In fact, the Extreme Light Infrastructure (ELI) attosecond light pulse source (ELI-ALPS) being built in Szeged will be fully operational only half a year later. However, HVG managed to get into the facility where work is already going on. They even published a video on their experience which you can watch embedded in their article.

A unique place for experiments in Hungary

According to, it is probably not an exaggeration to state that one of the most important scientific investment is being built in Szeged. The result will be the best place to conduct scientific experiments in Europe. Though the centre will only be fully operational from the end of 2018 or from the beginning of 2019, some experiments are already going on in the facility

conducted by foreign and Hungarian experts.

The Grand Opening Ceremony of ELI-ALPS in 2017. Photo:

The lasers were placed in hermetically confined “pure spaces” where, thanks to the ventilation system, they are always surrounded by fresh air. The system is so effective that even if somebody allergic to pollen stood at the centre of the so-called pure space he or she would be symptom-free even in the middle of the allergy season.

Watch here a video about the grand scientific opening of the facility last year:

Of course, pureness is extremely important since even a single hair can highly influence the result of an experiment. ‘This is why it is important for everybody to follow the instructions and take on his or her PPE in the airlock’ – said Bálint Kiss, leader of the mid-infrared laser team in ELI-ALPS to HVG.

Absolute care is required

‘From a power point of view there are many kinds of lasers in the centre’ – added Katalin Varjú, leader of the department for attosecond sources. There are some which are considered to be weaker since no

lethal radiation

gets out from the interaction. Thus, those scientists who work with such lasers can remain in the lab even during their experiment. However, there are some lasers that are much more powerful than these. Consequently, working with them requires absolute care thus, these are ‘closed room experiments.’ In these cases, the crew can only set the parameters of the lasers. However, when the pulse is launched all people have to leave the lab – concluded Varjú. According to her, such experiments are

conducted in concrete bunkers

in order to protect the environment.

On exhibition. Photo:

Though some experiments have already started the whole scientific project is not yet over. Viktória Tölgyesi, coordination director of ELI-HU Nonprofit Ltd said that two additional facilities are being built in the Czech Republic and in Romania as parts of the project. According to ELI’s website, experimental projects demanding ultrahigh intensity light, like laser particle acceleration or laser generated x-ray radiation will be primarily developed at the Beamline Facility in Prague, Czech Republic. Furthermore, the photoinduced nuclear experiments will be performed at the research institute to be built in Magurele, near Bucharest, Romania.

According to the plans, these three scientific facilities are going to

coordinate their research projects

and they are going to operate within the framework of an international consortium from 2019 on.



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