DESY's greatest attraction is its scientific diversity
by Enrico Allaria, new project leader, FLASH2020+
At the end of my Ph.D., when I moved from Florence to Trieste and joined the FERMI free-electron laser project, I enjoyed working on the development of the seeded FEL facility, but I also enjoyed the international character of the city as well as its location at the north of Adriatic Sea. Now, after 15 years, it is time for a second move. After my first days in Hamburg I’m pleased to see that there are several common aspects with Trieste. Not only the big port at the center of the city – also the culture and the many options for enjoying the city environs make Hamburg a perfect place to be. But, as a scientist, the largest attraction to Hamburg is coming from the variety of scientific possibilities available
at DESY, which, in my case, materialised in the FLASH2020+ project.
The upgrade will allow us to conduct completely new experiments with FLASH2020+. This will be possible thanks to the fully coherent pulses
generated from the renovated FEL beamline, which will be triggered by an external laser. Each of these laser pulses has the same properties as all the other pulses. This means that experiments can be reproduced very accurately, and highly precise measurements can be repeated several times. In combination with the high repetition rate, which is only available at FLASH, this is an enormous advantage, especially for experiments that rely on very small signals. In addition, a further upgrade is being discussed towards generating ultrashort pulses approaching the sub-femtosecond range. This will enable us to study processes with a time resolution of less than 0.000 000 000 000 001 seconds!
The generation and use of coherent X-ray pulses is a rapidly growing area of research. I therefore hope that the developments at FLASH2020+ will contribute to progress in this exciting field.