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Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron

DESY is one of the world’s leading accelerator centers. DESY develops, builds and operates large accelerator facilities, which are used to investigate the structure of matter. The combination of photon science and particle physics at DESY is unique in Europe. DESY carries out fundamental research in a range of scientific fields and focuses on three principal areas:


DESY develops, builds and operates large facilities that accelerate particles to extremely high energies.

Photon science

Physicists, chemists, geologists, biologists, medical researchers and materials scientists use the special light from DESY’s accelerators to observe structures and processes in the microcosm.

Particle physics

Scientists from around the world use DESY’s accelerators to investigate the fundamental building blocks and forces of the universe.

The spectrum of research at DESY is correspondingly diverse, as is the cooperation with partners both national and international. All in all, more than 3000 scientists from approximately 40 countries come to Hamburg each year to work at DESY. The research program is not restricted to the facilities in Hamburg and Zeuthen. Indeed, DESY is closely involved in a number of major international projects, including the European X-ray free-electron laser XFEL in Hamburg, the Large Hadron Collider LHC in Geneva, the neutrino telescope IceCube at the South Pole and the International Linear Collider ILC.

Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron DESY

  • A Research Centre of the Helmholtz Association
  • A publicly funded national research center
  • Established in Hamburg on 18 December 1959
  • Locations: Hamburg and Zeuthen (Brandenburg)
  • Budget: 230 million euros (Hamburg: 211 million euros; Zeuthen: 19 million euros)
  • Financing: 90% on the national level (Federal Ministry of Education and Research); 10% on the state level (the city of Hamburg and the federal state of Brandenburg)
  • Employees: 2300, including 650 scientists, who work in the fields of accelerator operation, research and development
  • Guest scientists: More than 3000 from 40 countries each year
  • Training: More than100 young people in commercial and technical vocations­
  • Young scientists: More than 700 diploma students, doctoral candidates and postdocs


DESY in figures


locations: Hamburg und Zeuthen


percent of DESY is financed by the federal government (Federal Ministry of Education and Research, 10 % by the city of Hamburg and the state of Brandenburg, respectively)


million basic budget


people work at DESY. In addition, more than 3000 guest researchers from over 40 nations come to DESY every year.



Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron DESY

Notkestraße 85
22607 Hamburg Postal address:
22603 Hamburg GERMANY

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