Construction on Szeged’s EU-supported superlaser center begins

Telco

The cornerstone of the ELI Attosecond Light Pulse Source (ELI-ALPS), a European Union-supported superlaser center in Szeged, was laid today in a ceremony attended by Prime Minister Viktor Orbán. At the ceremony, Orbán said Hungary could become a center of research and development if the country's scientific research centers were networked together.

Hungary, the Czech Republic and Romania won a joint bid for the EU’s Extreme Light Infrastructure (ELI) project in October 2009, with the University of Szeged hosting the project in Hungary. 

The ELI-ALPS will be devoted to “taking snapshots in the attosecond scale of the electron dynamics in atoms, molecules, plasmas and solids”; an attosecond is defined as a billionth of a billionth of a second, or 0.000000000000000001 seconds. The ELI-ALPS will “also pursue research with ultrahigh intensity lasers.”

In the first phase, the research building will be constructed and part of the laser technology installed. EU funding will cover 85% of the project’s HUF 37 billion (€120.3 million) cost. More equipment will be installed in the second, HUF 24.3 billion phase which is expected to be completed by 2018.

-- David Landry contributed to this article

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