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Research can be stinky and sticky. Research workstations can be 400 meters below ground or at temperatures permanently colder than minus 20 degrees Celsius.

In the category HELMHOLTZ Extreme, we show you these extraordinary and fascinating research projects, locations and scientific phenomena.

The world’s deepest borehole

East of Nuremberg researchers have drilled a hole in the earth that is more than nine kilometers long. Today the shaft is mainly used as a test laboratory for measuring instruments.


The pettiest measuring device

It helps to research the global climate and identifies rare raw materials - in an exacting manner. One of them is housed at the Helmholtz Centre in Potsdam.


The largest weapon to combat cancer

It takes up almost as much space as a football field, uses as much electricity as a small town: the radiation facility of the Heidelberg Ion-Beam Therapy Center (HIT).


The most appetising scent of research

Mouthwatering: it smells like smoked food at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) – and no ham in sight. The reason for this are dried plant remains. Scientists try to produce fuel from this biomass.


The 62-metre air pump

No storm or hurricane can achieve this: in Göttingen, an enormous air pump accelerates air to exceed 25,000 kilometres per hour.


The strongest magnetic field

The Dresden High Magnetic Field Laboratory at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) is highly attractive to magnets and material researchers from all across the world.


The intelligent plant surface

When certain aquatic plants are submerged, they simply take their air for breathing along with them. They thus are able to survive under water for many months.


The heaviest element

“Super-heavy elements” exist for mere milliseconds before they decay. Researchers at the GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung are going to incredible lengths to create them. How are these elements produced and why are scientists looking for them?


The stickiest compound currently researched

No amount of force will do to unstick the ultimate super glue. Quarks, the building blocks of protons, occur in pairs or in groups of three and are inseparably connected to their partnering quark(s).


The hottest Spot

Bringing the Sun's fire to Earth - scientists at the IPP in Garching attempt no less.


The smelliest research product

If you mix a rotten egg with rancid butter, you can smell the substance which is the source of some of our sustainable energy.


Nothing can shake the PICO electron microscope

The PICO electron microscope at the Forschungszentrum Jülich achieves the record resolution of 50 billionths of a millimetre, thus enabling it to render visible atoms.


The workplace with the highest pressure

When Jürgen Schauer and his colleagues dive in the sea to 400 meters, weighs on their workplace a pressure of about 40 bar - that's 40 times more than at the surface.


Communications and External Affairs

Helmholtz Head Office

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