ELI Beamlines is a key pillar of the world’s first laser research infrastructure ELI (Extreme Light Infrastructure). ELI comprises 3 individual pillars: (1) ELI Beamlines – Dolní Břežany in the Czech Republic; (2) ELI Attosecond – Szeged in Hungary; and (3) ELI Nuclear Physics – Măgurele in Romania. The location of a 4th site – ELI Ultra-High Intensity – is to be determined. ELI Beamlines will develop a new generation of high energy, high repetition rate lasers and secondary sources driven by ultra-intense lasers. The ultra-short pulses of light and particles generated by ELI Beamlines will enable a broad range of R&D projects. In particular, ELI Beamlines will facilitate new R&D in molecular, biomedical and material sciences, physics of plasmas, physics of high energy densities, physics of warm dense matter and frontier physics. ELI Beamlines will host a high harmonic source and plasma source for material sciences and imaging studies and a Betatron source using laser accelerated electrons. ELI Beamlines will provide a platform for ultraintense laser matter interactions, a platform for studying and providing controlled laser produced ion beams and a platform for laser driven electron acceleration process and collision studies for future extension of LUX to a free electron laser. ELI Beamlines has identified its main user groups, including partners from LASERLAB EUROPE (Integrated Initiative of European Laser Research Infrastructures), CRISP (Cluster of Research Infrastructures for Synergies in Physics) and HepTech (High Energy Physics Technology Transfer Network). ELI Beamlines cooperates with a number of leading research organisations such as DESY (Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron), LLNL (Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory), STFC (Science and Technology Facilities Council), Elettra – Sincrotrone in Trieste, INFN (Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare) or SLAC (SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory) to develop technologies and R&D programmes. Relevant Czech partner research organisations are members of the ELI-CZ consortium.
The construction of ELI Beamlines will be completed by commissioning of the major laser and experimental systems in late 2017. Starting in 2018, all pillars will be unified under the legal framework of European Research Infrastructure Consortium ELI ERIC. Following this, from the beginning of 2018 to mid-2019 the performance of all technology systems, and particularly the lasers, will be ramped up to the full specifications, involving the fine-tuning of operational conditions of each system in the context of integrated and complex operation of the whole facility.
ELI Beamlines will host a major international research infrastructure attracting world leading researchers and businesses. The facility will provide more than 2200 researcher days per year yielding an additional local economic impact. By a projected workforce of more than 250 em- ployees, ELI Beamlines will generate high-level long-term career opportunities for researchers, engineers and technicians, primarily those involved in optics and laser sciences, electronics, mechanical engineering, and material sciences. In addition, the Czech optics and photonics industry is expected to take a significant role in developments required for the construction of ELI Beamlines and future maintenance of its facilities.