Helmholtz Association

Research Field Structure of Matter

The Helmholtz research field Structure of Matter explores the constituent parts of matter and the forces acting between them over completely different orders of magnitude, from the smallest units, elementary particles, to the largest structures in the universe.

Goals

Helmholtz research on the structure of matter explores the building blocks of matter and the forces operating between them at a wide range of levels, from elementary particles to complex functional materials to gigantic objects and structures in the universe.

ZoomMit dem Großexperiment KATRIN (KArlsruhe TRItium Neutrino Experiment) soll die Masse von Neutrinos bestimmt werden. Bild: KATRIN/KIT
Mit dem Großexperiment KATRIN (KArlsruhe TRItium Neutrino Experiment) soll die Masse von Neutrinos bestimmt werden. Bild: KATRIN/KIT

An important part of this work entails the development, construction and operation of large-scale devices and complex infrastructure. The Helmholtz Association provides researchers from Germany and abroad with a variety of large-scale scientific facilities that in many cases are unique, including detectors, data acquisition systems and particle accelerators for synchrotron-radiation, neutron and ion sources. Two planned facilities will create research infrastructure in Germany that is unrivalled in the world: the European X-ray laser XFEL, which is being built by the Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron DESY in collaboration with European partners, and the Facility for Antiproton and Ion Research (FAIR), which will be constructed with international partners at the GSI Helmholtz Centre for Heavy Ion Research in Darmstadt. The Helmholtz Alliances “Physics at the Terascale”, “Extreme Densities and Temperatures – Cosmic Matter in the Laboratory” and “Astroparticle Physics” have brought together expertise from Helmholtz centres, universities and Max Planck institutes. Platforms such as CFEL, HIC for FAIR, KNMF, NanoLab, EMSC and CSSB are further strengthening these ties with universities and research centres from Germany and abroad.

Outlook

Preparations are currently underway to reorganise research on the structure of matter into three programmes, which are to be put in place in 2015. All disciplines related to basic research – particle and astroparticle physics, physics of hadrons and nuclei, and atomic and plasma physics – will be combined in the “Matter and the Universe” programme. In the second programme, “From Matter to Materials and Life”, the operators of modern radiation sources will work closely with an international user community from the natural sciences, engineering and medicine to develop new materials and active substances and to investigate phenomena in condensed matter, electromagnetic plasmas and biological systems. The third programme, “Matter and Technologies”, will focus on new technological concepts for fields such as particle acceleration, detector systems and the optimization of high-performance computing and data storage. The goal of this restructuring process is to strengthen synergies and to develop enabling technologies for the world of tomorrow.

Research Programmes


Elementary Particle Physics

This programme studies the smallest building blocks of matter and the forces acting between them. The insights gained have a direct impact on our understanding of the evolution of the early universe.

More details about Research Field Elementary Particle Physics


Astroparticle Physics

Astroparticle Physics combines the study of the smallest building blocks with the exploration of the largest structures of the universe. Astroparticle physicists study the sources of cosmic radiation and the mechanisms of cosmic accelerators.

More details about Research Programme Astroparticle Physics


Hadrons and Nuclear Physics

Hadrons – these comprise also the nuclear components protons and neutrons – are made up of quarks that are bound together by their strong interaction.

More details about Research Programme Physics of Hadrons and Nuclei


Research with Photons, Neutrons and Ions (PNI)

The centres participating in this programme are pursuing their own research projects with the strategic goal of using and optimising the full potential of the large-scale facilities and supporting external users as efficiently as possible.

More details about Rearch Programme Research with Photons, Neutrons and Ions (PNI)

The Programmes in the Funding Period 2010-2014

Seven Helmholtz centres work together on research into the structure of matter: the Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron DESY, the Forschungszentrum Jülich, the GSI Helmholtz Centre for Heavy Ion Research, the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin für Materialien und Energie, the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden- Rossendorf (HZDR), the Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht Centre for Materials and Coastal Research, and the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT).

Scientists investigating the structure of matter work within four programmes:

Research Programmes


Elementary Particle Physics

This programme studies the smallest building blocks of matter and the forces acting between them. The insights gained have a direct impact on our understanding of the evolution of the early universe.

More details about Research Field Elementary Particle Physics


Astroparticle Physics

Astroparticle Physics combines the study of the smallest building blocks with the exploration of the largest structures of the universe. Astroparticle physicists study the sources of cosmic radiation and the mechanisms of cosmic accelerators.

More details about Research Programme Astroparticle Physics


Hadrons and Nuclear Physics

Hadrons – these comprise also the nuclear components protons and neutrons – are made up of quarks that are bound together by their strong interaction.

More details about Research Programme Physics of Hadrons and Nuclei


Research with Photons, Neutrons and Ions (PNI)

The centres participating in this programme are pursuing their own research projects with the strategic goal of using and optimising the full potential of the large-scale facilities and supporting external users as efficiently as possible.

More details about Rearch Programme Research with Photons, Neutrons and Ions (PNI)

Insights into Research Field Structure of Matter

Here, we present projects currently being carried out by scientists at the Helmholtz Centres.

Insights into Research Field Structure of Matter

Contact

Prof. Dr. Helmut Dosch

Research field coordinator Structure of Matter

Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron DESY

Notkestraße 85
2607 Darmstadt

Phone: +49 40 8998-2408
Fax: +49 40 8998-4304
angelika.lorenzen (at) desy.de
http://www.desy.de


Dr. Ilja Bohnet

Research Field Structure of Matter

Helmholtz Association

Phone: +49 30 206329-68
ilja.bohnet (at) helmholtz.de


25.07.2014