WE-Heraeus seminar on Novel Light Sources

Organised by DESY and European XFEL

Participants of the 762. WE-Heraeus-Seminar (Photos: E. Weckert, DESY)

Participants of the 762th WE-Heraeus-Seminar on-site and online (Photos: E. Weckert, DESY).

More than 90 researchers from universities and research institutions throughout many countries worldwide attended the 762th WE-Heraeus seminar on 'Diffraction Limited Synchrotron Light Sources and Next Generation Free Electron Lasers'. It took place at the Physikzentrum in Bad Honnef (Gemany) from 7-11 March, 2022. This WE-Heraeus seminar – in a hybrid format – addressed the scientific opportunities opened by modern accelerator-based light sources as well as the technical issues, both on the side of the accelerators and the experiments, in order to develop this field even further. The scientific organisers were Robert Feidenhans‘l (European XFEL), Wim Leemans and Edgar Weckert (both from DESY).

Researchers from 34 universities, research organisations and companies used the opportunity for a vivid exchange of information. Accelerator-based light sources like synchrotron radiation and Free-Electron-Laser (FEL) facilities have developed into indispensable analytical tools for modern science. These facilities are capable of providing extremely intense and collimated beams of photons extending from the visible to the hardest X-ray regime and to time scales as short as a few femto-seconds. During the last years accelerator-based light sources have gone through a revolutionary phase. 

The extremely short and intense X-ray pulses of the recently established FELs allow for the investigation of the dynamic properties of matter at atomic length and time scales and thus opening a totally new observation window into non-equilibrium states of matter at the nano and atomic scale. However, there is also a disruptive revolution going on in the field of storage ring-based sources through the development of new magnetic storage ring lattices. This allows for electron beams of very low emittance and, therefore, the generation of an extremely brilliant beam that can efficiently be focused down to the 10 nm scale for the spatial-resolved investigation of any kind of heterogeneous matter on these length scales. This supports rational materials analysis and development for future challenges in the fields sustainable energy, transport, information and health. PETRA IV, DESY’s upgrade of PETRA III, will be a world-leading facility in this respect in the future, accompanied by the European XFEL and the upgraded FLASH 2020+ facility.

Even though the WE-Heraeus seminar took place as a hybrid seminar, it featured a lively exchange within over 16 sessions with about 30 talks and 40 posters across the many fields of science and technology that are related to diffraction-limited next generation light sources.


DESY and European XFEL would like to thank the Wilhelm and Else Heraeus-Foundation for financial and organisational support of this seminar and in particular for supporting the next generation of scientists in this exciting research field.