17. June 2019

The University of Bonn is part of a huge new physics research network The University of Bonn is part of a huge new physics research network

The University of Bonn is part of STRONG-2020: a new European project at the forefront of strong interaction studies.

The University of Bonn’s Department of Physics and Astronomy is part of the STRONG-2020 project, a network of over 2,500 researchers working at the forefront of strong interaction studies funded by Horizon 2020 with €10 million for four years starting in summer 2019. The University’s ELSA and Cyclotron accelerators and the new Research and Technology Center Detector Physics (FTD) will be part of the network’s world-class infrastructure that includes CERN amongst others.

The Time Projection Chamber (TPC)
The Time Projection Chamber (TPC) - is a detector for the three-dimensional reconstruction of traces of charged particles from collisions. © Photo: D. Schaab/Uni Bonn
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An active community of about 2,500 researchers in Europe conduct theoretical and experimental studies on the strong interaction, a cornerstone of the Standard Model (SM) of particle physics. The list of open questions in this field is rich, such as fully understanding the three-dimensional structure of a proton or the spectroscopy of hadrons and their exotic states. The STRONG-2020 project is an international endeavor that will address these open questions in a coherent way, building upon previous European Commission-funded projects (FP6 and 7). These research topics are experimentally studied mostly by particle collisions at low and high energies, which require continuous developments in state-of-the-art detectors, data acquisition systems, beams and targets as well as in the underlying theory.

The STRONG-2020 Consortium includes 44 participant institutions from 36 countries (14 EU Member States and host institutions from further 21 countries). Researchers from Bonn are leading on three of the 32 work packages that structure the project. One project, led by Prof. Dr. Hartmut Schmieden, will offer transnational access to our FTD research building and the two accelerators ELSA and Cyclotron, which represent a unique combination of infrastructures for particle physics research and detector development. Another project, headed by Dr. Hartmut Dutz, concerns the development of key technologies for future experiments with polarized targets to study the internal structure of hadrons. In the third project, led by Prof. Dr. Bernhard Ketzer, experts from all over Europe will work on the further development of gas-filled, microstructured detectors for the precise detection of charged particles and photons. These detectors are intended to help solve some of the most pressing problems in the physics of strong interaction by recording larger and more precise data sets.

“Despite decades of research, the strong interaction and especially the way composite structures like the proton emerge from the underlying interaction of quarks and gluons is still not understood.” says Prof. Dr. Ketzer and continues “Within STRONG-2020 we will exploit existing and upcoming facilities using the most up-to-date detector and analysis technologies. The results will have a significant impact on our understanding of the strong interaction and the SM. The project will also contribute to fundamental research for physics beyond SM, impacting related sectors such as astrophysics.”

The developed technologies will also influence fields such as medicine (diagnostic tools, cancer treatment) and industry (line-scan cameras, 3D-magnets technology), and, in addition, will lead to advances in computing and machine learning.

The tools and methodologies for the new-cutting-edge experiments within STRONG-2020 will provide upgrades to European research infrastructures, enhancing their competitiveness. STRONG-2020 provides transnational access to six world-class research infrastructures in Europe, which complement each other in characteristics: The cooler synchrotron COSY at the Forschungszentrum Jülich, the microtron MAMI in Mainz, the National Laboratory of Frascati (LNF-INFN), the FTD and the ELSA and Cyclotron accelerators at the University of Bonn, the GSI Helmholtz Center for heavy-ion research in Darmstadt and the particle physics center CERN in Geneva. Virtual access is given to open-source codes and automated/simulation tools.

STRONG-2020 will promote training and education activities for students and early-career researchers, which will bring qualified personnel to the job market, as well as help disseminate discoveries through public engagement.

Contact for the media: 
Prof. Dr. Bernhard Ketzer
Helmholtz-Institut für Strahlen- und Kernphysik
Phone: +49 (0)228 73-2539
Email: Bernhard.Ketzer@uni-bonn.de

University of Bonn's world-class infrastructure for physics
University of Bonn's world-class infrastructure for physics - Top: Artistic impression of the new Research and Technology Center for Detector Physics (FTD) in Bonn. © Photo: FTD/Uni Bonn Bottom left: Bonn's Isochron Cyclotron at the Helmholtz Institute for Radiation and Nuclear Physics (HISKP). (c) Photo: Schmidt/Uni Bonn Bottom right: Experiment hall of the Electron-Stretcher facility (ELSA) in the Physikalisches Institut. (c) Photo: Schmidt/Uni Bonn
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