«Wir schaffen Wissen – heute für morgen»

Paul Scherrer Institute

The Paul Scherrer Institute, PSI, is the largest research centre for natural and engineering sciences within Switzerland. We perform world-class research in three main subject areas: Matter and Material; Energy and the Environment; and Human Health. By conducting fundamental and applied research, we work on long-term solutions for major challenges facing society, industry and science.

Current news from PSI

25. September 2014


Giants who control miniscule particles

Large Research Facilities

Magnets are the unsung heroes in particle accelerators because they keep protons or electrons on track. But such magnets have very little in common with the small ones on the domestic fridge door. Quite a few of the magnets at PSI are heavier and bulkier than the fridge itself, yet despite this they are also masterpieces of precision and control.

23. September 2014

ringzyklotron 1973 tn.jpg

A reliable type from the 1980s

Large Research Facilities

The source of the proton beam at PSI is a retro-style Cockcroft-Walton linear accelerator. Since 1984 it has been the first acceleration stage for protons which are taken up to around 80 percent of the speed of light by two further ring accelerators. This has resulted in the generation of a significant proton beam over decades, and which has even held the world record as the highest performing beam since 1994 thanks to ongoing retrofitting.

17. September 2014


“Airpocalypse” explained

Media Releases Environment Energy and Environment

The causes of China’s record level fine particulate pollution in winter 2013
At the beginning of 2013 a greyish-brown blanket of smog lay over large areas of China for several months. The fine particle pollution was higher by 1 to 2 orders of magnitude than the levels normally measured in Western Europe and the United States. An international team of researchers under the lead of the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI and the Institute of Earth Environment, Chinese Academy of the Sciences revealed the causes of the “airpocalypse”. The study published in the journal Nature also describes what steps are to be taken to prevent an environmental crisis of this kind in the future.

9. September 2014


Energiewende in Reinkultur – in Wädenswil zu bestaunen

Media Releases Energy and Environment

Der am Paul Scherrer Institut PSI entwickelte Prozess der hydrothermalen Methanierung von wässriger Biomasse erreicht einen wichtigen Meilenstein: Dank der Zusammenarbeit im neuen Kompetenzzentrum des Bundes für Bioenergie BIOSWEET konnten Forschende des PSI, der ZHAW, der ETH Lausanne, der Empa und der Hochschule für Technik Rapperswil die technische Machbarkeit der Methanherstellung aus Mikroalgen demonstrieren. Der dazu verwendete Algenbioreaktor sowie die Anlage zur Methanierung der Algen können am 24. September auf dem Campus Grüental der ZHAW in Wädenswil besichtigt werden. Für Medienschaffende gibt es von 14:00 bis 14:30 eine spezielle Führung.
This news release is only available in German.

4. September 2014


New material generated with light

Media Releases Research Using Synchrotron Light Large Research Facilities Materials Research Matter and Material SwissFEL SwissFEL Experiments

PSI researchers garner experience for SwissFEL experiments
Aided by short laser flashes, researchers at the Paul Scherrer Institute have managed to temporarily change a material’s properties to such a degree that they have – to a certain extent –created a new material. This was done using the x-ray laser “LCLS” in California. Once the PSI x-ray laser SwissFEL is up and running, experiments of this kind will also be possible at PSI.

More news can be found in our popular science blog "fascinating research".

Information for


Discover and investigate. Explore the world of the Paul Scherrer Institute. Gain an insight into Switzerland's largest research institute.


Direct access for scientists, researchers and the users of our large-scale facilities. In English only.


With its expertise, PSI can support your business in solving technological problems. Within the SwissFEL project, we provide industrial partners with interesting opportunities for collaboration.
Photo on the left: Aerial view of the PSI premises, May 2014.

Proton Therapy

Treatment for specific cancers at PSI

User Office

The PSI User Office is a central PSI installation to serve the users from all the four user laboratories.


The new large-scale facility at the PSI: overview, current issues, construction progress

psi forum

The visitors' centre of the Paul Scherrer Institute

The iLab School Laboratory

Experience Science - Explore Research

Energie Spiegel

The newsletter regularly published by PSI on the subject of energy systems and their analysis.

Fascinating research

Learn more about PSI's research cosmos