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Basic Scientific Research

We live in the 21st century: The Earth is a sphere and has long shifted out of the centre of our solar system. Our solar system is also just one among many. It seems the big questions of the origin of the world and of mankind have been answered. However, new questions arise behind each answer: Why does the universe expand increasingly rapidly? What are the smallest parts which constitute everything? Basic research in the natural sciences investigates these and other questions.

Due to Germany's federal structure, supporting basic research is, first and foremost, a task of the Länder. However, institutions and projects of basic scientific research which are of national importance are co-financed by the Federal Government.

A particular priority of the BMBF in the area of basic scientific research is collaborative research (or Verbundforschung). Here, excellent research groups, primarily at universities, collaborate with the outstanding experimental facilities at national and international research centres.

The content of collaborative research is focused on physical studies for which use of expensive large-scale equipment is indispensable: astrophysicists overcome dimensions of space and time in outer space by means of large-scale telescopes, and particle physicists study the smallest elements of matter in large-scale accelerator facilities.

One important priority is the study of matter surrounding us in all its many forms. In the past, such investigations at large-scale research facilities made possible unique, trail-blazing progress in the fields of biosciences or materials research. Further results and impacts on many areas of our everyday life, with implications which can hardly be estimated today, can be expected from the new large-scale research equipment supported by the BMBF.

Collaborative research and the BMBF's funding activities in basic research in the natural sciences have strong interdisciplinary features. The current areas of funding in collaborative research are presented in the following chapters:

  • Astrophysics
  • Astro-particle physics
  • Hadron and nuclear physics
  • Structure and interaction of fundamental particles
  • Physics of condensed matter

An overview of the research results obtained in these fields is presented on the Internet portal It provides information about the field of physics and some related disciplines, as well as numerous articles on various topics.

Additional information

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Contact Persons

  • Deutsches Elektronen-Synchroton DESY

    • Projektträger DESY (PT-DESY)
    • Notkestraße 85
    • 22607 Hamburg
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© 05/06/2015 00:09 Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung