According to media reports, a 3.4 km long underground tunnel was officially started, and the core project of the European X-ray Free Electron Laser Project began construction in Hamburg, Germany on June 30. The tunnel project is expected to be completed in 2014 and the first scientific research experiment will be conducted in 2015.
According to German media reports, European X-ray free electron laser equipment is the world's first laser equipment capable of generating high-intensity short-pulse X-rays. This large-scale scientific research project, with the joint participation of Germany and 11 other European countries, will build 3 underground tunnels with different diameters, with a total length of nearly 6 kilometers, a total cost of more than 1 billion euros, and German investment of 54%.
After the European X-ray free electron laser facility is completed, it can produce extremely high-intensity femtosecond (1 femtosecond equal to one trillionth of a second) level short-pulse X-ray coherent light with a wavelength adjustable from 0.1 to 6 nanometers. Its application scope will cover a wide range of fields such as physics, chemistry, materials science, biology and nanotechnology, and will open a new perspective for humans to understand the micro world.
Physics researchers of the Chinese Academy of Sciences believe that the European Free Electron Laser Project is currently the world's largest free electron laser device in the plan. When it starts operating in 2015, it will be able to output wavelengths as short as 0.1 nanometers, pulse widths less than 100 femtoseconds, and repetition frequencies. Coherent X-rays of up to 27,000 times per second provide scientists with an unprecedentedly powerful means of understanding the microscopic world.
The principle of free electron lasers is similar to that of synchrotron radiation. Both use electron radiation accelerated to high energy to generate X-ray flashes with extremely short wavelengths. However, compared with the current most advanced third-generation synchrotron radiation source, X-rays produced by free electron lasers not only have the characteristics of laser (coherence), but also have shorter wavelengths and narrower pulse widths (faster flash time), especially Its peak brightness is nearly 10 orders of magnitude higher than that of the third-generation synchronous light source. Compared with X-rays generated by the best conventional X-ray sources, not only the peak brightness is more than 1 billion times higher, but the average brightness is also more than 10,000 times higher. In fact, the world's first free-electron laser FLASH was also built in Hamburg, Germany. After trial operation in 2004, it created a free-electron laser record with a wavelength of 13.5-13.8 nm, and for the first time achieved high resolution of amorphous samples. Diffraction image. Compared with the FLASH device, the wavelength of the European free electron laser device is not only 60 times shorter, but also has higher energy.
At present, X-ray free electron lasers built internationally also have equipment located in California, USA and Japan. They have started trial operation in 2009 and 2010. In design, European free electron laser equipment has a unique low-temperature superconducting acceleration technology of -271 degrees Celsius, and the repetition frequency is much higher than other levels of about 100 times per second.The completion of such ultra-fast and powerful X-ray laser equipment will open the door to new research opportunities for scientists and industrial users, thereby providing research fields never before approached, such as mapping the detailed structure of virus atoms and decrypting cells The composition of molecules, taking three-dimensional images of the nanoworld, the process of "freezing" chemical reactions, and more.