GANIL, Grand Accélérateur National d’Ions Lourds (National Large Heavy Ion Accelerator), is installed in Caen, Basse-Normandie. This is a very large installation, serving French and European research.
The origins of GANIL
GANIL (Grand Accélérateur National d'Ions Lourds) was created, on equal terms, by two research organizations which have collaborated towards its construction and operation: CEA/DSM andCNRS/IN2P3. Its legal form is that of an Economic Interest Group (GIE).
The Basse-Normandie region supported this project by way of a substantial contribution to the funding required for its realization. The decision to begin construction was made in August 1975, and the first experiment was carried out in January 1983.
A European dimension, an international impact
Since the very beginning, GANIL has actively participated in European projects in which it cooperates with many laboratories from the European Union and beyond.
GANIL is one of the four largest laboratories in the world dedicated to research using ion beams.
The fields of experimentation range from radiotherapy to the physics of the atom and its nucleus, from condensed matter to astrophysics. In nuclear physics, work at GANIL has led to numerous discoveries related to the atomic nucleus, to its thermal and mechanical properties, and to so-called exotic nuclei, as these do not exist naturally on Earth.
Those who work at GANIL
In addition to its permanent staff of 250 (physicists, engineers, technicians, administrators …) GANIL has 700 visiting scientists, from laboratories located all over the world. Each year, they stay at GANIL in order to prepare and carry out numerous experiments. Some of them come only for a seminar, others stay for several months or even years to work on an experiment.