Around 350 guests celebrate the completion of the 3.4-kilometre long underground facility
European XFEL, a large international research facility with eleven European member countries, has begun the commissioning of the 3.4-km long underground X-ray laser. Around 350 guests from politics, administration, the diplomatic corps, scientists from around the world, and employees of European XFEL and its closest partner institute DESY celebrated this big milestone today on the new research facility’s campus in Schenefeld in the metropolitan area of Hamburg, Germany. In the underground tunnel near the facility’s experiment hall, representatives of the partner countries mounted an approximately two-metre-long beamline tube, as a symbolic act of installing one of the final still-missing pieces of the X-ray laser. The commissioning will take place over the following next few months. External scientists will be able to perform experiments at the facility for the first time in summer 2017. The X-ray laser will then generate extremely short and bright X-ray light flashes that will enable new views of the structure and fast processes of the nanocosmos. Applications range from structural biology, chemistry, physics, and materials science to environmental and energy research or explorations of conditions like those found inside of planets.