Part 3
Projects & Landmarks
Physical Sciences & Engineering / Landmark


Extreme Light Infrastructure

The world's fastest and most intense advanced lasers to unravel the fundamental secrets of the Universe and materials


The Extreme Light Infrastructure (ELI) is a Research Infrastructure of global interest using extreme light-matter interactions at the highest intensities, shortest time scales and broadest spectral range. ELI will provide unprecedented energy and attosecond resolution of coherent radiation and laser-accelerated particles for fundamental studies in atomic, molecular, plasma and nuclear physics to serve a large variety of scientific applications, ranging from biology, chemistry and medicine to astrophysics in the laboratory.

ELI has facilities in the Czech Republic, Hungary and Romania with complementary scientific profiles. Construction has been implemented by national authorities in the host countries and coordinated by the ELI Delivery Consortium International Association (ELI-DC), International not-for-profit Association under Belgian Law (AISBL). The three facilities will jointly operate as a European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ERIC) starting in 2018.


In Dolni Brezany, near Prague, Czech Republic, the ELI-Beamlines facility mainly will focus on the development of short-pulse secondary sources of radiation and particles, and on their multidisciplinary applications in molecular, biomedical and material sciences, physics of dense plasmas, warm dense matter, laboratory astrophysics. In addition, the pillar will utilise its high-power, high-repetition-rate lasers for high-field physics experiments with focused intensities of about 1023 W/cm2, investigating exotic plasma physics, and non-linear QED effects (

The ELI Attosecond Light Pulse Source (ELI-ALPS) in Szeged, Hungary is establishing a unique facility, which provides light sources between THz (1012 Hz) and x-ray (1018-1019 Hz) frequency range in the form of ultrashort pulses with high repetition rate. ELI-ALPS will be dedicated to extremely fast dynamics by taking snap-shots in the attosecond scale (a billionth of a billionth of second) of the electron dynamics in atoms, molecules, plasmas and solids. It will also pursue research with ultrahigh intensity lasers (

In Magurele, Romania, the ELI Nuclear Physics (ELI-NP) facility focuses on laser-based nuclear physics. It will host two machines, a very high intensity laser, where beams from two 10 PW lasers are coherently added to get intensities of the order of 1023 - 1024 W/cm2, and a very intense, brilliant gamma beam, which is obtained by incoherent Compton back scattering of a laser light off a brilliant electron beam from a conventional linear accelerator. Applications include nuclear physics experiments to characterize laser – target interaction, photonuclear reactions, and exotic nuclear physics and astrophysics (


The Extreme Light Infrastructure will lead to new regimes in fundamental physics, enable the advent of new technologies, and deliver particles and photon sources with extreme high energies, beyond the physical limits of conventional technologies. As the first international laser user facility, ELI is open to an international community of scientific and industrial users, attracting the world’s best scientists to unique research opportunities including physics, chemistry, biology, medicine, materials sciences, and combinations thereof.

Contributions to Grand Societal Challenges will cover a broad range of areas: analytical studies in environmental research, climate research, medical diagnostics and treatment, pharmacology, bio-medicine, or from materials research for renewable and nuclear energies, nuclear waste management, and space applications.

legal status
AISBL, 2013
political support
lead country
members countries
The full list of research institutions involved must be found in the website of the RI
Roadmap Entry
Preparation Phase
Implementation/Construction Phase
Operation Start
estimated costs
capital value
850 M€
Not Available
6 M€
850 M€
80 M€/year

Brussels, Belgium