LEAPS: devising a new era of accelerator-based photon science in Europe

By . Published on 22 May 2017 in:
May 2017, News, , , , ,

The Directors of the European Synchrotron and FEL user facilities have decided to establish a strategic partnership – the League of European Accelerator based-Photon Sources (LEAPS)– which aims for an unprecedented level of cooperation and development and outreach to academic and industrial users as well as to the general public.

LEAPS at Diamond Light Source in November 2016
LEAPS at Diamond Light Source in November 2016

Partners (PTB just joined and is still missing here)
Partners (PTB just joined and is still missing here)

So far, 16 facilities have joined this initiative which is strongly encouraged by policy makers such as Robert-Jan Smits, the Director-General for Research and Innovation of the European Commission, who met with LEAPS representatives in Brussels on April 26, 2017.

The primary goal of LEAPS is to ensure the quality and impact of fundamental, applied and industrial research carried out at their facilities. The Partnership deploys its substantial collective knowledge, experience and expertise in Synchrotron and FEL science and technology, Research Infrastructure management, and service to scientific users to the greater benefit of European science and society. It also aims to play an integrating role for countries with less developed communities and infrastructure for research and innovation, in Europe and beyond.

The Partnership is currently preparing a roadmap document outlining the future of accelerator-based photon science in Europe, which will be handed over to DG research and innovation at the big international LEAPS roll-out meeting in November 2017.

LEAPS is aiming to get substantial funding from the EU in the 9th framework program based on its track record of more than three decades of accelerator based light sources and a community exceeding 30,000 users across Europe.

LEAPS is supported by ALBA, DESY, Diamond Light Source, Elettra, ESRF, European XFEL, FELIX, HZB, HZDR, INFN, ISA, MAX IV, PSI,SOLARIS, SOLEIL, and most recently PTB, and is collaborating with the European Synchrotron User Organization ESUO.

Find more information at

  1. More than 2,000 visitors at the ALBA Open Day
  2. Report on the FCC Week 2017 in Berlin

Read previous post:
Biggest X-ray laser in the world generates its first laser light

In the metropolitan region of Hamburg, the European XFEL, the biggest X-ray laser in the world, has reached the last major milestone before the official opening in September. The 3.4 km long facility, most of which is located in underground tunnels, has generated its first X-ray laser light. The X-ray light has a wavelength of 0.8 nm—about 500 times shorter than that of visible light. At first lasing, the laser had a repetition rate of one pulse per second, which will later increase to 27 000 per second.