what are they actually doing there?
From the Walkman to the electric car
Three researchers share this year's Nobel Prize in Chemistry. They are being honoured for their respective contributions to the development of lithium-ion batteries. Petr Novák of PSI likewise works in this area of research and has known the three laureates personally for decades. In an interview, he tells about sitting directly across from one of them at the crucial moment.
"It's important to keep doing research"
Proton therapy is time-consuming and more costly than conventional radiation therapy, but its accuracy in targeting tumours is unsurpassed. An interview with Damien Weber, head of the Centre for Proton Therapy at PSI.
Cancer cells under attack
At PSI, cancer patients receive a therapy that is unique in Switzerland. Bombardment with protons wipes out cancer cells – and does so more precisely than with any other form of irradiation.
Thirteen months in the Arctic
A PSI research project investigating atmospheric chemistry will be on board the icebreaker Polarstern on 20th September 2019. Researcher Julia Schmale talks about the upcoming expedition and her role in it.
A hand like no other
A 3,500-year-old bronze sculpture is being examined at PSI's SINQ neutron source. This will enable conservators to get a unique view into the interior of the sensational find – and gain insights into how it was made.
"This is incredibly ambitious"
Every three years, the World Energy Council explores possible developments of the global energy system under different scenarios. Tom Kober, head of the Energy Economics Group in PSI’s Laboratory for Energy Systems Analysis and one of the lead authors of the study, explains what the individual scenarios mean and how global warming could be mitigated.
A floating lab
To investigate Arctic water, ice, and air, 40 scientists cruised to the North Pole on the icebreaker Oden in the summer of 2018. Two atmospheric researchers from PSI were on board.
Research and tinkering – SwissFEL in 2019
The newest large research facility at the Paul Scherrer Institute, SwissFEL, has been completed. In January 2019 it began regular operation. Henrik Lemke, head of the SwissFEL Bernina research group, gives an interim report.
Preventing tumour metastasis
Researchers at the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI, together with colleagues from the pharmaceutical company F. Hoffmann-La Roche AG, have taken an important step towards the development of an active substance against the metastasis of certain cancers. Using the Swiss Light Source SLS, they deciphered the structure of a receptor that plays a crucial role in the migration of cancer cells.
Visualising strong magnetic fields with neutrons
For the first time, PSI researchers have used neutrons to visualise very strong magnetic fields that are up to one million times stronger than Earth's magnetic field. This now makes it possible to study magnets that are already installed in devices such as magnetic resonance tomography systems or alternators.
Observing solid-state batteries during deformation
PSI researchers have observed mechanical processes in solid-state batteries with unprecedented precision. Using X-ray tomography at the Swiss Light Source SLS, they discovered how fissures inside the batteries propagate. These insights can help to make batteries for electric cars or smartphones safer and more efficient.
Research above – and about – the clouds
At the Jungfraujoch research station, PSI scientists study particulate matter in the atmosphere. And have to deal with the fact that the human body is not made for life at 3,500 metres above sea level.
Weyl fermions discovered in another class of materials
A particular variety of particles, the so-called Weyl fermions, had previously only been detected in certain non-magnetic materials. But now researchers at PSI have experimentally proved their existence for the first time in a specific paramagnetic material.
Molecular energy machine as a movie star
Using the Swiss Light Source SLS, PSI researchers have recorded a molecular energy machine in action and thus revealed how energy production at cell membranes works. For this purpose, they developed a new investigative method that could make the analysis of cellular processes significantly more effective than before.
The energy system of the future and Power-to-X
Researchers at the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI analyse the potential of Power-to-X for Switzerland's energy supply and present their conclusions in a white paper. One finding: The costs for energy from Power-to-X could fall by up to one-third.