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About Us
About Us

About Us


The Extreme Light Infrastructure (ELI), the world's first international user facility for laser research, has been established as an International Association during a notarial ceremony on April 11, 2013 in Brussels, Belgium. The ceremony and the subsequent reception were attended by Robert-Jan Smits, Director-General of DG Research and Innovation, and by Ana Arana Antelo, Head of Unit “Research Infrastructures”, together with representatives from the European Commission and various ELI partner countries.

ELI is part of the ESFRI Roadmap for international research infrastructures of high priority for Europe and is being constructed with strong international collaborations in three pillars in the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Romania utilizing EU Structural Funds.

 (from left to right): Lóránt Lehrner (ELI-ALPS), Maria Douka (DG Research), Nicolae-Victor Zamfir (ELI-NP), Robert-Jan Smits (DG Research), Wolfgang Sandner (ELI-DC), Vlastimil Ružička (ELI Beamlines), Carlo Rizzuto (Elettra-Sincrotrone Trieste), Florian Gliksohn (ELI-DC), Harry Tuinder (DG Research)

ELI, when fully implemented in 2017, will contain some of the world's most powerful lasers and they will be available for the international scientific community. These ultra-intense and ultrashort light pulses create new states of matter in dense plasmas; probe the structure of vacuum and produce secondary radiation of high-energy photons or particles. These will be used to understand fundamental dynamic processes in such different species including nuclei, molecules, or biological cells.

ELI's technologies and capabilities will bring Europe at the forefront of this scientific field and stimulate the socio economic development in the host countries and in the EU.

The newly founded ELI Delivery Consortium International Association will be a non-profit organisation under Belgian law (AISBL). It will promote the sustainable development of ELI as a pan-European research infrastructure; support the coordinated implementation of the ELI research facilities and preserve the consistency and complementarity nature of the scientific missions. It will also organize the establishment of an international consortium that will be in charge of the future operation of ELI, preferably in the form of a European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ERIC).

Founding members of the ELI-DC International Association are three international scientific institutions, the Romanian “Horia Hulubei” National Institute of Research and Development for Physics and Nuclear Engineering (IFIN-HH), the Hungarian ELI-Hu Research and Development Non-Profit Limited Liability Company, and the Italian Elettra-Sincrotrone Trieste S.C.p.A. The Institute of Physics of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic will join the Association immediately after its establishment. Institutions from other countries such as Germany, the UK, France and others are expected to follow.

For more information, please contact: 

Catalin Miron, designated director, ELI-DC International Association

Prof. Jan Ridky, ELI Beamlines project director, plenipotentiary for ELI in the Czech Republic
(, +420 721 749 450)

Mr. Lóránt Lehrner, ELI-ALPS project director, plenipotentiary for ELI in Hungary
(, +36 30 939 9010)

Prof. Nicolae-Victor Zamfir, ELI Nuclear Physics project director, plenipotentiary for ELI in Romania
(, +40 21 404 23 01)

Prof. Carlo Rizzuto, President of the Board of ELETTRA-Sincrotrone Trieste SCpA



The facility

ELI-NP will be the Romanian research center pillar of the European distributed infrastructure ELI.  ELI-NP will be based on two main systems: A laser that will produce two 10PW beams, and a gamma beam system that will produce highly collimated, high intensity gamma radiation with tunable energy up to 20MeV.  This unique experimental combination  will enable ELI-NP  to tackle a wide range of research topics in fundamental physics, nuclear physics and astrophysics, and also research that will soon find applications in materials science, management of nuclear materials and life sciences.


The project, valued at almost 300M Euro without VAT, received from the European Commission the approval for funding of the first phase (180M Euro) from Structural Funds (SOP IEC) and began implementation on the Măgurele Physics campus (near Bucharest). ELI-NP is to be completed and start operation in 2018 under an “open access” scheme.


