Extreme Light Infrastructure

The Extreme Light Infrastructure (ELI) is a new Research Infrastructure (RI) of pan-European interest and part of the European ESFRI Roadmap. It is a laser facility that aims to host the most intense beamline system worldwide, develop new interdisciplinary research opportunities with light from these lasers and secondary radiation derived from them, and make them available to an international scientific user community. It will be the world's biggest and first international user facility in beamline and laser research.

The facility will be based on four sites. Three of them are presently being implemented in the Czech Republic, Hungary and Romania, with an investment volume exceeding €850 million, mostly stemming from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). In Dolní Břežany, near Prague, Czech Republic, the ELI-Beamlines facility will mainly focus on the development of short-pulse secondary sources of radiation and particles. The ELI Attosecond Light Pulse Source (ELI-ALPS) in Szeged, Hungary is establishing a unique facility which provides light sources within an extremely broad frequency range in the form of ultrashort pulses with high repetition rate. In Măgurele, Romania, the ELI Nuclear Physics (ELI-NP) facility will focus on laser-based nuclear physics. The location of ELI's fourth pillar, the highest-intensity pillar, is still to be decided. Its laser power is expected to exceed that of the current ELI pillars by about one order of magnitude.

ELI final
Logo of ELI


The Extreme Light Infrastructure project started as a bottom-up initiative by the European scientific laser community and the network of large national laser facilities, LASERLAB-EUROPE, in the context of the preparation of the first European ESFRI Roadmap in 2005. From 2007 to 2010 ELI entered into a European-Commission-funded preparatory phase, comprising 40 laboratories from 13 countries. Gérard Mourou, the initiator of the ELI project, was the coordinator of the preparatory phase.

At the meeting of the Steering Committee on October 1, 2009 in Prague, the ELI Preparatory Phase Consortium officially gave the mandate to the Czech Republic, Hungary and Romania to proceed towards the construction of ELI. On December 10, 2010, at the end of the preparatory phase, the project was fully handed over to the ELI Delivery Consortium, consisting of representatives from the three host countries. ERDF funding of the ELI-Beamlines facility in the Czech Republic was granted by the European Commission on April 20, 2011, followed by ELI-Nuclear Physics in Romania on September 18, 2012. Funding for the ELI-ALPS facility in Hungary will be granted in early 2014. All three facilities are expected to start operation in early 2018.

The ELI Delivery Consortium International Association was founded on April 11, 2013 as an international non-profit association under Belgian law (AISBL). It promotes the sustainable development of ELI as a pan-European research infrastructure, supports the coordinated implementation of the ELI research facilities, and preserves the consistency and complementarity of their scientific missions. It will also organise the establishment of an international consortium that will be in charge of the future operation of ELI, preferably in the form of a European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ERIC). The ELI-DC International Association is open to membership by institutions from all interested countries.

The ELI capability will ultimately be spread across four locations, three of which are presently being implemented. In addition to ELI-ALPS in Hungary, ELI-NP is focusing on the study of photonuclear physics and its applications from a base in Romania, while ELI Beamlines, located in the Czech Republic, is designed as the high-energy, high repetition-rate pillar of the ELI effort.

ELI research centres


ELI-NP Research Centre
General information
StatusUnder construction
TypeResearch centre
Town or cityMăgurele
Groundbreaking14 June 2013
Cost€356.2 million[1]
Grounds31,500 m2[2]
Design and construction
DeveloperStrabag (building)
Thales Group (laser)
EuroGammaS (γ beam)

The ELI NP Research Centre[3] is an under construction facility in Măgurele, Romania, that will host the world's most powerful laser.[4] The laser technology might be used to destroy nuclear waste and provide a new type of cancer radiotherapy called hadrontherapy.[5] The largest scientific project in Romania, ELI-NP will be the only European and international centre for high-level research on ultra-high intensity laser, laser-matter interaction and secondary sources with unparalleled possibilities. ELI-NP is a very complex facility which will host two machines of extreme performances:

  • a very high intensity laser, where beams from two 10 PW lasers are coherently added to get intensities of the order of 1023–1024 W/cm2 and electrical fields of 1015 V/m over an area of a few square micrometers.[6]
  • a very intense (1013 γ/s), brilliant γ beam, 0.1% bandwidth, with Ev > 19 MeV, which is obtained by incoherent Compton back scattering of a laser light off a very brilliant, intense, classical electron beam (Ee > 700 MeV) produced by a warm linac.

