Paul Scherrer Institute

The Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI) is a multi-disciplinary research institute which belongs to the Swiss ETH-Komplex covering also the ETH Zurich and EPFL. It was established in 1988 by merging in 1960 established EIR (Eidgenössisches Institut für Reaktorforschung = Federal Institute for Reactor Research) and in 1968 established SIN (Schweizerisches Institut für Nuklearphysik = Swiss Institute for Nuclear Physics). The PSI is a multi-disciplinary research centre for natural sciences and technology. In national and international collaboration with universities, other research institutes and industry, PSI is active in solid state physics, materials sciences, elementary particle physics, life sciences, nuclear and non-nuclear energy research, and energy-related ecology. It is the largest Swiss national research institute with about 1,400 (year 2011) members of staff, and is the only one of its kind in Switzerland. PSI is a User Laboratory and runs several particle accelerators. The 590MeV cyclotron, with its 72MeV companion pre-accelerator, is one of them. As of 2011, it delivers up to 2.2mA proton beam, which is the world record for such proton cyclotrons.

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Shortcut to protein portraits

All living organisms, from bacteria to humans, rely on proteins to perform their vital functions. How these proteins accomplish their tasks depends on their structure. Researchers from the Paul Scherrer Institute ...

Dec 16, 2014
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When thawing glaciers release pollutants

As glaciers increasingly melt in the wake of climate change, it is not only the landscape that is affected. Thawing glaciers also release many industrial pollutants stored in the ice into the environment. ...

Nov 03, 2014
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Sixteen nanometres in 3D

Tomography enables the interior of a vast range of objects to be depicted in 3D – from cellular structures to technical appliances. Researchers from the Paul Scherrer Institut (PSI) have now devised a method ...

Jun 11, 2014
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New insight into photosynthesis

The way that algae and plants respond to light has been reinterpreted based on results from experiments studying real-time structural changes in green algae. Under particular lighting conditions during photosynthesis, ...

May 27, 2014
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Quantum melting

When ice is warmed, the water molecules forming its structure vibrate more and more vigorously until finally the forces between them are no longer strong enough to hold them together – the ice melts and ...

Apr 07, 2014
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How botox binds to neurons

Botulinum neurotoxin A, better known as botox, is a highly dangerous toxin that causes paralysis in man that may prove fatal. In cosmetic applications the paralysing action of small doses is used in a specific ...

Nov 18, 2013
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