Forschung in Hamburg - ©
European XFEL-Wissenschaftler Maurizio Vannoni prüft den neuen Röntgenspiegel, dessen Oberfläche nicht mehr als einen milliardstel Meter von der Idealform abweicht. © European XFEL

World's most precise mirror delivered to European XFEL X-ray laser research facility being built in Hamburg

Delivery results from long research and development process. Firms in Japan, Italy, France and Germany involved

A 95-cm long mirror, more precise than any ever built, was delivered to European XFEL, an X-ray laser research facility being built in Hamburg. This superflat mirror does not deviate from its surface quality by more than one nanometre or a billionth of a metre. It is the first of many needed for the European XFEL.

DESY research centre is main shareholder

Harald Sinn, who leads the European XFEL X-Ray Optics group, said: “When we first started working on these optics, we were looking for something that simply didn’t exist at anywhere near this precision”, adding, “Now we have the first ever mirror at this extreme specification.”

The European XFEL will generate ultra short X-ray flashes – 27,000 times per second and with a brilliance one billion times higher than that of the best conventional X-ray radiation sources. The world’s unique facility will open entirely new research possibilities for scientists and industrial users. The main shareholder, Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron (DESY), is playing a key role in building and operating the facility.

International nano cosmos research project

The precision of the European XFEL mirror is equivalent to a 40-km long road without bumps larger than the width of a hair. The mirror’s production is the culmination of a long research and development process involving several institutes and companies in Japan, France, Italy and Germany. The mirror will enable scientists all over the world to reliably use the world’s brightest X-ray laser light for research into ultrafast chemical processes, complex molecular structures, and extreme states of matter.

Sources and “further information:

About European XFEL

The European XFEL is a research facility currently under construction in underground tunnels in the Hamburg region. The facility is over three kilometres in length and runs from DESY’s site in Hamburg to Schenefeld in Schleswig-Holstein where a research campus with a huge hall for experiments is being built. This project is worth billions and is an international undertaking for which European XFEL GmbH was especially founded. Germany and ten other countries including Russia, France and Italy are involved in this venture. From 2017 on, it will generate extremely intense X-ray flashes to be used by researchers from all over the world. For more information, see:

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