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Programme Matter and the Universe

International Partner Institutions

The international cooperation within the programme is excellent. It works across countries and continents, across cultures and languages and keeps itself above political differences. The research is conducted where it can be done best, depending on human resources, infrastructure availability and site characteristics.


It will be noted that the size and number of the international partner institutions varies with the topics. This feature has developed naturally and is due to the concentration on few huge research instruments in particle physics, the use of a wider range of medium-sized facilities in hadron and nuclear physics, and a widespread set of smaller experimental facilities and observatories in astroparticle physics.




CERN is host to the LHC, the world's largest particle collider, and its experiments ATLAS and CMS and thus the most prominent strategic partner of DESY and KIT in the topic Fundamental Particles and Forces. Germany is the largest contributor to CERN and traditionally included many universities and Max-Planck institutes. With Helmholtz institutes joining LHC activities at CERN their roles in the experiments have become highly visible; much of this can be attributed to their experience with large-scale research facilities which makes it natural that DESY is counted on as a host laboratory for the development of LHC upgrade components.




KEK is the Japanese national laboratory for high energy physics and is another strategic partner. DESY and the University of Hamburg started to form scientific ties to Japan more than 40 years ago; for several decades Japanese scientists have participated in the experiments at PETRA and HERA. With the KEK institute now constructing the ambitious upgrade to their B-factory SuperKEKB and several German universities engaging in the physics programme of Belle II, an excellent opportunity arose for DESY to apply its expertise. DESY engages in physics analysis and the detector upgrade, and provides a technical solution to an aspect of the final-focus system inside the Belle II detector. This engagement in a running experiment nicely complements the existing ties to KEK in the development of the e+e International Linear Collider. KEK and DESY are the central institutes in advancing detector R&D and the accelerator technology for the ILC.



Besides CERN and KEK, close collaborations exist — for example — with FNAL and SLAC. In addition there is a long list of partner institutions (about 40) with strategic importance for activities within the topic Fundamental Particles and Forces, both on the experimental and theoretical side. 




The Facility for Antiproton and Ion Research (FAIR GmbH) is an international company funded by 11 member states which will construct and operate the accelerator and detector complex at the GSI campus in Darmstadt, and is a strong partner in the topic Cosmic Matter in the Laboratory. There are institutions from more than 50 countries involved in the design, preparation and research of the four experimental pillars CBM, NUSTAR, PANDA, and APPA.

For CBM, besides the JINR Dubna, the main international partners are VECC Kolkata leading a consortium of 12 Indian institutions, the Chinese CBM consortium comprising institutions in Wuhan, Hefei and Beijing, the Nuclear Physics Institutes in Moscow and St. Petersburg, the universities in Cracow and Warsaw, the NIPNE Bucharest, and Ukrainian institutions in Kharkov and Kiew.

For NuSTAR, there are major international contributions to the experiments from Belgium (Leuven), Bulgaria (Sofia), Finland (Jyvaeskylae), France (Orsay, Saclay), India (Delhi, Kalkota, Mumbai, Chandigarh), Israel (Weizmann Institute), Italy (Legnaro), Poland (Krakow), Romania (Bucharest), Russia (Dubna, Gatchina), Spain (Madrid, Valencia, Barcelona, Granada, Huelva, Salamanca, Santiago, Sevilla), Sweden (Chalmers, Lund, Stockholm, Uppsala), United Kingdom (Daresbury, Birmingham, Brighton, Edinburgh, Liverpool, Manchester, Surrey, University West of Scotland, York).

Members of 68 institutes are involved in the development and construction of the PANDA experiment with Helmholtz and the German universities comprising a large number of these. The largest international contributions come from from IHEP, JINR and PNPI (Russia), LNF and INFN (Italy), KVI (Netherlands), Uppsala University (Sweden), IFJ, JU and NCBJ (Poland), IN2P3 (France) and BARC (India).



RIKEN is a partner of GSI and FAIR in the Helmholtz Alliance Cosmic Matter in the Laboratory and a partner in the topic Cosmic Matter in the Laboratory. It hosts the Radioactive Ion-Beam Facilty (RIBF) at the Nishina Accelerator Center close to Tokyo. Driven by a 540-MeV ring cyclotron and exploiting the in-flight separator BigRIPS, RIBF currently boasts the world's most intense ion beams for many very neutron-rich secondary beams. RIKEN collaborates with GSI on several topics of relevance for the FAIR accelerator and detector systems. There is also a close collaboration in the physics and chemistry of superheavy elements.