The building will be built on seismic shock absorbers and will have two solid bodies – one for lasers and one for the gamma beam, totaling an area of 11,010 m2. In the same building will be integrated a body of laboratories, with an area of 2,396 m2.[7] The body dedicated to the lasers will have eight underground levels, while the other one will have 12 underground levels. The complex dedicated to this project will also have an office building, on an area of almost 970 m2, in which vicinity will be a guest house with about 30 rooms, occupying 642 m2.

The inauguration of works to the infrastructure of this project took place on 14 June 2013. The laser was made in France and tested in Paris and will be brought to Romania.


  1. ^ "Laserul de la Măgurele. Costoiu: Nu se pune problema să se piardă proiectul". Realitatea.net. 17 September 2015.
  2. ^ Pantazi, Raluca (27 January 2015). "Laserul de la Magurele - cel mai mare proiect stiintific din Romania". HotNews.ro.
  3. ^ "Despre Proiectul ELI". ELI-NP.
  4. ^ "Romania, EU launch works on world's most powerful laser". Phys.org. 14 June 2013.
  5. ^ Zega, Roxana (26 October 2012). "World's Most Powerful Laser Beams to Zap Nuclear Waste". Bloomberg Business.
  6. ^ nature.com: Extreme light
  7. ^ Elvira Gheorghita, Valentin Anghel (12 June 2013). "Vineri începe la Măgurele construirea celui mai mare LASER din lume. Puterea lui ar putea duce, teoretic, la teleportarea din "Star Trek"". Mediafax.

External links

2011 in science

The year 2011 involved many significant scientific events, including the first artificial organ transplant, the launch of China's first space station and the growth of the world population to seven billion. The year saw a total of 78 successful orbital spaceflights, as well as numerous advances in fields such as electronics, medicine, genetics, climatology and robotics.

2011 was declared the International Year of Forests and Chemistry by the United Nations.

Adrian Curaj

Adrian Curaj (born October 14, 1958) is a Romanian electrical engineer who was named Education Minister in the new government of Dacian Cioloș in November 2015. He was removed during a cabinet reshuffle the following July.In 2010, Curaj became director of the Executive Agency for Higher Education, Research, Development and Innovation Funding (UEFISCDI).He is a professor at the Politehnica University of Bucharest, where he teaches in the research management department, and directs the university's Center for Strategic Management and Quality Assurance in Higher Education.He is also Head of The Department of UNESCO for Policies in Science and Innovation at the National University of Political Studies and Public Administration (SNSPA).

Adrian Curaj is the artisan and promoter of the "Laser Valley - Land of Lights" project, which involves the development of a smart city and a dynamic, innovative and entrepreneurial community around the ELI Nuclear Physics (ELI-NP) in Măgurele (Romania). In fact, Curaj was named in 2016 as a High Representative of the Prime Minister for the development of ecosystem based on science, innovation and entrepreneurship associated with the pan-European infrastructure of ELI-NP.

Aneutronic fusion

Aneutronic fusion is any form of fusion power in which neutrons carry no more than 1% of the total released energy. The most-studied fusion reactions release up to 80% of their energy in neutrons. Successful aneutronic fusion would greatly reduce problems associated with neutron radiation such as ionizing damage, neutron activation and requirements for biological shielding, remote handling and safety.

Some proponents see a potential for dramatic cost reductions by converting energy directly to electricity. However, the conditions required to harness aneutronic fusion are much more extreme than those required for the conventional deuterium–tritium (D-T) nuclear fuel cycle.

