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First foreign research groups start experiments in Szeged laser centre

Swiss and Greek research groups are the first foreign users of the laser facility in Szeged where laser equipment is already operational. The experiments may lay the foundations for the development of new applications in medicine, biology and pharmaceutical sciences. As the operating costs of the laser research centre will be covered to a large extent from the membership fees of countries partnering with the consortium to have access to the research capacities, it is essential to effectively communicate the research opportunities of the equipment to potential research groups.

In a press conference at the ELI laser research centre in Szeged, József Pálinkás, president of the National Research, Development and Innovation Office, which exercises the owners’ rights over the research centre, highlighted: “the internationally unique research infrastructure has been implemented on time, within budget and in line with the planned technical parameters.” The recently started experiments are expected to convince further research groups that the ELI-ALPS (Extreme Light Infrastructure Attosecond Light Pulse Source) is a world-class laser research equipment which can contribute to promising research achievements. 

The research infrastructure of the laser centre primarily serves discovery research projects and is open to scientists from all over the world to conduct their experiments in Szeged. In the building which was delivered last May, the first experimental equipment was put into operation in late October by ELI-ALPS researchers and their partners and manufacturers. In addition, the first external, foreign users of the laser facility also arrived this January – from Switzerland. The first phase of the experiments, which was also the first live test of the laser equipment, has been successfully concluded. Led by Hans Jacob Wörner, the research group of Swiss university of technology ETH Zurich, used the so-called HR1 (High Repetition Rate) laser system of ELI-ALPS to produce the first high harmonic spectrum in noble gases which suggests the presence of attosecond pulses.  In the process researchers focused infrared laser pulse into noble gas filled gas cells or gas jets to change the characteristic parameters of light and create higher frequency pulses. In the continuation of the research project, the created high harmonic pulses will be used to examine ultrafast physical processes in liquid molecules. Find more at http://nkfih.gov.hu/the-office/press-releases/first-foreign-research

Source: National Research,Development and Innovation Office, Budapest