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Extreme Light Infrastructure

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Extreme Light Infrastructure

The Extreme Light Infrastructure (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. It will be the world's first international user facility in laser research.

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 million, mostly stemming from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). In Dolní Břežany, near Prague, Czech Republic, the ELI-Beamlines facility will mainly focus on the development of short-pulse secondary sources of radiation and particles. The ELI Attosecond Light Pulse Source (ELI-ALPS) in Szeged, Hungary is establishing a unique facility which provides light sources within an extremely broad frequency range in the form of ultrashort pulses with high repetition rate. In Măgurele, Romania, the ELI Nuclear Physics (ELI-NP) facility will focus on laser-based nuclear physics. The location of ELI s fourth pillar, the highest intensity pillar, is still to be decided. Its laser power is expected to exceed that of the current ELI pillars by about one order of magnitude.

History

The Extreme Light Infrastructure project started as a bottom-up initiative by the European scientific laser community and the network of large national laser facilities, LASERLAB-EUROPE, in the context of the preparation of the first European ESFRI Roadmap in 2005. From 2007 to 2010 ELI entered into an European-Commission-funded preparatory phase, comprising 40 laboratories from 13 countries. Gérard Mourou, the initiator of the ELI project, was the coordinator of the preparatory phase.

At the meeting of the Steering Committee on October 1, 2009 in Prague, the ELI Preparatory Phase Consortium officially gave the mandate to the Czech Republic, Hungary and Romania to proceed towards the construction of ELI. On December 10, 2010, at the end of the preparatory phase, the project was fully handed over to the ELI Delivery Consortium, consisting of representatives from the three host countries. ERDF funding of the ELI-Beamlines facility in the Czech Republic was granted by the European Commission on April 20, 2011, followed by ELI-Nuclear Physics in Romania on September 18, 2012. Funding for the ELI-ALPS facility in Hungary will be granted in early 2014. All three facilities are expected to start operation in early 2018.

The ELI Delivery Consortium International Association was founded on April 11, 2013 as an international non-profit association under Belgian law (AISBL). It promotes the sustainable development of ELI as a pan-European research infrastructure, supports the coordinated implementation of the ELI research facilities, and preserves the consistency and complementarity of their scientific missions. It will also organise the establishment of an international consortium that will be in charge of the future operation of ELI, preferably in the form of a European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ERIC). The ELI-DC International Association is open to membership by institutions from all interested countries.

References

External links

  • Official website
  • ELI Beamlines Facility in the Czech Republic
  • ELI Attosecond Facility in Hungary
  • ELI Nuclear Physics Facility in Romania
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