The European x-ray free electron laser is an X-ray research laser facility currently under construction and as of 2015 is scheduled to start user operation in 2017. The international project with 11 participating countries is located in the German federal states of Hamburg and Schleswig-Holstein. A free-electron laser generates high-intensity electromagnetic radiation by accelerating electrons to relativistic speeds and directing them through special magnetic structures. The European XFEL is constructed such that the electrons produce x-ray light in synchronisation, resulting in high-intensity x-ray pulses with the properties of laser light and at intensities much brighter than those produced by conventional synchrotron light sources.
The 3.4 km long tunnel for the European XFEL housing the superconducting linear accelerator and photon beamlines will run 6 to 38 m underground from the site of the DESY research center in Hamburg to the town of Schenefeld in Schleswig-Holstein, where the administrative buildings and experimental stations and laboratories will be located.
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