The XFEL is a project of excellence with 27,000 X-ray laser flashes every second and a luminance that is a billion times higher than that of the finest conventional X-ray sources. The XFEL will pave the way for totally new research opportunities and help transcend the existing boundaries of scientific research.
It will enable Scientists around the world to decode the molecular composition of cells and viruses, take 3D images of the nanoworld, film chemical reactions and examine processes taking place deep within planets. The XFEL will help create new medication as well as new materials.
This Friday, the facility will be opened by Germany's Research Minister Johanna Wanka, Hamburg's First Mayor Olaf Scholz, Schleswig-Holstein's Science Minister Karin Prien, Russia's Presidential Advisor Andrei Fursenko, French Research Minister Frédérique Vidal and other high-ranking representatives. They will be joined by a number of external Researchers, who are presently preparing for their first experiments in mid-September.
XFEL is a non-profit organization that closely partners with DESY Hamburg and other global institutions. It employs around 300 people. With a cost of €1.22 billion for construction and launch and a 3.4 km tunnel system that goes up to the state of Schleswig-Holstein, it is among Europe's largest and most ambitious research projects.
Eleven countries are involved: Denmark, Sweden, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, Russia, Switzerland; and the UK is in the process of joining. For Hamburg as a science and business location, XFEL marks an additional step in defining itself as a global innovation hub.