New photo album on ELI ALPS

Photographer Zsolt Dobóczky’s second photo album featuring pictures with lasers in the focus has come out with the title Pulses of the Future. Similar to the first volume (Invisible Flashes), which was published in 2017, the collection presents life at ELI ALPS.

New photo album on ELI ALPS


Much has changed in Szeged in the seven years since the publication of the first volume. The building has been fitted with lasers, workstations and everything else that is essential for running a world-class research facility. The scientific community has acknowledged our efforts: researchers from all over the world come to prove their theories with experiments at our laser centre, which offers unparalleled research opportunities. The growing number of scientific publications affiliated with ELI ALPS justifies the quality of our work. Zsolt Dobóczky has taken on the task of documenting the institute’s daily life.

“This album offers a unique insight into the life of ELI ALPS Laser Research Institute, one of the world’s leading laser laboratories, through the camera of a photographer,” Professor Gábor Szabó, Managing Director of ELI ALPS writes in the Foreword. “These pictures show the process of acquisition of scientific knowledge, the experiments and the everyday life of researchers from an individual perspective. The book is a real treat for anyone interested in laser physics, scientific research and photography.”

“ELI ALPS Laser Research Institute is one of the powerhouses of science; what’s more, it is not only a technically outstanding facility, but also an artistically inspiring environment,” Science Director Katalin Varjú states in the Introduction. The album is a fascinating illustration of the combination of science and art: Zsolt Dobóczky perceives the environment in a unique way, which is also reflected in his photographs. He presents technical feats as artistically composed works. Most people find it hard to imagine the life of researchers, their daily dedicated work, but he managed to capture the right moments, and the photos authentically depict our everyday life.

Zsolt Dobóczky – who is also a teacher of electrotechnics at Gábor Dénes Technical and Vocational Secondary School affiliated with the Szeged Vocational Training Centre – wanted to show how empty rooms come alive, how a building turns into a place of research. In his photos we can see the manufacturing of equipment required for the experiments, and the moments when scientific instruments are brought to life. We can witness the launch of research projects in physics, chemistry and biology, and the important role ELI plays in the dissemination of scientific knowledge.

Initially, the artist – who had to undergo training in occupational safety to gain access to the premises – found it strange that he could first see the colours appearing in the pictures taken in the laser laboratories off-site, in many cases only on the screen of his home computer. “It was intriguing to enter the biological laboratory for the first time. I didn’t know what work was going on there, the researchers had no idea what I wanted to photograph, so camerawork was preceded by long conversations. And in the LTA laboratory, it was a thrilling experience that I was allowed to put the model target in place,” Dobóczky said suggesting that taking a photo is much more than a simple click. 

Zsolt Dobóczky and Mátyás Mozsár, graphic designer at ELI ALPS, worked for a year on the Hungarian-English publication, which is not available commercially.