GSI - Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung GmbH

The GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung in Darmstadt operates a worldwide leading accelerator facility for research purposes.

About 1,400 employees are working at GSI. In addition, every year approximately 1,000 researchers from universities and other research institutes around the world come to GSI to use the facility for experiments.

GSI is a limited liability company (GmbH). Shareholders are the German Federal Government with 90 %, the State of Hesse with 8 %, the State of Rhineland-Palatinate and the Free State of Thuringia with 1 % each. They are represented in the GSI supervisory board by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research and the respective state ministries. GSI is a member of the Helmholtz Association, Germany's largest research organization.


Founded in 1969, the GSI has as mission the construction and operation of accelerator facilities and research with heavy ions.

GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung GmbH


Scientific research has provided an increasingly comprehensive insight into the structure of matter and of the development of the universe. At the same time, the new insights generated many technical developments and applications. The bigger part of the insights attained we owe to experiments at accelerator facilities.

A key instrument for research at GSI is such an accelerator facility. In a combination of linear accelerator and synchrotron, in huge vacuum pipes, charged atomic nuclei, lead by magnetic fields, are accelerated to very high velocities and afterwards shot onto a metal foil. An analysis of the "debris" produced thereby, the new particles created, provides new insights and findings about the structure of the investigated systems and the powers holding them together.

The main focus of the GSI research program is the basic investigation of the field of nuclear physics and atomic physics. In parallel, application-oriented research activities in materials research, plasma physics, biophysics and nuclear medicine were developed. To supply state-of-the-art facilities for science, the accelerator facilities and the experiment facilities are permanently being enhanced and improved.

Our Instruments and figures

Large Facility Equipment

  • - Linear Accelerator UNILAC
  • - Heavy Ion Synchrotron SIS
  • - Experimental Storage Ring ESR
  • - Fragment separator FRS
  • - Highenergy-/Highperformance Laser PHELIX
  • - Several large spectrometer and detector systems
  • - Medical irradiation facility for cancer therapy
  • - Participation in the ALICE detector of the European Organization for Nuclear Research CERN

Visiting Scientists from universities and research institutes




Institutions the GSI has cooperations with