The Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron (English German Electron Synchrotron) commonly referred to by the abbreviation DESY, is a national research center in Germany that operates particle accelerators used to investigate the structure of matter. It conducts a broad spectrum of inter-disciplinary scientific research in three main areas: particle and high energy physics; photon science; and the development, construction and operation of particle accelerators. Its name refers to its first project, an electron synchrotron. DESY is publicly financed by the Federal Republic of Germany, the States of Germany, and the German Research Foundation (DFG). DESY is a member of the Helmholtz Association and operates at sites in Hamburg and Zeuthen.
DESY's function is to conduct fundamental research. It specializes in: Particle accelerator development, construction and operation, Particle physics research to explore the fundamental characteristics of matter and forces, including astroparticle physics and Photon science research in surface physics, material science, chemistry, molecular biology, geophysics and medicine through the use of synchrotron radiation and free electron lasers.
In addition to operating its own large accelerator facilities, DESY also provides consulting services to research initiatives, institutes and universities. It is closely involved in major international projects such as the European X-Ray Free-Electron Laser, the Large Hadron Collider in Geneva, the IceCube Neutrino Observatory at the South Pole and the International Linear Collider.
DESY operates in two locations. The primary location is in a suburb of Hamburg. In 1992, DESY expanded to a second site in Zeuthen near Berlin. DESY employs approximately 2000 people, of which 650 are scientists, working in the fields of accelerator operation, research and development.
DESY also trains more than 100 apprentices in commercial and technical vocations, and more than 700 undergraduates, graduates, and postdocs. DESY also hosts 3000 scientists from over 40 countries annually. 2500 external scientists used the DESY facilities for research with photons at PETRA III and FLASH in 2012.
The research center has an annual budget around € 192 million. Of this, approximately € 173 million is budgeted for the Hamburg site and € 19 million for Zeuthen. The primary source of financing is the Federal Ministry for Education and Research (German: Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung) with 10% support coming from the German States of Hamburg and Brandenburg. Individual experiments and projects at the accelerators are financed by the participating German and foreign institutes, which in turn are often publicly financed. Special projects are funded by the German Research Foundation.