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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Injector 2—a pre-accelerator for protons

As fundamental building blocks of matter, protons are a part of all things that surround us. At the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI, however, they step out of their usual role and are deployed to generate other particles, namely ...

date9 hours ago in General Physics
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Historical copper trapped in ice

South America's mining industry supplies half the world with copper. The world's largest mines are located in the Andes. Yet just when copper production began there has remained unclear, until now. Very few artefacts from ...

dateFeb 08, 2017 in Earth Sciences
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Mercury found to be tectonically active

Images acquired by NASA's MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging (MESSENGER) spacecraft show geologic features that indicate Mercury is likely still contracting today, joining Earth as a tectonically ...

dateSep 26, 2016 in Space Exploration
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En route to better transformers

Researchers at the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI have found a way of looking inside the iron core of transformers. Transformers are indispensable in regulating electricity both in industry and in domestic households. The better ...

dateSep 07, 2016 in General Physics
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Catching proteins in the act

Some of the fastest processes in our body run their course in proteins activated by light. The protein rhodopsin sees to it that our eyes can rapidly take in their ever-changing surroundings. Free-electron X-ray lasers such ...

dateAug 23, 2016 in General Physics
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