In the past couple of years, the scientific talks of the summer school, hosted successively by the different ELI pillars, could only be followed online, through computer screens. The ban on physical presence was finally lifted, and participants could attend the event in person again. The aim of this year’s ELISS, organized in a hybrid form, was threefold: 1) to provide young scientists with comprehensive information about high intensity laser pulses, and about laser-driven particle/radiation sources, 2) to present this unique research infrastructure, and 3) to attract potential users to the three European research institutes. Due to the great popularity ELISS enjoyed in former years, registration for online participation was again made possible, which meant that those unable to attend in person could follow the professional talks via the Internet.
On Welcome Day, the participants could go on laboratory tours and visit the interactive visitor space of ELI ALPS. At the end of the day, they could get to know one another and the speakers at ELISS at a special garden party.
The first professional day of the Summer School was opened by Prof. Gábor Szabó, Managing Director of ELI ALPS, who spoke about the past and future of ELI.
“First of all, welcome all of you. We are very pleased to see that you are coming, and on the other hand I hope that many of you will come back in the future to do experiments here at the facility.”
Then, the participants could attend lectures on the current status of the ELI pillars, on the available equipment and on what we offer to the user community. As Prof. Katalin Varjú, Science Director of ELI ALPS put it:
“The aim why we really want to go for shorter and shorter pulse duration is to concentrate the energy of the laser burst, on one hand, in a sense to reach higher and higher peak powers, but also our aim is to freeze fast processes, to be able to study faster and faster processes, to be able to study the dynamics of matter. At ELI ALPS we are concentrating on producing state-of-the-art attosecond pulses for studying electron dynamics.”
Prof. Sergei Vladimirovich Bulanov, Head of the Department of Radiation Physics and Electron Acceleration at ELI Beamlines presented to the audience the laser systems available at the research institute in Prague; calling ELI Beamlines the high energy pillar of ELI. Among other things, he talked about the ELIBIO Programme, which explores new frontiers in light and optics to create breakthrough science in biology, chemistry and physics.
Dr. Domenico Doria, Head of the Department for Laser-Driven Experiments at ELI NP said the following: “ELI NP located in Romania will be mainly dedicated to do nuclear physic studies, but not only, because we have two main systems: High-Power Laser System, and the Gamma Beam System. The Gamma Beam System is mainly dedicated to do nuclear studies, but also we have lasers to do laser plasma physics.” The speaker presented the current status of their equipment, talked about the implementation and installation of their systems, as well as about the experiments they will perform.
The other speakers at ELISS included internationally acclaimed experts in this field of science, such as Prof. Dimitris Charalambidis, Senior Scientific Consultant of ELI ALPS, Prof. Károly Osvay, Head of the National Laser-Initiated Transmutation Laboratory at the University of Szeged. On the second day, Allen Weeks, Director General of ELI ERIC shared the following thoughts with the audience:
“Europe leads the world in laser production and installation, especially state-of-the-art systems. The ELI facilities are introducing 5 PW+ lasers plus a diverse set of leading attosecond high-repetition systems. ELI is one of the largest investments ever made in this particular field, and we are very proud of it.
ELI is set up to be a user facility, which means that the level of reliability that we need to have in the systems is quite different than a laser that is just developed to reach a peak parameter, these lasers are set up for users.”
The eventful day ended with a poster session and a gala dinner on Szeged’s Tisza River boat anchored at the river bank. On Friday, the last day of ELISS, the participants could listen to further lectures on laser science.
We would like to thank again all participants for attending the ELI Summer School either in person in Szeged or online. We end our report with feedbacks from our students: “Being here at ELISS 2022 was such an amazing experience, the lectures were filled with a lot of information.”
“Besides the lectures I evaluate the moments when I stayed with the other students from different countries. We learned a lot from each other as well, and made new friendships.”
See you in 2023 at ELI Beamlines in Dolní Břežany!