The Joint Institute of Nuclear Research (JINR) in Dubna, Russia, has collaborated strongly with FZJ, GSI and FAIR for many years and is a partner in Cosmic Matter in the Laboratory. A particularly successful project is the search for new superheavy elements performed jointly by teams from JINR and GSI. The JINR accelerator division, which is very experienced in the construction and operation of superconducting magnets, is designing and constructing the superconducting quadrupole modules for FAIR/SIS100. A group from JINR constructed drift chambers for the HADES experiment, and now participates in the research program at GSI. Groups from JINR are heavily involved in the preparation of the FAIR experiments. The calorimeter CALIFA is being built at JINR for the R3B experiment at FAIR. In addition, the instrumented yoke of the PANDA solenoid together with the muon detector are being designed and constructed at JINR. Groups from JINR are responsible for the design and construction of the CBM superconducting dipole magnet. Moreover, about one third of the CBM Silicon Tracking System will be built by JINR. A dedicated joint CBM/NICA test-beam facility is under construction at the Nuclotron which will also be used to perform rst physics experiments. In addition, JINR and KIT are cooperating in a direct Dark Matter search (topic Matter and Radiation from the Universe).




The Thomas Jefferson National Laboratory (JLab) is a national laboratory at Newport News (USA). Complementary approaches, for example in hadron spectroscopy and hadron structure observables, yield direct connections on the physics level. Moreover, there are common challenges, for example in building advanced particle-identi cation detectors. There is a common JLab-GSI-HIM exchange programme for theorists which supports activities in the topic Cosmic Matter in the Laboratory.




The "Institut national de physique nucléaire et de physique des particules" (IN2P3) comprises more than 400 scientists in the field of nuclear and particle physics in about 20 institutes all over France. It is a strong strategic partner for detector and accelerator research and development. There is a commonly funded IN2P3-GSI exchange programme for experimental physicists as well as theoretical physicists allowing for mutual French-German collaborations on the level of GSI experiments and FAIR developments in the topic Cosmic Matter in the Laboratory.




The European Center for Theoretical Studies in Nuclear Physics and Related Areas (ECT*) in Trento, Italy, is focused on the development of new theoretical approaches and connections of nuclear physics with astrophysics, elementary particle physics, and atomic physics. It is a strong partner of GSI and FAIR in the topic Cosmic Matter in the Laboratory. It has a dedicated programme to host numerous workshops and research collaboration meetings, runs an annual doctoral training program for graduate students on a different specialised topic in nuclear theory each year, and has a strong postdoctoral research program.




The Universidad Nacional de San Martin (UNSAM) in Buenos Aires is cofunding the Institute of Detector Technology and Astroparticle Physics (ITeDA) with two national funding agencies of Argentina. UNSAM and KIT are creating a joint doctoral training programme, UNSAM-ITeDA-KIT host a Helmholtz International Research Group (HIRG-0021) and ITeDa is an associated member of the Helmholtz Alliance for Astroparticle Physics. ITeDa director Alberto Etchegoyen has been awarded a Helmholtz International Fellowship in 2013.




The Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics (KICP) at the University of Chicago was founded in 2001 as one of the National Science Foundation's Physics Frontier Centers. The research is devoted to interdisciplinary cosmological physics. The institute consists of 20 faculty, 13 post-doctoral fellows and 25 graduate students and is now a permanent entity at the University of Chicago. KICP is an associated member of the Helmholtz Alliance for Astroparticle Physics.




The "Laboratoire AstroParticule et Cosmologie" (APC, CNRS/IN2P3), Paris, includes at present 75 permanent researchers and some 65 technical and support sta working in three fields: high-energy astrophysics, cosmology and gravitation, and neutrino physics. APC is involved in many international collaborations and plays an important or major role in several of them; it is an associated member of the Helmholtz Alliance for Astroparticle Physics.




A Memorandum of Understanding between the Russian National Research Centre Kurchatov Institute (NRC) and KIT was recently signed to foster the direct Dark Matter search. Both institutions are members of the EURECA Collaboration. Kurchatov has long-standing expertise in rare-event searches (neutrinoless double-beta decay, solar neutrino physics with Borexino, sterile neutrinos). It contributes to EURECA with detector developments (scintillator R&D, neutron counters, calibration sources), special materials and background modelling for rare-event searches.




The Institute of Nuclear Research (INR) of the Russian Academy of Science has an internationally recognised reputation for its wide-spread research activities within astroparticle physics. The INR is an indispensable partner for KIT because the former Troitsk neutrino mass experiment has been upgraded and is now a unique facility to investigate plasma effects with charge densities, electromagnetic configurations and geometries comparable to those at KATRIN. INR is an associated member of the Helmholtz Alliance for Astroparticle Physics.