Multidisciplinary Science and Large Facilities at PSI
PSI hosts most of the national large research infrastructures in Switzerland, many of which have unique characteristics or are unique facilities on an international scale. PSI is one of two unique sites in Europe that provides all three major probes (photon, neutron, and muon) for materials research at large research facilities. PSI disposes of outstanding competence in design, construction, and operation of large research facilities. The synchrotron light source (SLS), the Swiss X-ray free electron laser (SwissFEL), the Swiss neutron source (SINQ) and the Swiss Muon Source (SmµS) are used by more than 2'600 users approximately equally from Swiss and international (predominantly EU) academics and industries. Several beam lines and instruments at PSI have been jointly created and/or are jointly operated with national and international research partners.
The SwissFEL started user operation in 2019 with its hard X-ray branch, while its capabilities are ramped up and further developed in parallel, establishing its position in the international landscape of ultrafast X-ray science. In parallel, the soft X-ray branch of SwissFEL is under construction, with commissioning starting in 2020. Without doubt SwissFEL is attracting much attention from the scientific community but also is going to boost trans-national 'brain-circulation' within this rapidly evolving field of research. The resulting scientific environment is not only highly vitalizing for those PSI-FELLOWS being directly involved in research programmes at these facilities but moreover will positively inspire the entire PSI-FELLOW programme.
4 Grand Themes
Materials and Matter
(i) structure and dynamics of advanced materials, and
(ii) fundamental properties of elementary particles and interactions. Particle physics research pursued by PSI is looking at some of the most fundamental open issues in our understanding of basic constituents of matter and forces between them. Advancements in technology coming from this field can often be transferred to other areas of research.
Material science at PSI is conducted in order to understand the mechanisms of materials with novel and exotic properties with potential technological applications in the mid- and long-term, and as an enabling-science for other research fields studied at PSI. In the latter case acquired knowledge is applied towards multidisciplinary goals of exploring, e.g., more efficient means for the production, storage, and transport of energy or information, or more refined or entirely new diagnostic tools in both natural and life sciences, etc