ELI Nuclear Physics

ELI Nuclear Physics


Research topics

  • The extremely high intensity of the laser beam will allow the study of phenomena anticipated by theory, such as vacuum birefringence and pair creation in intense electric fields.
  • New methods of identification and remote characterisation of nuclear materials will be investigated. These methods will consequently find many applications, spanning from homeland security (remote automatic scanning of transport conteiners) to nuclear waste management.
  • New ways of producing more efficiently radioisotopes currently used in medicine and the producing of newly proposed ones are also a promising research direction for the new infrastructure. The intense neutron source at ELI-NP will find applications in the study of nanostructured systems, molecular and biomolecular physics.
  • imultaneous use of the high intensity gamma and laser beams will enable the study of  materials behaviour in extreme radiation conditions and is of great interest for the production of nuclear power plants  components as simulation of long functioning periods becoming possible.
  • Particles acceleration using of high-intensity laser beams. This is fundamentally different from current employed techniques and has many advantages including  a much higher density (108 times with respect to an accelerator beam) and a large beam width, The beam with is  advantageous for hadron-therapy as in current proton/ion cancer therapies, the classical acceleratored beam  must be scattered up to the desired width and  potentially dangerous secondary neutrons are emitted.
  • Terahertz lasers. These frequencies lies in the frequency range beyond the possibilities of common electronics but below  optical equipment. This radiation corresponds to rotation frequencies of large molecules and characteristic frequencies of some superconductor. These  can be a powerful tool and uses include imaging of biological tissue; quality control in pharmaceutical and semiconductor industries; tomography in medicine; remote security screening. Currently, terahertz  radiation is only  produced in synchrotrons and linear accelerators which are very large and expensive equipment.


The future

ELI-NP has the potential to be, for many years, in the forefront of worldwide science from theoretical physics to biology. ELI-NP has a great flexibility to cover various interdisciplinary area, as a consequence of the possibility to employ simultaneously in experiments multiple radiation types, produced by equipment that will be unique at the moment of entering operation.


The access to the infrastructure will be “open access” for not-for-profit organisations, researchers being able to submit proposals for experiments, then evaluated and selected by an international commission. Part of the operation time will be allocated to private companies that will pay the access costs, thus bringing a contribution to the ELI-NP operation costs.

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Extreme Light Infrastructure (ELI) is one of the 35 large-scale European projects identified on the latest ESFRI roadmap. The Preparatory Phase of ELI, involving nearly 40 research and academic institutions from 13 EU Member States, was officially launched in Paris on February 21st and 22nd 2008. The main objectives of the ELI Project include the construction of a modern, cutting-edge laser facility and realization of many research and application projects involving interaction of light with matter at high intensities (100 - 1,000 times greater than current technology). ELI will be delivering ultrashort laser pulses lasting typically a few femtoseconds (10-15 fs) with a peak output of approximate 200 PW.

ELI Beamlines

ELI Beamlines


The ELI infrastructure will be composed of three pillars under one European umbrella. The ELI Beamlines in Dolní Břežany in Central Bohemian Region of the Czech Republic; the ELI Attosecond facility in Szeged, Hungary and the ELI Nuclear Physics in Magurele in Romania.


The primary mission of the ELI Beamlines Facility is the production of a  new generation of secondary sources driven by ultra-intense lasers. These secondary sources will produce pulses of radiation and particles inclduing  X-rays, gamma-rays and  bunches of accelerated electrons, protons and ions.  These will be used as unprecedented research tools in many research disciplines and in the development of new technologies. The research agenda using the ultrashort and ultra-intense pulses delivered by the ELI laser is structured into six research programs:

  • Lasers generating reprate ultrashort pulses and multipetawatt peak power
  • X-ray sources driven by ultrashort laser pulses
  • Particle acceleration by lasers
  • Applications in molecular, biomedical, and material sciences
  • Laser Plasma and high-energy-density physics
  • Exotic physics and theory


The ELI Beamlines project is managed in the Czech Republic by a dedicated team of the Institute of Physics of the Academy of Sciences and supported by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports, the Academy of Sciences and the Central Bohemia Region. The Consortium ELI-CZ, which already includes 14 Czech universities and research institutions, is key player demonstrating the strong support of the Czech scientific community to the project.


The ELI Beamlines Facility is a 6-hectare lot located in the southern vicinity of Prague, in the town of Dolní Břežany, in the Central Bohemia Region. This location is accessible from downtown Prague by public transportation within less than half an hour. It is in close proximity to the nearly completed Prague motorway ring, which directly connects to the European motorway network and provides direct communication with the Prague International Airport.


The ELI Beamlines facility is being built on a brownfield site with sufficient infrastructure. The site is suitable for future upgrades and  facility developments. There is also space  for spin-off companies and/or future industrial activities related to laser and optical science. This cluster approach will certainly foster the scientific and economic impact of the future facility.


The construction of the building started in autumn 2012. ELI Beamlines will be composed of three buildings. There will be an offical opening in October 2015. Laser and experimental halls, including a three-stones single monolithic laser hall of the footprint 110 x 65 m, with all development and installation of laser systems will be finished by 2017 and by January 2018 will be open for user experiments.