Smaller, faster, more intense: The European XFEL will open up areas of research that were previously inaccessible. Using the X-ray flashes of the European XFEL, scientists will be able to map the atomic details of viruses, decipher the molecular composition of cells, take threedimensional images of the nanoworld, film chemical reactions and study processes such as those occurring deep inside planets.
To generate the X-ray flashes, bunches of electrons will first be accelerated to high energies and then directed through special arrangements of magnets (undulators). In the process, the particles will emit radiation that is increasingly amplified until an extremely short and intense X-ray flash is finally created. (More about how it works) The European XFEL will generate X-ray radiation with properties similar to those of laser light. There will be several light sources with different characteristics. (More about the light sources)
The European XFEL will be located mainly in underground tunnels, which can be accessed on three different sites. The 3.4-kilometre-long facility will run from DESY in Hamburg to the town of Schenefeld (Schleswig-Holstein). The Schenefeld site will host the research campus on whichinternational teams of scientists will carry out experiments with the X-ray flashes. (More on the location and the sites of the European XFEL)