The Extreme Light Infrastructure (ELI) project is an integral part of the European plan to build the next generation of large research facilities identified and selected by the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI). The Extreme light infrastructure is the first infrastructure in the world capable of the investigation of the interactions between light and matter with the highest intensity, in the so-called ultra-relativistic range. It will open a doorway into new territories within physics as well as establishing such new technical developments as relativistic microelectronics and small laser particle accelerators. ELI will have a considerable impact on numerous fields of materials sciences, medicine and environment protection.
ELI is the first civilian large-scale high-power laser research facility to be realized with trans-European cooperation and the worldwide scientific community. Hungary, the Czech Republic and Romania, with a coordinated management and research strategy, will simultaneously implement the project through the construction of the three laser facilities with the respective mission in the attosecond, beamline and photonuclear applications.
The main objective of ELI Attosecond Light Pulse Source (ELI-ALPS) is the establishment of a unique attosecond facility which provides ultrashort light pulses between THz (1012 Hz) and X-ray (1018-1019 Hz) frequency range with high repetition rate for developers and end-users. Experimental projects demanding ultrahigh intensity light, like laser particle acceleration or laser generated x-ray radiation will be primarily developed at the Beamline Facility in Prague, Czech Republic, while the photoinduced nuclear experiments will be performed at the research institute to be built in Magurele, near Bucharest, Romania.
The location of the fourth research institute, devoted to non-linear quantum electrodynamics and laboratory astrophysics which will be able to generate 200 PW peak power laser pulses has yet to be decided.