Part 3
Projects & Landmarks
Physical Sciences & Engineering / Landmark


Facility for Antiproton and Ion Research

An antiproton and ion beams accelerator facility to explore the nature of matter and the evolution of the Universe


The Facility for Antiproton and Ion Research (FAIR) is a new accelerator complex providing high-energy, high-intensity primary and secondary beams of antiprotons and ions to enable forefront research into the structure and dynamics of matter under extreme conditions, thereby also providing new insights into the evolution of the Universe and the nucleosynthesis in stars and star explosions.

On October 2010, ten countries signed an international agreement on the construction of the FAIR accelerator facility in Darmstadt. These countries are the shareholders of the FAIR GmbH, the established legal entity for the realization of FAIR. In total over 50 countries are involved in the FAIR science program by contributing to the construction and to the exploitation of the FAIR detectors. The FAIR experiments are organized in four large collaborations: APPA, CBM, NUSTAR and PANDA encompassing more than 2.500 scientists in total. FAIR is expected to deliver beams for science experiments in 2025. Partial operation – FAIR Phase 0 science programme – will start in 2018.


FAIR will be constructed in Darmstadt, adjacent to the GSI facility, and will use the upgraded GSI accelerators as injector chain. Within a broad scientific-technological approach, FAIR develops and exploits novel accelerator, detector and computing technologies for unprecedented research into nuclear structure and nuclear astrophysics, physics of hadrons and fundamental physics with antiproton beams, physics of compressed nuclear matter, plasma physics, atomic physics, materials research and biomedical applications.

The heart of the new facility is the superconducting synchrotron SIS100 with a circumference of about 1.100 metres. A complex system of storage-cooler rings and ca 3.2 kilometres of beam transport lines deliver the beams to various experiment stations which house a suite of highly sophisticated detectors. Altogether, the buildings and tunnel sections provide about 135.000 square metres of usable space for the complex scientific-technical infrastructure. The superconducting synchrotron SIS100 is capable of delivering for the science programs high intensity primary beams with energies of up to 11.5 GeV for uranium and of 29 GeV for protons. Moreover, a broad range of exotic radioactive ion beams and antiproton beams can be provided at the facility. FAIR will enable parallel operation of up to four research programs, thereby allowing a very cost-efficient exploitation of the facility.

The scientific scope and instrumentation of FAIR is complementary to that at other existing or planned large accelerator Research Infrastructures, but none of the other facilities combines the full set of features in one and the same project: large variety of the ion species – from antiprotons to uranium, high beams intensities, high beam energies, cooled antiproton and exotic ion beams, parallel operation.


In addition to the fundamental science research, FAIR is focusing on applications like radiobiological risk assessments for manned space missions, material sciences, plasma physics studies, and radiotherapy research and development. FAIR has also a potential of broader impact at international level as collaborations in detector and magnet development – e.g. with JINR-Dubna – are already active. This is also reflected by strong and active cooperation between FAIR and many laboratories worldwide optimizing synergies in research and development, and use of existing infrastructures. FAIR is intended to provide research opportunities well beyond the European scope from the beginning, thus catering for scientific communities of countries that cannot afford such large Research Infrastructure by themselves and would greatly benefit from it.

legal status
GmbH, 2010
political support
lead country
members countries
The full list of research institutions involved must be found in the website of the RI
Roadmap Entry
Preparation Phase
Implementation/Construction Phase
Operation Start
estimated costs
capital value
Not Available
Not Available
Not Available
1.262 M€
234 M€/year

Darmstadt, Germany