Research Facilities

Particle fysics

Geneva, on the border between Switzerland and France

CERN

CERN (Conseil Européen pour la Recherche Nucléaire) is a European research facility set up in 1954 by 12 founder states, one of which was Sweden. CERN now has 22 Member States and a number of Associate Member States. At CERN, 2,500 staff and some 15,000 external scientists advance the boundaries of knowledge regarding the origins of our universe and its smallest building blocks, subatomic particles. The heart of the CERN facility is the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), a 27-kilometre circular particle accelerator. The High Luminosity project, due to come into operation in 2025, will increase the luminosity of the LHC by a power of ten. The materials budget of the High Luminosity project is nearly CHF 950 million.

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Darmstadt, Germany

FAIR

FAIR (The Facility for Antiproton and Ion Research) is currently under construction in Darmstadt at a cost of EUR 1.7 billion. At the facility, matter that only exists in outer space will be produced in a lab for research, and it will be possible to accelerate ions of all the natural elements in the periodic table, as well as antiprotons. Ten countries are shareholders of FAIR and more countries are partners. Three thousand scientists will visit and use FAIR each year.

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Radiation facilities

Lund, Sweden

MAX IV

MAX IV is a synchrotron light facility that began operations in 2016. Hosted by Lund University, it is the world’s most brilliant synchrotron light source, capable of viewing material structures atom by atom. MAX IV facilitates discoveries of new structures at nanolevel, and scientists are able to monitor chemical processes in real time. The facility can house up to 26 beamlines. At full capacity, more than 2000 scientists are expected to conduct experiments at MAX IV every year.

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Grenoble, Frankrike

ESRF

ESRF (European Synchrotron Radiation Facility), opened in 1989, is operated as a partnership between 22 countries. The facility welcomes almost 9000 visiting scientists every year, conducting research using the X-ray beams that are 100 billion times more powerful than the X-rays used in hospitals. An extensive upgrade, the Extremely Brilliant Source, is under way, with a budget of EUR 330 billion. This will provide new storage rings that can produce more intense, coherent, and stable X-ray beams.

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Hamburg, Germany

DESY

DESY (Deutsches Elektronen Synchrotron), set up in 1959, is a national research centre in Germany, operating particle accelerators used to investigate the structure of matter. Three thousand guest scientists from 40 countries conduct research at the facility each year. Three large accelerators dominate the DESY site: PETRA III, Flash and XFEL. Research ranges from nanomaterials and semi-conductors to pharmaceuticals and materials for solar panels. Technologies developed at DESY can also be used for detailed diagnosis of tumours and for developing less invasive cancer therapies.

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Hamburg, Germany

European XFEL

European XFEL (X-ray Free Electron Laser) is the world’s most powerful X-ray laser facility, opened in 2017. The project is funded by 12 European countries. The facility is powered by a 3.4-km linear accelerator, which can generate 27,000 flashes of light per second, each of a duration of less than 100 quadrillionths of a second.

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Fusion research

Cadarache, France; European procurement organisation F4E in Barcelona, Spain

ITER

ITER (International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor) is a global cooperation project, funded by 35 nations, to build the world’s largest Tokamak reactor for research into fusion energy. It will be the largest fusion experiment facility in the world and the first to produce net energy, producing 500 MW of power from an input of 50 MW. It will be the first plant that integrates all the various technologies needed to operate a fusion reactor. Experiments at ITER are scheduled to begin in 2025, and the construction budget is EUR 20 billion. F4E (Fusion for Energy) is the EU organisation responsible for the EU contribution to ITER.

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Ground-based Space Research

HQ Munich, Germany and telescopes in Chile

ESO

ESO (The European Southern Observatory) consists of telescopes at three sites in the Atacama Desert in Chile. The Very Large Telescope can view objects at the edge of our universe and help answer fundamental questions, such as whether we are alone. A new Extremely Large Telescope (ELT) with a 39-m mirror is under construction, with a budget of EUR 1.2 billion. It will be the world’s largest telescope and will address some of the most pressing unresolved issues in astronomy.

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Kiruna, Sweden

EISCAT

EISCAT (European Incoherent SCATter) is a facility for astronomy research using radar. A new facility, EISCAT 3D, is under development. This will comprise three sites in the north of Sweden, Norway, and Finland, each consisting of 10,000 antenna elements. The facility will be used for research, for example, into how the earth’s upper atmosphere is connected to space, and also for forecasting space weather and for detecting and tracking space debris. The EISCAT system will use several different measurement techniques that have never before been combined in one system.

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Co-located in South Africa and Australia (under negotiation)

SKA

SKA The Square Kilometre Array radio telescope, will have a total collecting area of over one square kilometre. The project is being funded by 11 countries, and the budget for Phase 1 of the construction is EUR 650 million. This initial phase will provide ten percent of the capacity of the finished facility. The telescope will be able to scan the sky ten thousand times faster than before, and will provide the highest-resolution astronomical images. The first observations are expected in the mid-2020s.

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Neutron Sources For Materials Research

Lund, Sweden

ESS

ESS (European Spallation Source) will be a world-leading multi-disciplinary research facility, based on the world’s most powerful spallation source. ESS will enable scientific breakthroughs in research related to materials, energy, health and the environment, addressing some of the most important societal challenges of our time. ESS, currently under construction and hosted by Sweden and Denmark, is a collaboration between 13 European countries that are building and will operate the facility jointly. The ESS User Programme is planned to begin in 2023, by which time the suite will comprise 22 instruments.

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Harwell, UK

ISIS

ISIS Neutron and Muon Source is a national spallation source financed by the Science and Technology Facilities Council, and is based at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory in Harwell, near Oxford. Research at ISIS spans a wide range of disciplines, from magnetism to cultural heritage, engineering to food science, and from chemistry to environmental science. The facility houses 32 instruments.

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Grenoble, Frankrike

ILL

ILL - The Institut Laue-Langevin (ILL) is an existing spallation facility that has been in operation for more than 45 years. ILL was founded in 1972 by France, Germany, and the UK, and there are ten further Scientific Member countries. Sixty percent of the capacity of ILL is dedicated to fundamental research and 40% is dedicated to research into societal challenges. The facility is undergoing a modernisation programme that has increased the detection rate of the instruments by a factor of 25, and the programme is about to move into its second phase.

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