This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site you agree to our use of cookies. To find out more, see our Privacy and Cookies policy.
Skip to the content

Share this

Free weekly newswire

Sign up to receive all our latest news direct to your inbox.

Physics on film

100 Second Science Your scientific questions answered simply by specialists in less than 100 seconds.

Watch now

Bright Recruits

At all stages of your career – whether you're an undergraduate, graduate, researcher or industry professional – brightrecruits.com can help find the job for you.

Find your perfect job

Physics connect

Are you looking for a supplier? Physics Connect lists thousands of scientific companies, businesses, non-profit organizations, institutions and experts worldwide.

Start your search today

Blog

Entrusted with the key to the free electron laser

By Hamish Johnston
flash2.jpg

On Friday the Physics World video crew was at DESY in Hamburg, Germany to film two interviews, which will be broadcast in September on physicsworld.com.

Our host was DESY’s Christian Mrotzek, who did a fantastic job of setting up the interviews and scouting locations to film.

One such location was the experimental hall of the FLASH free electron laser. Christian is such a trusting soul that he left Joe McEntee and me with a key to the facility while he drove our film crew around the DESY campus.

That’s me with the key on the right.

We were tempted to start up the laser and fire off a few femtosecond pulses, but we couldn’t find the on switch. That’s another reason why Joe and I should have paid more attention to modern languages at school.

In the FLASH hall I spoke to Edgar Weckert, who is director of photon science at DESY. We chatted about plans for the new-and-improved FLASH II and he explained how FLASH is informing the development of the European X-ray Free Electron Laser, which is being built in Hamburg.

My other interview was with DESY’s director Helmut Dosch, who explained how the lab was making the transition from being a particle physics facility to becoming a centre of excellence for “photon science”.

The last particles collided at DESY in 2007, when the HERA ring shut down. By then the lab was already home to FLASH and work had just begun to convert the PETRA injector ring to the PETRA III synchroton light source.

Dosch took over as director in March 2009 and is the first condensed-matter physicist to run DESY.

Now, there seems to be no looking back as the lab plans its future as a leading experimental facility for chemistry, materials and biological science – and of course, condensed-matter physics.

Perhaps that’s not good news for particle physicists in Germany, but it means that a much broader spectrum of science will be done at DESY.

This entry was posted in General. Bookmark the permalink.
View all posts by this author  | View this author's profile

Leave a comment

Your e-mail address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Guidelines

  • Comments should be relevant to the article and not be used to promote your own work, products or services.
  • Please keep your comments brief (we recommend a maximum of 250 words).
  • We reserve the right to remove excessively long, inappropriate or offensive entries.

Show/hide formatting guidelines

Tag Description Example Output
<a> Hyperlink <a href="http://www.google.com">google</a> google
<abbr> Abbreviation <abbr title="World Health Organisation" >WHO</abbr> WHO
<acronym> Acronym <acronym title="as soon as possible">ASAP</acronym> ASAP
<b> Bold <b>Some text</b> Some text
<blockquote> Quoted from another source <blockquote cite="http://iop.org/">IOP</blockquote>
IOP
<cite> Cite <cite>Diagram 1</cite> Diagram 1
<del> Deleted text From this line<del datetime="2012-12-17"> this text was deleted</del> From this line this text was deleted
<em> Emphasized text In this line<em> this text was emphasised</em> In this line this text was emphasised
<i> Italic <i>Some text</i> Some text
<q> Quotation WWF goal is to build a future <q cite="http://www.worldwildlife.org/who/index.html">
where people live in harmony with nature and animals</q>
WWF goal is to build a future
where people live in harmony with nature and animals
<strike> Strike text <strike>Some text</strike> Some text
<strong> Stronger emphasis of text <strong>Some text</strong> Some text
WordPress Appliance - Powered by TurnKey Linux