China's IHEP delivers undulator prototype
In the context of a long-time German-Chinese collaboration, the Institute of High Energy Physics in Beijing has built the first undulator segment for the European XFEL. The prototype is now waiting to be tested in Hamburg.
It is no April fool’s joke: On the morning of 1 April, the truck reached the DESY site and drove directly into the hall to the undulator test rooms of the European XFEL. The lead seal on the container could only be broken after consultation with the customs, however, because its valuable contents—the first undulator segment built specifically for the X-ray laser—came directly from Beijing. After two hours, a crane finally lifted the eight-tonne prototype out of the container onto the floor of the hall.
Two rows of 207 magnets each make up the five-metre-long undulator segment. Its height is 2.28 m, and it was manufactured with a precision in the micrometre range. The Institute of High Energy Physics (IHEP) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences built the prototype at its own expense on the basis of existing plans.
“This prototype is the first undulator segment constructed specifically for the new X-ray laser, and the result of a fruitful collaboration of many years between Beijing and Hamburg,” said Joachim Pflüger, the leader of the Undulator group at the European XFEL GmbH. “Four experts from Beijing stayed here with us for six months. The exchange then went on through email, video conferencing, and mutual short visits.” In the coming months, the prototype will be put through its paces, its magnetic field will be measured, and its whole handling will be tested. Later, it will be one of the 91 segments that will make up the undulator sections of the X-ray laser’s first three beamlines.
Read more about the undulators of the European XFEL in our news feature "Fiat lux"