The interest in understanding the physical world that we live in, the origin of its formation and evolution, is reflected in the world-wide activities in Europe, the USA and Japan to set up powerful research facilities providing beams of radioactive nuclei of various kinds, and beams of extremely large energies. At the same time, complex and large detector arrays with improved technical capabilities are built either around these facilities or independently (dedicated to cosmic rays). Recently, spectacular progress has been made in superheavy nuclei, cold binary and ternary fission, nuclear shell structure and nuclear astrophysics, to mention only a few directions. The energy spectrum of cosmic rays exceeds the upper limits provided by artificial accelerators. An international collaboration has committed itself to the installation of an extremely large area detector array, AUGER, in order to study the highest particle energies in the Universe.