Fascinating research, or what are they actually doing there?

In these pages, we would like to present the Paul Scherrer Institute to an interested public in a generally comprehensible way. Here you can learn more about the research topics we are working on and the unique large research facilities we are using to find answers to a variety of scientific questions.

14 December 2017

teaser picture

We start with 500 million muons

Research Using Muons

Materials for future electronics can be studied with muons. In this interview, PSI researchers Alex Amato and Thomas Prokscha explain the special characteristics of these elementary particles.

7 December 2017

teaser picture

First experiment at SwissFEL carried out successfully

Media Releases SwissFEL Large Research Facilities

The years of careful planning and construction have paid off: At the newest large-scale research facility of the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI – the free-electron X-ray laser SwissFEL – the first experiment has been carried out successfully. With that, two goals have been achieved: First, a new scientific result is already expected. Second, the interaction of the many individual components of the highly complex facility is being optimised.

30 November 2017

teaser picture

More than a prototype

Media Releases Research Using Neutrons Industrial co-operation

Jean-Baptiste Mosset, winner of a Founder Fellowship at the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI, wants to commercialise a neutron detector to spot plutonium and uranium.

22 November 2017

teaser picture

Driving into danger with the blue lights flashing


The PSI radiation protection service is responsible for missions not only at the Institute, but throughout the canton of Aargau. Four times a year the unit practises for an emergency.

17 November 2017

teaser picture

PSI spin-off GratXray wins Swiss Technology Award 2017

Research Using Synchrotron Light Human Health

A spin-off from PSI has received this year's Swiss Technology Award: The young company GratXray is developing a new method for early diagnosis of breast cancer.

15 November 2017

teaser picture

Still no sign of dark matter

Media Releases Matter and Material Research Using Neutrons

No evidence of dark matter made of axions – result of an experiment at the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI further constrains theories about the nature of dark matter.

8 November 2017

teaser picture

A new bio-robot

Media Releases Biology Human Health Industrial co-operation Radiopharmacy

With a new method for modifying antibodies, Philipp Spycher, winner of a Founder Fellowship at the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI, wants to develop drugs that are more stable and, thus, have fewer side-effects.

24 October 2017

teaser picture

Stress test passed

ESI Platform Energy and Environment Renewable Energies

With a technology developed at the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI, around 60 percent more biogas can be produced from bio-waste than with conventional methods. But can it stand the test in practice as well? A 1,000-hour test at the Werdhölzli biowaste digestion and wastewater treatment plant in Zurich was able to answer this question with a clear yes. It was carried out in cooperation with the Zurich-based energy provider Energie 360°. The analysis of the stress test is now available.

10 October 2017

teaser picture

From golden emperor to filled Buddha

Matter and Material Research Using Neutrons Research Using Synchrotron Light

Ancient metal objects are illuminated by neutrons at the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI. This enables researchers to discover what is hidden inside them, how they were made and how they can be preserved.

4 October 2017

teaser picture

Bedeutung der Strukturanalyse von Biomolekülen unterstrichen


Der Nobelpreis für Chemie 2017 wurde für die Entwicklung der Strukturanalyse von biologischen Einzelmolekülen mittels ultragekühlter Elektronenmikroskopie verliehen. Die Preisvergabe unterstreicht die fundamentale Bedeutung der Strukturanalyse von Biomolekülen für die moderne Biologie – eines Forschungsgebiets, auf dem das Paul Scherrer Institut PSI in der Schweiz eine führende Rolle einnimmt.

26 September 2017

teaser picture

Atmosphere in X-ray light

Media Releases Energy and Environment Research Using Synchrotron Light Environment

PSI researchers have developed an experimental chamber in which they can recreate atmospheric processes and probe them with unprecedented precision, using X-ray light from the Swiss Light Source SLS. In the initial experiments, they have studied the production of bromine, which plays an essential role in the decomposition of ozone in the lower layers of the atmosphere. In the future, the new experiment chamber will also be available for use by researchers from other scientific fields.

20 September 2017

teaser picture

X-ray and neutron imaging for palaeontologists and archaeologists

Matter and Material Research Using Neutrons Research Using Synchrotron Light

Federica Marone illuminates objects with high-intensity X-ray beams, Eberhard Lehmann with neutrons. Both have used their methods to give palaeontologists and archaeologists a new view into the past.

14 September 2017

teaser picture

The hard worker from Val Mesolcina

Matter and Material Research Using Muons Particle Physics

For Aldo Antognini, physics and conviviality are in the blood

PSI researcher Aldo Antognini has received more than 2.2 million Swiss francs from the EU for his latest experiment. He wants to find out how magnetism is distributed in the proton. The particle physicist will be able to apply not only his scientific and technical talents, but his social flair as well.

23 August 2017

teaser picture

Custom-tailoring better metallic materials

Materials Research

Using the large research facilities at PSI, Helena Van Swygenhoven-Moens examines the inner workings of metals. The watch industry needs small, robust springs and engineers are interested in turbine blades made of stress resistant materials.

17 August 2017

teaser picture

More than just spilling the beans

Media Releases ESI Platform Renewable Energies Energy and Environment

Because of their high nitrogen content, spent coffee grounds are a popular garden fertilizer. Recycled in this manner, they already contribute to an environmentally friendly waste management. But they have the potential to deliver much more: a new procedure developed at the PSI allows high quality methane to be formed from spent coffee grounds. PSI researchers involved in a pilot project carried out in cooperation with the Swiss food producer Nestlé were able to show that spent coffee grounds left over during the production of instant coffee can be efficiently re-used elsewhere.
Older news can be found in the overview of the current year.

For media representatives

Are you a journalist and do you have general questions about PSI? Are you looking for images for an article on a research topic? PSI has an extensive photo archive from which we can send you appropriate material upon request. We will be happy to assist you in your search for scientists who, as neutral experts, will respond to your technical questions. Please get in touch with our contact for media representatives:

For the general public

If, after visiting our Website, you would really like to know what our daily work routine is like – come and visit us. In the psi forum visisitor's centre, we welcome adults and teenagers, either individually or in groups. Homepage psi forum visisitor's centre

For parties of 12 persons and over, we offer a free-of-charge tour through our large research facilities, and for students we have founded the student laboratory iLab. School classes can visit us free of charge for a day, carry out experiments in the laboratory and then see from the large research facilities how the scientific principle studied at iLab is applied in routine research. Homepage student laboratory iLab