Breit–Wheeler process

Breit–Wheeler process or Breit–Wheeler pair production is a physical process in which a positron–electron pair is created in the collision of two photons. It is the simplest mechanism by which pure light can be potentially transformed into matter. The process can take the form of γ γ′ → e+ e− where γ and γ′ are two light quanta.The multiphoton Breit–Wheeler process, also referred to as nonlinear Breit–Wheeler or strong field Breit–Wheeler in the literature is the extension of the pure photon-photon Breit–Wheeler process when a high-energy probe photon decays into pairs propagating through an electromagnetic field (for example, a laser pulse). In contrast with the previous process, this one can take the form of γ + n ω → e+ e− where ω represents the coherent photons of the laser field.

The inverse process, e+ e− → γ γ′, in which an electron and a positron collide and annihilate to generate a pair of gamma photons is known as electron–positron annihilation or the Dirac process for the name of the physicist who first described it theoretically and anticipated the Breit–Wheeler process.

Although the pure photon-photon Breit–Wheeler process was one of the first sources of pairs to be described, its experimental validation has yet to be accomplished. This mechanism is theoretically characterized by a very weak probability, so producing a significant number of pairs requires two extremely bright, collimated sources of photons having photon energy close or above the electron and positron rest mass energy. Manufacturing such a source, a gamma-ray laser, is still a technological challenge. In many experimental configurations, pure Breit–Wheeler is dominated by other more efficient pair creation processes that screen pairs produced via this mechanism. The Dirac process (pair annihilation) has nonetheless been by far verified experimentally. It is also the case of the multiphoton Breit–Wheeler at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center in 1997 by colliding a high-energy electrons with a counter-propagating terawatt laser pulse.Although this mechanism is still one of the most difficult to be observed experimentally on Earth, it is of considerable importance for the absorption of high-energy photons traveling cosmic distances.The photon-photon and the multiphoton Breit–Wheeler processes are described theoretically by the quantum electrodynamics theory.

Cross-polarized wave generation

Cross polarized wave (XPW) generation is a nonlinear optical process that can be classified in the group of frequency degenerate [four wave mixing] processes. It can take place only in media with anisotropy of third order nonlinearity. As a result of such nonlinear optical interaction at the output of the nonlinear crystal it is generated a new linearly polarized wave at the same frequency, but with polarization oriented perpendicularly to the polarization of input wave


Simplified optical scheme for XPW generation is shown on Fig. 1. It consists of a nonlinear crystal plate (thick 1-2 mm) sandwiched between two crossed polarizers. The intensity of generated XPW has cubic dependence with respect to the intensity of the input wave. In fact this is the main reason this effect is so successful for improvement of the contrast of the temporal and spatial profiles of femtosecond pulses. Since cubic crystals are used as nonlinear media they are isotropic with respect to linear properties (there is no birefringence) and because of that the phase and group velocities of both waves XPW and the fundamental wave(FW) are equal:VXPW=VFW and Vgr,XPW=Vgr,FW. Consequence of that is ideal phase and group velocity matching for the two waves propagating along the crystal. This property allows obtaining very good efficiency of the XPW generation process with minimum distortions of the pulse shape and the spectrum.


Eli may refer to

Gérard Mourou

Gérard Albert Mourou (French: [ʒeʁaʁ muʁu]; born 22 June 1944) is a French scientist and pioneer in the field of electrical engineering and lasers. He was awarded a Nobel Prize in Physics in 2018, along with Donna Strickland, for the invention of chirped pulse amplification, a technique later used to create ultrashort-pulse, very high-intensity (petawatt) laser pulses.In 1994, Mourou and his team at the University of Michigan discovered that the balance between the self-focusing refraction (see Kerr effect) and self-attenuating diffraction by ionization and rarefaction of a laser beam of terawatt intensities in the atmosphere creates "filaments" which act as waveguides for the beam thus preventing divergence.

Index of physics articles (E)

The index of physics articles is split into multiple pages due to its size.

To navigate by individual letter use the table of contents below.


LULI : Laboratoire pour l'Utilisation des Lasers Intenses ('LULI) is a scientific research laboratory specialised in the study of plasmas generated by laser-matter interaction at high intensities and their applications. The main missions of LULI include: (i) Research in Plasma Physics, (ii) Development and operation of high-power high-energy lasers and experimental facilities, (iii) student formation in Plasma Physics, Optics and Laser Physics.

