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High Pressure and High Temperature Research

1st place in Europe

Most of the material in the earth’s interior, in our solar system, and in our universe is under extremely high pressure.  Investigating material properties under extreme high-pressure and high-temperature conditions is thus crucial to understanding geological processes in the earth and other planets.

The Bavarian Research Institute of Experimental Geochemistry & Geophysics (BGI) was founded in 1986 as a centre for high-pressure and high-temperature research. Today it is considered to be one of Europe’s leading institutes in the field.

One-of-a-kind experimental facilities

Nearly every type of high-pressure instrumentation available can be found at the BGI.  Much of the institute’s experimental equipment was developed right here in Bayreuth and is unique in Europe, and in some cases, in the whole world. With 7.5 million atmospheres of pressure – over twice the pressure at the centre of the earth – the BGI currently holds the world record in static high-pressure experiments. Scientists at the BGI regularly publish their research findings in leading international journals such as Nature or Science. There are also four Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prizewinners among the professors who work or have worked at the BGI.

Programmes for junior scholars

The BGI has a cooperative leadership structure and offers young scientists the opportunity to carry out independent research early in their careers. Former members of the BGI include eleven professors in Germany, seven professors in the US, and thirteen scientists at the CNRS in France. Students enrolled in the master’s programme Experimental Geosciences already have the opportunity to get involved in real research projects every semester. The BGI has its own programmes to support young postdocs in addition to a DFG-funded Emmy Noether Junior Research Group.

International cooperation

The DFG promotes the BGI as a so-called “Core Facility” open to external researchers from all around the world. The institute is engaged in scientific cooperation with a number of research institutes in Europe, the US, and Japan. In collaboration with Tohoku University in Japan and with the DFG’s support, the BGI also manages the international Research Training Group “Deep Volatile Cycles“, which offers young doctoral researchers a chance to receive joint academic training in Germany and Japan.


Bavarian Research Institute of Experimental Geochemistry & Geophysics (BGI)

Webmaster: Ph.D. Florian Heidelbach

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