DESY celebrating 60th anniversary in 2020

World-class particle accelerator, global research centre honoured in City Hall
17 January 2020
DESY-Gelände in Hamburg-Bahrenfeld

The senate honoured DESY, the global leader of accelerator technology, structural research, particle and astroparticle physics Thursday (January 16, 2020) to celebrate its 60th anniversary with a reception in City Hall. Hosted by Katharina Fegebank, Senator for Science, Research and Equality Senator, the reception kickstarted several celebratory events and talks this year. Founded on December 18, 1959 in Hamburg, DESY features an accelerator tunnel, 16,288 metres in length at the campus with 295 buildings and tunnels and has a 2,662 strong workforce from 77 nations.

Key part of “Science City”

“For 60 years, scientists from all over the world have made an outstanding contribution to social development through top-level research and the development of new materials in areas such as energy supply, climate protection and medicine. As a world-class research centre, DESY has played a major role in shaping Hamburg as a centre of science n the past – and will continue to play an important role in Hamburg’s progress in the future as a driver of innovation and an elementary part of Science City Hamburg-Bahrenfeld. “Similar to our city, DESY stands for cosmopolitanism, courage and innovative ideas for the world of tomorrow,” said Fegebank.

DESY-Gelände 1963
DESY-Gelände 1963

PETRA IV and engine room of nano cosmos

Prof. Dr. Helmut Dosch, Director of DESY, presented plans for a “superlative 3D X-ray microscope” called PETRA IV. “It will allow us to look into the engine room of the Nano cosmos with a resolution never achieved before,” Dosch said. “PETRA IV is a quantum leap for DESY – the facility will be our unique selling point worldwide.” Commenting on developments in future, Dr. Wim Leemans Director of Acceleration at DESY, spoke of novel, compact accelerators with new technologies such as plasma acceleration.

European XFEL-Beschleunigertunnel
© DESY: D. Nölle
European XFEL-Beschleunigertunnel

Particle accelerator – global research centre

Basic research has been undertaken at the campus in Hamburg-Bahrenfeld since 1991 and at another DESY branch in Zeuthen (Brandenburg) under unique working conditions. The combination of the light sources PETRA III, FLASH and European XFEL in Bahrenfeld facilitate experiments with high-intensity, X-ray light. Complementary methods of producing, processing and examining nano samples and nanomaterials make for DESY’s unique “toolbox”, which is available to structural researchers and commercial enterprises worldwide. Research in Zeuthen focuses mainly on astroparticle physics.

Open Day

Several events including talks and debates have been scheduled during the anniversary year. The popular “Knowledge on Tap” project or event series by DESY and the University of Hamburg, will be relaunched on April 23, 2020. Then, DESY’s experts will explain scientific topics in bars and pubs across Hamburg. An “Open Day” will be held on June 20, 2020, under the motto “DESY60 DAY” in Bahrenfeld.