ELI is a European Project, involving nearly 40 research and academic institutions from 13 EU Members Countries, forming a pan-European Laser facility, that aims to host the most intense lasers world-wide.
The facility, based on four sites, will be the first large scale infrastructure based on the Eastern part of the European Community and has obtained a financial committment exceeding 700 M€. The European Commission has recently signed the approval for funding the first ELI-pillar, located in the Czech Republic, with a budget of nearly 290 M€.
In the Czech Republic, Prague, the ELI pillar will focus on providing ultra-short energetic particle (10 GeV) and radiation (up to few MeV) beams produced from compact laser plasma accelerators to users.
In Hungary, Szeged, the ELI pillar will be dedicated to extremely fast dynamics by taking snap-shots in the attosecond scale (a billion of a billion of second) of the electron dynamics in atoms, molecules, plasmas and solids. It will also pursue research in ultrahigh intensity laser.
ELI-Nuclear Physics Facility
In Romania, Magurele, the ELI pillar will focus on laser-based nuclear physics. For this purpose, an intense gamma-ray source is forseen by coupling a high-energy particle accelerator to a high-power laser.
ELI-Ultra High Field Facility
The highest intensity pillar location will be decided in 2012. The laser power will reach the 200 PW or 100 000 times the power of the world electric grid. It will depend, among other things, on the laser technology development and validation. It could be built on one of the existing three sites or in a new country. With the possibility of going into the ultra-relativistic regime, ELI will afford new investigations in particle physics, nuclear physics, gravitational physics, nonlinear field theory, ultrahigh-pressure physics, astrophysics and cosmology (generating intensities exceeding 10²³ W/cm²).
It will offer a new paradigm in High Energy Physics.
ELI will promote an aggressive technology transfer. Fields such as laser and particle accelerator engineering, nuclear pharmacology, oncology, X-ray and gamma-ray imaging could be revolutionized by ELI.