XFEL: The 2021 Users’ Meeting off to a successful start

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The 2021 Users’ Meeting off to a successful start


Illustration of experimental results. Copyright: European XFEL

This year's European XFEL users’ meeting is different from the past years: it is being held virtually. But that has not dampened the numbers, and it remains one of the largest meetings of its kind worldwide. Along with the DESY Photon Science Users´ Meeting, which is running in parallel to the European XFEL meeting, around 2000 scientists from 40 countries are expected to be in attendance. The European XFEL meeting which runs from 25 -29 January, 2021, will focus on discussion about the scientific highlights, progress and current status of the European XFEL. And the DESY Photon Science Users´ Meeting will provide the user community updates about PETRA III and the free-electron laser FLASH.

“Our users are the heart of our business, and this annual event gives them an opportunity to communicate about their recent scientific achievements and provides insights to the community about the status of European XFEL,” says Sakura Pascarelli, one of European XFEL’s scientific directors and chair for this year’s meeting.

Although there were only very few users on-site in the recent months, European XFEL staff and support groups have supported remote user experiments and been busy to further enhance the scope and performance of the facility. They worked on commissioning and upgrades to make experiments more user friendly and improving the service provided to users. “There have been successful experiments that users carried out remotely with help from on-site staff, but nothing replaces a direct, in-person, social and scientific interaction between users and facility staff,” Pascarelli says. “I hope that the meeting will be an opportunity for us and for our user community to further strengthen these ties. This is particularly important now, since there has been much less direct interaction with users in the recent year,” she says.

Another highlight this year is the announcement of the winner of the first European XFEL Young Scientist award on 27 January 2021. “European XFEL is producing exciting results, and some have already been published in high-impact journals like Science and Nature. So, we believe it is the right time to recognize the authors achievements,” says European XFEL scientific director Serguei Molodtsov. “In particular, we want to recognise the young generation which will define future scientific directions in the expanding field of FEL research,” he adds.

The user meetings are complemented by satellite meetings workshops, and a presentation of scientific posters.

For registration and further information please check: https://indico.desy.de/event/28139/