State of Hesse has invested some 65 million euros in both research facilities since 2008

Hesse's Minister of Science Boris Rhein visits FAIR and GSI

Looking at the FAIR construction site: Prof. Guenther Rosner, Minister Boris Rhein, Prof. Horst Stoecker, Prof. Boris Sharkov, Dr. Juergen Henschel. Photo: Gaby Otto for FAIR

Minister of Science Boris Rhein today visited the Facility for Antiproton and Ion Research in Europe GmbH (FAIR GmbH) and the GSI Helmholtz Centre for Heavy Ion Research in Darmstadt. In doing so he gathered information on the completion of a new construction phase at the FAIR facility and the recent confirmation of a new superheavy element with the atomic number 117 at GSI.


Minister of Science Boris Rhein: “The scientific successes are a clear illustration of the potential of the two facilities. The future of Hesse is fundamentally dependent on the development of research, technology and innovation. Only by maintaining the innovation capability of our state are prosperity and sustainable growth also possible for future generations. With the new accelerator facility FAIR we, together with the German government and international partners, are establishing the sustainable basis for further chapters to be written in this scientific success story.”


An international team of scientists was recently able to prove the existence of the superheavy element with the atomic number 117 and thus confirm its discovery by a Russo-American team of scientists. This proof is the latest research success at the Hessian large-scale research center, at which the elements 107 to 112 had already been discovered. Two of these elements bear the names hassium and darmstadtium, thus honoring the state and city in which GSI is located.


Under the management of FAIR GmbH, and with significant contributions from GSI, the new international accelerator facility FAIR, one of the largest research projects worldwide, is to be erected in the coming years. FAIR will then offer 3,000 scientists from all over the world a unique research establishment, at which they can acquire new findings on the composition of matter and the development of the universe, from the big bang through to the present day. In addition to basic research, new medical therapy and diagnostic procedures, and new materials – for space flight and more energy-efficient high-performance computers for example – are to be developed at FAIR.


“In the 40 years and more since its establishment GSI has set scientific milestones which have received international recognition. We in Hesse are proud of this, and together with FAIR we look forward to exciting results in basic research and to innovative applications,” concluded Minister of Science Boris Rhein.


Background information:


GSI Helmholtz Centre for Heavy Ion Research is a research center financed by the German government and the state of Hesse, as well as by the states of Thuringia and Rhineland-Palatinate, with an annual budget of over 108 million euros and more than 1,200 employees. GSI operates a unique large-scale accelerator facility for ion beams. Each year around 1,200 scientists from all over the world use the ion beams for experiments in basic research. The research program is wide-ranging, from nuclear and atomic physics, through plasma and material research, to biophysics and medicine. GSI is the main shareholder in FAIR, and inasmuch is responsible for the construction and operation of the accelerator facility.

The international particle accelerator FAIR, which is currently being built by the Facility for Antiproton and Ion Research in Europe GmbH (FAIR GmbH), is a large-scale research facility funded by the German state and nine international partners with an investment volume of some 1.6 billion euros. FAIR is currently being erected in Darmstadt in the immediate vicinity of the GSI Helmholtz Centre for Heavy Ion Research. FAIR will in all probability commence its research operations in 2018 and then be a magnet for more than 3,000 scientists from all over the world. 3,000 scientists from more than 50 countries are already participating in the construction of the FAIR accelerator and experiments.

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