Visiting the GEO600 gravitational-wave detector
High-tech think tank 20 kilometers south of Hannover
GEO600 is a gravitational-wave detector and a key technology development center of the international gravitational-wave research community. Technologies tested in the GEO project are now used in all large gravitational-wave detectors in the world. GEO600 is designed and operated by scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics and the Leibniz Universität Hannover, along with partners in the United Kingdom, and is funded by the Max Planck Society and the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC).
We recommend to wear medical or FFP2 masks in all closed rooms during GEO600 tours.
Please note that the detector site can only be visited after previous date arrangements. If you would like to get a tour of the GEO600 facilities, please contact Benjamin Knispel to coordinate the details of your visit.
For groups of seven or more, we will arrange a visit for you within our regular working hours. The tour takes about 90 minutes and includes an introduction to gravitational waves and the astronomy they allow, as well as a detailed tour of the site and the technology of a gravitational-wave detector. Tours are offered in English as well, just ask.
To visit the central laboratory building, an age of 16 years is required due to laser safety regulations.
Individually joining group tours
Individuals may occasionally join group tours. Please check our registration portal for available places. To participate, you must register there for one of the offered dates. Unless indicated otherwise, the tours will be in German language.
Directions from Hannover by public transport
From Hannover main station take either the Metronom (direction Göttingen), the erixx (direction Bad Harzburg) or the S4 (direction Hildesheim). Get off the train at Sarstedt station. The journey time is between 10 and 15 minutes, depending on the train. From Sarstedt station, you can continue the remaining 4 kilometers to GEO600 by taxi, by bicycle (rules for taking your bike on trains in the greater Hannover area) or by walking. Also, busses drive to “Ruthe/Hopfenberg” about 1 kilometer from the detector site.
Directions from Hannover by car
Take the road B6 (Messeschnellweg) to the South and turn right at the sign Sarstedt/Heisede. Turn right to Heisede, then left at the sign Schulenburg/Ruthe. After entering Ruthe turn right. After crossing the Leine river, turn right at the EXPO sign (resp. at the white sign “Universität Hannover/Versuchsgelände”, resp. at the green sign Schäferberg). Drive along the apple orchard to the gate at its end.
The number of parking spaces on the detector site is limited. Larger groups with several cars please use the parking spaces at the teaching and research facilities of the University of Veterinary Medicine and walk from there or carpool with a maximum of five cars to GEO600.