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Topic 2: "Cosmic Matter in the Laboratory"

This programme topic is dedicated to the following research themes:

  • quark-gluon dynamics and phases in very dense and/or very hot nuclear matter,
  • the dynamics, structure and stability of hadrons, the mechanism of hadronisation, and strong CP-violation, and
  • the generation of complex clusters of elementary matter and chemical elements and the limits of stability for exotic nuclei, the symmetry between matter and antimatter

In detail, we intend to achieve the following scientific and technological goals:

  • top priority is the realisation and commissioning of the GSI contributions to the FAIRmodules 0 to 3. FAIR will foster and extend the leading role of Helmholtz and Germany in the above research areas for the next two to three decades.
  • phased construction and operation of the FAIR Tier-0 analysis centre (Green IT Cube), the theory HPC Cluster and the Tier-2 analysis centre for ALICE;
  • besides FAIR construction and R&D for FAIR: reduced in-house research and user operation at GSI and FZJ, with a focus on:
    • relativistic heavy ion physics at GSI (HADES) and CERN/LHC (ALICE);
    • hadron physics (FZJ/GSI); nuclear structure and nuclear astrophysics (GSI)
  • in-house research (LK I) at the Helmholtz-Institute Mainz will focus on preparatory R&D activities for FAIR, accelerator development and super-heavy element research.
GSI and FZJ play a leading role in the construction and commissioning of the FAIR accelerators. In addition, both centres make leading contributions to the experimental installations of the four FAIR collaborations APPA, CBM/HADES, NUSTAR and PANDA, which altogether comprise more than 2,500 scientists. Sustained networking with German universities and other national and international research institutes will be guaranteed by the Helmholtz Alliance Cosmic Matter in the Laboratory (ExtreMe Matter Institute, EMMI), the LOEWE-Helmholtz Centre of Excellence (HICforFAIR) and the Helmholtz Institutes in Mainz and Jena (APPA and the Helmholtz Institute Jena are embedded into the programme From Matter to Materials and Life). To accomplish this, EMMI and HICforFAIR need to be funded in a sustained way. This also applies to the research training of young scientists in the Helmholtz Graduate School "HiRe for FAIR".


For the previous Large-scale Facilities (LKII) of this topic, FZJ-COSY and GSI-accelerators, only very reduced user operation will be possible due to the realisation of FAIR.