List of laser articles

This is a list of laser topics.

Nam Chang-hee

Nam Chang-hee (Hangul: 남창희; born February 14, 1957) is a South Korean plasma physicist. Nam is specializing in the exploration of relativistic laser-matter interactions using femtosecond PW lasers. Currently he is professor of physics at Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology and director of the Center for Relativistic Laser Science as a part of the Institute for Basic Science (IBS).

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Outline of Big Science

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to Big Science.

Big Science – term used by scientists and historians of science to describe a series of changes in science which occurred in industrial nations during and after World War II.


Romania ( (listen) ro-MAY-nee-ə; Romanian: România [romɨˈni.a] (listen)) is a country located at the crossroads of Central, Eastern and Southeastern Europe. It borders the Black Sea to the southeast, Bulgaria to the south, Ukraine to the north, Hungary to the west, Serbia to the southwest, and Moldova to the east. It has a predominantly temperate-continental climate. With a total area of 238,397 square kilometres (92,046 sq mi), Romania is the 12th largest country and also the 7th most populous member state of the European Union, having almost 20 million inhabitants. Its capital and largest city is Bucharest, and other major urban areas include Cluj-Napoca, Timișoara, Iași, Constanța, Craiova, and Brașov.

The River Danube, Europe's second-longest river, rises in Germany's Black Forest and flows in a general southeast direction for 2,857 km (1,775 mi), coursing through ten countries before emptying into Romania's Danube Delta. The Carpathian Mountains, which cross Romania from the north to the southwest, include Moldoveanu Peak, at an altitude of 2,544 m (8,346 ft).Modern Romania was formed in 1859 through a personal union of the Danubian Principalities of Moldavia and Wallachia. The new state, officially named Romania since 1866, gained independence from the Ottoman Empire in 1877. Following World War I, when Romania fought on the side of the Allied powers, Bukovina, Bessarabia, Transylvania as well as parts of Banat, Crișana, and Maramureș became part of the sovereign Kingdom of Romania. In June–August 1940, as a consequence of the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact and Second Vienna Award, Romania was compelled to cede Bessarabia and Northern Bukovina to the Soviet Union, and Northern Transylvania to Hungary. In November 1940, Romania signed the Tripartite Pact and, consequently, in June 1941 entered World War II on the Axis side, fighting against the Soviet Union until August 1944, when it joined the Allies and recovered Northern Transylvania. Following the war, under the occupation of the Red Army's forces, Romania became a socialist republic and member of the Warsaw Pact. After the 1989 Revolution, Romania began a transition back towards democracy and a market economy.

The sovereign state of Romania is a developing country and ranks 52nd in the Human Development Index. It has the world's 47th largest economy by nominal GDP and an annual economic growth rate of 7% (2017), the highest in the EU at the time. Following rapid economic growth in the early 2000s, Romania has an economy predominantly based on services, and is a producer and net exporter of machines and electric energy, featuring companies like Automobile Dacia and OMV Petrom. It has been a member of the United Nations since 1955, part of NATO since 2004, and part of the European Union since 2007. An overwhelming majority of the population identifies themselves as Eastern Orthodox Christians and are native speakers of Romanian, a Romance language.

Schwinger effect

The (Sauter-)Schwinger effect, Schwinger mechanism, or Schwinger pair production is a predicted physical phenomenon whereby matter is created by a strong electric field. It is a prediction of quantum electrodynamics (QED) in which electron-positron pairs are spontaneously created in the presence of an electric field, thereby causing the decay of the electric field. It was originally proposed by Fritz Sauter in 1931 and further important work was carried out by Werner Heisenberg and Hans Heinrich Euler in 1936, though it was not until 1951 when Julian Schwinger gave a complete theoretical description .

Wolfgang Sandner

Wolfgang Sandner (2 March 1949 in Teisendorf – 5 December 2015) was a German physicist who was employed in atomic and laser physics. From 2010 to 2012 he was president of the German Physical Society. Until his death, he was director general of the ELI Delivery Consortium International Association (AISBL) located in Brussels.

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