ELI - extreme light infrastructure
A European ESFRI project for the investigation of light-matter interactions at highest intensities and shortest time scales
ELI is a new Research Infrastructure (RI) of pan-European interest and part of the European ESFRI Roadmap. It is a laser facility that aims to host some the most intense lasers world-wide, develop new interdisciplinary research opportunities with light from these lasers and secondary radiation derived from them, and make them available to an international scientific user community.
The facility will be based on four sites. Three of them are presently being implemented in the Czech Republic, Hungary and Romania, with an investment volume exceeding 850 Mio. Euro, mostly stemming from the European Regional Development Funds (ERDF). Their scientific profile will be complementary, while the operation, starting in 2018, will be unified under one single legal umbrella of an European Research Infrastructure Consortium ELI-ERIC.
The present implementation phase, following a 3-year Preparatory Phase 2007-2010, is coordinated by the ELI-Delivery Consortium International Association, an international non-profit organisation after Belgian law (AISBL). It supports the three pillars during the constructions phase, ensures the character of ELI as one unified pan-European project, conducts the negotiations towards the ELI-ERIC and prepares the establishment of ELI s fourth pillar, planned to push the frontiers of laser power by yet another order of magnitude into the sub-exawatt regime.
The ELI-DC Association is open to membership of institutions from any interested country, one per country. For more information see information on the ELI-DC AISBL.
In Dolni Brezhany, near Prague, Czech Republic, the ELI-Beamlines facility will mainly focus on the development of short-pulse secondary sources of radiation and particles, and on their multidisciplinary applications in molecular, biomedical and material sciences, physics of dense plasmas, warm dense matter, laboratory astrophysics. In addition, the pillar will uitilze its high-power, high-repetition-rate lasers for high-field physics experiments with focused intensities of about 10²³ W/cm2, investigating exotic plasma physics, and non-linear QED effects. www.eli-beams.eu
The ELI Attosecond Light Pulse Source (ELI-ALPS) in Szeged, Hungary is establishing a unique facility which provides light sources between THz (1012 Hz) and x-ray (1018-1019 Hz) frequency range in the form of ultrashort pulses with high repetition rate. ELI-ALPS will be dedicated to extremely fast dynamics by taking snap-shots in the attosecond scale (a billionth of a billionth of second) of the electron dynamics in atoms, molecules, plasmas and solids. It will also pursue research with ultrahigh intensity lasers. www.eli-hu.hu
ELI-Nuclear Physics Facility
In Magurele, Romania, the ELI Nuclear Physics (ELI-NP) facility will focus on laser-based nuclear physics. It will host two machines, a very high intensity laser, where beams from two 10 PW lasers are coherently added to get intensities of the order of 1023 - 1024 W/cm2, and a very intense, brilliant gamma beam which is obtained by incoherent Compton back scattering of a laser light off a brilliant electron beam from a conventional linear accelerator. Applications include nuclear physics experiments to characterize laser – target interaction, photonuclear reactions, and exotic nuclear physics and astrophysics. www.eli-np.ro
ELI-Ultra High Field Facility
The location of ELI s fourth pillar, the highest intensity pillar, is still to be decided . It will depend on ongoing laser technology development and validation, based on the experience of the preparatory phase and of the present three pillars, and on the development of a sustainable financing model. The laser power is expected to exceed that of the current ELI pillars by another order of magnitude. With this pillar ELI will afford new investigations in particle physics, nuclear physics, gravitational physics, nonlinear field theory, ultrahigh-pressure physics, astrophysics and cosmology (generating intensities exceeding 10²³ W/cm²).