FAIR particle accelerator kick-off event

November 7, 2007

Nuclear physicists from around the world are today celebrating the official launch of the particle accelerator FAIR with a gala event and a scientific symposium. The Facility for Antiproton and Ion Research is being set up on the grounds of the Gesellschaft fur Schwerionenforschung in Darmstadt. The heavy ion research institute is part of the Helmholtz Association.

“Fifteen countries are now involved in this unique project,” says Prof. Jürgen Mlynek, President of the Helmholtz Association. FAIR will eventually cost around €1.2 billion, 75 percent of which will be covered by Germany, the rest being contributed by the other participating countries.

“FAIR is intended to answer some very fundamental questions of physics that up to now have been impossible to investigate experimentally,” Mlynek explains. Why protons weigh more than the three quarks they consist of, for example, is a mystery. And the powerful force that binds together the particles in the nucleus of an atom can also be examined more closely in experiments at FAIR. These will enable physicists to understand how atoms and heavy elements formed to create matter following the big bang.

From this afternoon you can access a podcast on FAIR and an interview with its project director, Prof. Hans Gutbrod, in German and English at: www.helmholtz.de/de/Aktuelles/Helmholtz-Audio.html

More detailed information is available at: www.gsi.de/fair/index.html

Source: Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres

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not rated yet Nov 07, 2007
While we wait for CERN to go in to black hole mode, this should captivate. In addition to gathering more info concerning hadrons, we might get some insight into how/why quarks maintain fractional charge as well as some clues on their 'color', the matter/antimatter imbalance, the info transfer of gluons holding together the nucleus, and even some possible breakthroughs in discovering/understanding the possible Higgs particles and Higgs mechanism. This would bring physicists much closer to deducing the origin of mass, as of now a wall we can't get through. Once we do, it all opens up. (well, a lot of it)

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