facility at GSI. The facility comprises an accelerator tunnel for particles and heavy ions more than a kilometer long and is presently under construction at the site of GSI in Darmstadt. Particles and heavy ions such as antiprotons, gold and lead ions can be accelerated to nearly the speed of light.
The HFHF research programme includes moreover applied research, for which the accelerated particles and ions will be used to develop new materials and to further develop proven cancer therapies through irradiation as well as further cutting-edge research from Hesse.
The research programme of the research academy consists of basically five main research topics, namely:
- Physics of hot and dense matter (CBM): Experiment and Theory
- Hadron physics (PANDA): Experiment and Theory
- Nuclear structure physics and nuclear astrophysics (NuSTAR): Experiment and Theory
- Atomics, plasma and applied physics (APPA): Experiment
- Accelerator physics and scientific computing
In total eight programme directors elected by the principal investigators for the given research area build the HFHF board of directors that is chaired by the managing director and his deputy. They are supported by the central coordination and administration office. In addition, there is a council of the academy, in which each of the partner institutions is represented. The council is accompanied by its external programme advisory board.