Everything is different in 2020, but the pandemic gave no excuse to cancel the 5th edition of the ELI Summer School (ELISS). Although our students could not attend the sessions in person, more than 400 young scientists from 43 countries – mostly from China, India and, for example, the Aland Islands, Brazil, Israel, Canada and Egypt – joined the event held alternatingly by the different pillars of ELI (Extreme Light Infrastructure). The course organized by ELI-ALPS Research Institute between 26 and 28 August aimed to provide researchers and students with a comprehensive overview of high-intensity laser pulses and laser-driven particle and radiation sources, as well as to introduce our unique research activity and attract users to Szeged. The innovative digital solutions successfully supported this goal, as over seven times more students listened to the lectures than in previous summer schools.
The organizers invited 28 researchers to talk about their latest research results which have a major impact on attosecond science. The topics ranged from lasers and their applications through X-ray optics and condensed matter physics, plasma beams to atomic, molecular, and optical physics. The speakers were internationally recognized scientists of the field, such as Professor Katalin Varjú, Science Director of ELI-ALPS, Professor Dimitris Charalambidis, Chief Scientific Advisor of ELI-ALPS, Professor Károly Osvay, Head of Institute for Application of High Intensity Lasers in Nuclear Physics, University of Szeged. The event was opened by Professor Gábor Szabó, Managing Director of ELI-ALPS. The school’s programme also featured Nobel Prize winner Gérard Mourou, Professor at École Polytechnique in Paris, and Toshiki Tajima, Professor at the University of California and Director of Science at TAE.
Researchers attending the school from different time zones did not have to miss any programme: they had the opportunity to watch the lectures any time within 24 hours they had been recorded, join the virtual laboratory tours, and follow the scientific poster presentations in the digital space.
During the closing session of the school, the professional jury awarded the best poster award prize to young researchers who had presented the top three scientific posters.