XFEL: Record attendance at users’ meeting

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Record attendance at users’ meeting

More than 1300 participants from 28 countries.

More participants than ever before have registered for this year's DESY and European XFEL Users’ Meeting. In the largest meeting of its kind worldwide, more than 1300 scientists from 28 countries met in Hamburg for three days of discussion about research and developments at the state-of-the-art light sources in the area; DESY's X-ray ring PETRA III, the free-electron laser FLASH and the European XFEL.

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Impressions of the 2020 DESY and European XFEL Users' Meeting.
At European XFEL, six scientific instruments are now in operation. Scientists and management look forward to the chance to share and discuss developments with the participants. “Our users’ experiences and expertise are crucial for shaping the future of our science and facility,” says European XFEL managing director Robert Feidenhans’l. “The annual users‘ meeting, therefore, is an extremely valuable opportunity for users and scientists who work at our facilities to share their experiences of doing experiments at the instruments, and talk about ideas for further development.”

In 2019, 890 scientists from 255 institutes in 28 countries participated in experiments at the facility.

“The steadily increasing number of participants from Germany and abroad shows the great importance of Hamburg's research light sources for the national and international scientific community,” says DESY's Director for Research with Photons, Edgar Weckert. “Hamburg is one of the X-ray capitals of the world.” The brilliant X-ray light from the powerful particle accelerators provides detailed insights into the structure and dynamics of matter at the atomic level. It can be used, for example, to decipher the structure of biomolecules, illuminate innovative materials, film chemical reactions and simulate and study the conditions inside planets and stars.

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Students who received a bursary to attend the 2020 DESY and European XFEL Users' Meeting.
“With six instruments now operational, our capacity to host experiments greatly increased in 2019,“ says European XFEL scientific Director Sakura Pascarelli. “We also witnessed great progress for the accelerator and FEL sources, are now routinely reaching highest X-ray pulse energies. We have also seen the first results from the self-seeding, with which the quality of the X-ray laser beams can be even further improved. We are very much looking forward to shaping the future scientific capabilities of our instruments together with our scientific community.”

“The achievements of the last twelve months would not have been possible without the continued excellent close collaboration with our partner DESY,” adds European XFEL scientific director Serguei Molodtsov. “We are very excited about the future of European XFEL, and are happy we are now able to demonstrate to our user community the great science European XFEL is capable of enabling.”

During the opening sessions on Wednesday talks highlighted experimental and scientific developments from the European XFEL instruments, as well as discussing thoughts and initiatives into how to handle the amount of data produced at the facilities. Other central topics this year include the planned expansion of the synchrotron radiation source PETRA III into a fourth-generation light source. The future plans for DESY's free-electron laser FLASH will also be discussed.

The user meetings are complemented by 20 satellite meetings and workshops, a presentation of more than 400 scientific posters and an industrial fair with more than 80 suppliers of scientific equipment and technical solutions.