Extreme Light Infrastructure - Nuclear Physics facility (ELI-NP) will operate two components:

A very high intensity laser system, with two 10 PW laser arms able to reach intensities of 1023 W/cm2 and electrical fields of 1015 V/m.
A system with Max. γ energy: 19.5 MeV with spectral density: 104 ph/s/eV and ~ 0.1 % bandwidth. Production method: light photons scattered on high energy electrons.

The infrastructure will provide a new European laboratory addressing a broad range of scientific research areas from frontier fundamental physics, new nuclear physics and astrophysics to applications in nuclear materials, radioactive waste management, material science and life sciences.
For the implementation of ELI-NP we follow two guiding principles:

  • a staged implementation of ELI-NP
  • a flexible design of the ELI-NP facility.

ELI-NP will allow both combined experiments between the high-power laser and the γ beam and stand-alone experiments.

The γ beam will have unique properties and opens new possibilities for high resolution spectroscopy at higher nuclear excitation energies. This will lead to a better understanding of nuclear structure at higher excitation energies with many doorway states, their damping widths and chaotic behaviour, but also new fluctuating properties in the time and energy domain. The detailed investigation of the pygmy dipole resonance above and below the particle threshold is essential for nucleosynthesis in astrophysics. In ion acceleration the high power laser allows the production of ion beams 1015 times denser than those achieved with classical acceleration. The cascaded fission-fusion reaction mechanism can then be used to produce very neutron-rich heavy nuclei for the first time. These nuclei allow to investigate the N = 126 waiting point of the r-process in nucleosynthesis. This type of new laser acceleration mechanism will bring significant contributions to one of the fundamental problems of astrophysics – the production of the heavy elements beyond iron in the universe. According to a recent report by the National Research Council of the National Academy of Science (USA), the origin of the heaviest elements remains one of the eleven greatest unanswered questions of modern physics. The γ beam also opens many new possibilities for applications. The γ beam itself can be used to map the isotope distributions of nuclear materials or radioactive waste remotely via Nuclear Resonance Fluorescence (NRF) measurements. At lower energies, around 100 keV, the high resolution of the beam is very important for protein structural analysis. In addition, low energy, brilliant, intense neutron beams and low energy, brilliant, intense positron beams will be produced, thus opening new fields in material science and life sciences. Studying the same target with these very different brilliant beams, which will now be available for the first time, will advance science considerably.

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PW Lasers

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International Scientific Collaborations

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Research Scientists

Experimental Setups

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green facility heating and cooling exclusively provided by GSHP system

The high power laser allows for intensities of up to 1024W/cm2. Very interesting synergies are achievable with the γ beam and the brilliant high energy electron beam in order to study new fundamental processes in high field QED. The use of the very high intensity laser and the very brilliant, intense γ beam will also ensure major advancements in nuclear physics and its associated fields, like for example the element synthesis in astrophysics, and many new applications. It might even make possible in fundamental physics the observation of the creation of the first pair catalysed from the quantum vacuum. In the field of basic nuclear physics, a better theoretical understanding of compound nuclear resonances, corroborated by improved experiments, will also lead to better models for element synthesis in astrophysics. Compared to former γ facilities, the much improved bandwidth is decisive for this new γ beam facility. Several experiments, like the parity violation experiment, only become possible due to this much better bandwidth. The large majority of γ beam experiments will profit proportionally from the better bandwidth because the widths of the nuclear levels studied are significantly smaller than the width of the beam. Thus the ratio of "good" γ quanta within the nuclear linewidth compared to the "bad" γ quanta outside, which undergo Compton scattering and cause background in the detectors, will be significantly improved. Besides a wide range of fundamental physics projects, also a variety of applied research will become possible at ELI-NP. The project to develop techniques for remote characterization of nuclear materials or radioactive waste via NRF will bring important socio-economic benefits in Europe. Another important application is related to the research hypothesis that a detailed in-situ characterization of partially used reactor fuel elements may result in producing more usable energy in reactors for the same amount of radioactive waste. Furthermore, the new production schemes of medical isotopes via (γ, n) Furthermore, the new production schemes of medical isotopes via (γ, n) may improve current medical practice and bring significant socio-economic benefits. Likewise, the new types of neutron sources and positron sources developed at ELI-NP can generate important developments in material and life sciences.