ELI Beamlines' infrastructure will be the most multifunctional of all existing and projected laser facilities. It has been designed not only to serve researchers who specialize in laser science, but it will also accommodate researchers from other fields such as material sciences and engineering, medicine, biology, chemistry, and astrophysics. With this variety in its research activities, it is expected to deliver significant benefits to society in the medium and long term.
The exceptional opportunities offered by the facility, especially in very high resolution imaging and in particle acceleration, might well lead to breakthroughs in the field of nanotechnologies, to the development of new drugs, and to major improvements in the treatment of cancer tumors, especially proton therapy. Industrial applications are also expected in areas such as aeronautics and the automotive industry. Numerous industrial companies have already expressed their interest in the project.
Laser for all
The facility will be open for user experiments by 2018. In line with the recommendations of the European Union and the European Strategic Forum on Research Infrastructures, the ELI Beamlines facility will enforce an open access policy for researchers, irrespective of their countries or institutions of origin. The same access policy will prevail in all three facilities of the ELI-ERIC (European Research Infrastructure Consortium). These facilities, which will be widely open to the international user community, will allocate access time on the basis of open competition and evaluation of the research proposals by international peer review. This will guarantee the scientific excellence of the facility. Furthermore, significant access will be given to students, technology co-developers, and contractual users from within the industry.
The municipality of Dolní Břežany, in the Central Bohemian region of the Czech Republic, was selected as the best location for the ELI Beamlines research center. The complex consists of three main units: an administrative building, multi functional building and a laser research building. These buildings are capable of accommodating approximately 300 people, and their physical link through their respective sub-building wings facilitates communication between those who are in each, which creates the atmosphere of an academic campus within the complex.
ELI Beamlines is committed to operate in a manner to provide its staff, users, contractors, and visitors with safe and healthy working conditions. ELI Beamlines management also commits to minimize the effect on environment, nature, and biota. Good relationship and high quality of life of our neighbors and public are important for us and that is why we are constantly working to increase their confidence in science. We commit to keep high standard of communication by providing our neighbors with clear information and listening to their suggestions.
The ELI-Beamlines facility will be a high-energy, high repetition rate laser pillar of the ELI (Extreme Light Infrastructure) project. The facility will provide pulses from four laser systems. To meet the requirements for high repetition rates, three of these lasers will employ the emerging technology of diode-pumped solid state lasers (DPSSL) for pumping broadband amplifiers. The fourth, the kilojoule laser, will use advanced flashlamp technology with actively cooled gain medium.
ELI Beamlines has an engineering program for addressing the regular operation of the facility (availability and reliability), the stand-by operation of the facility (safety), and the shut-down and maintenance (repair, access, and maintenance). This program is called Systems Engineering and includes the following work packages: (a) control system, (b) beam transport, and (c) alignment, diagnostics, and performance.
New insights into complex processes which happen during interactions of ultra-intense laser pulses with targets oftec come from computer simulations. Such simulations enable the scientist to see what happens on the shortest length and time scales. With options to zoom in, pause, and rewind which are naturally unavailable in real experiments, they can explore these processes in great depths.
The main goal at ELI Beamlines is to create the most advanced laser equipment in the world. This will be accomplished and implemented through research projects covering the interaction of light with matter at intensities that are 10 times higher than the values that are currently achievable. With ultra-short laser pulses that last only some femtoseconds and performances of up to 10 PW ELI will bring new techniques and tools for basic research as well as for areas such as medical imaging and diagnostics, radiotherapy, new materials, and X-ray optics.