All segments of first light-generating system installed in European XFEL
2016-03-09 14:26:04

Facility reaches prominent milestone

In the metropolitan area of Hamburg, the installation of the 35 segments of the first of three X-ray light producing components of the European XFEL has been completed. Set into one of the facility’s tunnels, the segments are the core part of three systems called undulators, which are each up to 210 metres long and will produce X-ray laser light exceeding the intensity of conventional X-ray sources by a billion times. These pulses of X-ray radiation are the basis for new revolutionary experimental techniques that will allow scientists to study the nanocosmos, with applications in many fields including biochemistry, astrophysics, and materials science. The undulator installation is a major step towards the completion of the European XFEL, a 3.4 km-long X-ray free-electron laser facility that will be the world’s brightest X-ray source when completed. It is also one of Europe’s largest research projects and is due to open to users for research in 2017.


“With the 35 segments of the first undulator beam line in place, we have clearly reached a very important milestone in the construction of our facility”, says European XFEL Managing Director Prof. Massimo Altarelli. “The X-ray flashes produced in these systems are the basis for the future research at the European XFEL. We are looking forward to 2017, when they will be used to investigate the smallest details of the structure and function of matter in the molecular world.”