The Nuclear Physics Institute (IKP) conducts experimental and theoretical basic research in the areas of nuclear, hadron and particle physics. To this end, it operates the COSY cooler synchrotron, an accelerator and storage ring, which provides unpolarized and polarized proton and deuteron beams with pulses of up to 3.7 GeV/c. In the context of large international collaborations, these are used for internal experiments (ANKE, PAX, WASA) and external experiments (TOF).
The results are analysed and interpreted within the scope of theoretical models. The goal is to develop a fundamental and in-depth understanding of quantum chromodynamics (QCD) as the theory of the strong interaction. QCD causes the fundamental building blocks (quarks and gluons) to be bound into so-called hadrons (e.g. protons and neutrons) that structure us and our environment). Today they continue to provide many puzzles, including the question as to why there are not many more bound quark-antiquark-gluon systems.
The search for these kinds of exotic states will be conducted in the coming years at the Facility for Antiproton and Ion Research (FAIR) in Darmstadt, which provides high-energy heavy ions and antiprotons for basic research. Within the billion-euro FAIR project, Forschungszentrum Jülich is responsible for the construction of the high-energy storage ring (HESR) and to this end, is contributing its know-how concerning protons and antiprotons, as well as its experience with accelerator and hadron physics.