21 Oct 2015
Long-awaited high-power facility now ready to receive researchers – and lasers.
Now open: ELI Beamlines facility was inaugurated Tuesday in Dolní Břežany, Czech Republic.
Welcoming speakers included: the President of Czech Academy of Sciences Jiří Drahoš, Director of the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility Francesco Sette, Director of the ELI-DC Association Wolfgang Sandner, French physicist and founder of ELI Gérard Mourou, and Director of the Institute of Physics Jan Řídký.
Bienvenue! Gérard Mourou, French physicist and founder of ELI Beamlines.
The attendees had the opportunity to see laser and experimental technologies directly, in one of the building’s new laser halls. They were introduced to the proposed laser systems by means of a virtual reality system.
Scientific and political luminaries took part in the opening.
The visitors were able to see an exhibition created by the center’s designer, Bogle Architects, in a red British double-decker bus positioned beside the laser center. The firm was awarded the Architectural Project of 2014 for the design of the ELI Beamlines laser facility. All guests as well as the citizens of the Czech Republic can participate in the competition to “name a superlaser”.
The workspace will house unique high power beams and hundreds of scientists.
“The development of the unique technologies at ELI Beamlines is only possible in cooperation with the best domestic and international laboratories and companies. We have created a solid base for long-term partnership,” said Řídký.
Early entrant: Jan Řídký, Director of the Czech Republic's Institute of Physics.
Wolfgang Sandner, Director General of the ELI-DC International Association, commented, “ELI will be the world’s first international laser facility, hosting today’s most sophisticated and powerful lasers. Our vision is to make it the CERN of laser research.
Any questions? ELI Beamlines holds its first press conference.
Several world records have already been broken during the development of laser systems. Bedřich Rus, chief scientist at ELI, said, “The laser system 3, which we are building together with the US Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, uses the brightest laser diodes that have been ever made in the world.”
Major technological development activities are the P3 chamber, which is the largest experimental chamber for civil and academic research of laser plasma in the world, as well as the delivery of the HHG device, which generates ultrashort coherent pulses of XUV radiation for material research and applications in bio-molecular sciences, such as for imaging of biological samples with high temporal and spatial resolution.
About the Author
Matthew Peach is a contributing editor to optics.org.