Simon Schmitt

Head Communication & Media Relations
Science Editor
Communication & Media Relations
Phone: +49 351 260 3400

Neutronenlabor an der Strahlungsquelle ELBE, Forschung mit Neutronen, Transmutation: Umwandlung von einem Element in ein anderes. Ziel: langlebigen atomaren Müll umzuwandelnProjects for the Future: Researching the World of Tomorrow

As a member of the Helmholtz Association, the HZDR operates large-scale research facilities which are also available to guests from Germany and abroad wishing to conduct measurement studies. Part of the large-scale scientific equipment permits new insights into the behavior of matter under extreme conditions; that is, under extremely high temperatures, pressures, and electromagnetic fields as well as intense radiation. This core subject combines the HZDR’s in-house materials science research with the focal points cancer research and nuclear safety research; thus, permitting comprehensive research results in an interdisciplinary approach which help solve scientifically and socially relevant problems.

In order to prepare the Helmholtz center in Dresden even better for the future when it comes to the analysis of materials in extreme states, the Free State of Saxony finances three large building projects in Rossendorf. This creates, in part, very rare and unique research opportunities for researchers from around the globe.

  • Center for High Power Radiation Sources

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, and ions.

  • Expansion of Dresden High Magnetic Field Laboratory

The Dresden High Magnetic Field Laboratory (HLD) is being expanded as an international user center. From 2011 to 2013, it will be equipped with a new capacitor bank and additional magnetic cells to meet the great demand for measurement times in ultrahigh pulsed magnetic fields. The Dresden researchers are already cooperating intensely with the European high magnetic field laboratories in Nijmegen, Grenoble, and Toulouse in the EU programs “EuroMagNET” and “European Magnetic Field Laboratory – EMFL.”


The objective of the DRESDYN project is the creation of a European platform for dynamo experiments and thermohydraulic studies with fluid sodium. Between 2013 and 2015, for example, the world’s first precision dynamo is to be developed with which it will be possible to simulate more realistically, for example, the evolution of the earth’s magnetic field, the magnetosphere, than has been possible with today’s propeller-driven dynamo experiments like the one in Riga. By the way, the Riga dynamo was actually the first of its kind to verify the evolutionary mechanism of cosmic magnetic fields in a lab – with the participation of researchers from the HZDR.

  • Joining Forces for a Future with Safe Raw Materials

The German economy depends to a considerable degree on the safe and sustained supply of requisite raw materials. This is the only way it can produce goods and plants that are competitive internationally and as independent as possible of the global markets. So it is not surprising that the research topic “securing the supply of raw materials” was given top priority in the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). In late 2010, the BMBF accepted the joint proposal of the TU Bergakademie Freiberg [Freiberg University of Mining and Technology] and the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden Rossendorf to establish a new Institute for Resource Technologies which is now being built and operated together by both partners in Freiberg. The institute focuses primarily on technologies for supplying the German business community with mineral and metalliferous raw materials.