Record participation at user meetings of the Hamburg research light sources

More than 1300 participants from 28 countries have registered

Users Meeting

The jointly organised users' meetings are the largest gathering of this kind worldwide. (Credit: DESY, Marta Mayer)

For this year's users' meetings of the Hamburg X-ray light sources, more participants have registered than ever before: More than 1300 scientists from 28 countries will come to discuss research with DESY's X-ray source PETRA III, the free-electron laser in Hamburg FLASH and the X-ray laser European XFEL for three days starting this Wednesday. The jointly organised users' meetings of DESY and European XFEL are the largest gathering of this kind worldwide.

“The steadily increasing number of participants from Germany and abroad shows the great importance of the Hamburg research light sources for the national and international scientific community,” says DESY's Director for Photon Science, 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.

At the European X-ray laser European XFEL, all six scientific experiment stations are in operation since June. “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 central topics at this year's meeting include the planned expansion of DESY's synchrotron radiation source PETRA III to a fourth-generation light source, PETRA IV. The conceptual design report (CDR) that has been completed at the end of last year will be presented at the users' meeting. The future plans for DESY's free-electron laser FLASH are also discussed and the current conceptual design report for the FLASH 2020+ project will be presented.

In 2019, the DESY X-ray light sources PETRA III and FLASH were used by nearly 3400 scientists from more than 40 countries. The largest field of research at PETRA III was once again life sciences, accounting for around 29 percent of all investigations, with a strong share of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory EMBL, which operates a branch with its own measuring stations at PETRA III. This was followed by energy research with 22 percent and key technologies with 18 percent, including research at the measuring station operated by the Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht (HZG) at PETRA III. At FLASH, almost half of the investigations (45 percent) last year came from the energy sector, followed by 35 percent from the field of key technologies. In both areas, most of the projects were basic research.

The users' 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.

(from DESY News)

Further Information: 
DESY Photon Science and European XFEL users' meetings