Institute of Radiation Physics
Basic and Applied Research
The Institute of Radiation Physics is engaged in the basic research in accelerator, nuclear, hadron and laser physics as well as in the development of new types of radiation and particle beams, new detectors and measurement techniques for application to cancer research, nuclear safety and advanced materials.
For its research the Institute makes use of the coupling of electromagnetic radiation to animate and inanimate matter. In this work the Radiation Source ELBE plays a central role. Photons used in the various fields of activity cover a wide wavelength range from infrared light (many micrometer) down to subnuclear dimensions (less than femtometer). Electromagnetic radiation is used for the extraction of structural information on complex biological systems and their dynamics, and by exciting atomic nuclei and their hadronic constituents the subatomic structure of matter is investigated and new insight is gained into the cosmic "element cooking". In health research radiation is also used to study cell damage and to develop new radio-oncologic therapies.
With respect to the investigations in such diverse fields, considerable synergy effects occur: e. g. the numerical simulation of the interaction of radiation with subatomic matter resembles very much the one with bio-molecules and cells, and the transport of radiation within these rather different media has surprising similarities.
We operate a superconducting Electron Accelerator with high Brilliance and low Emittance (ELBE) as well as a Free-Electron Laser for the medium and far-IR. In addition, the High-Intensity Laser Draco is situated in the ELBE building.
Twice a year users are invited to apply for beamtime at the various beamlines of ELBE. Here you can find detailed information.
Project for the Future
With the expansion of the Radiation Source ELBE, a center for high power radiation sources is being built between 2009 and 2014. The new constructions include a high performance laser system in the petawatt range, a narrow and a broadband terahertz source as well as experiments for coupling the high performance laser with the ELBE electron beam. While high performance lasers are used in cancer research, the other facilities supplement the research conducted in the sectors new materials and research with photons, neutrons, positrons, and ions.