British-Dutch research collaboration at FELIX renewed
A consortium of UK researchers and researchers of the Dutch FELIX Laboratory have successfully negotiated renewal of a long-standing collaboration with Radboud University, Nijmegen, for research at the FELIX laser laboratory. The UK national science foundation (EPSRC) will fund expert support and access to beam lines at the Dutch facility, a unique source of light spanning from the infrared to the microwaves.
The free electron laser based at the FELIX Laboratory is a machine that was originally built with a combination of a Dutch accelerator and a British “wiggler” (the set of magnets that force the electrons from the accelerator to emit laser light). This laser is much brighter and produces much shorter, broadly tunable infrared and THz pulses than anything currently available in the UK. British researchers are performing experiments ranging from silicon quantum technologies, to astrophysical molecular spectroscopy and to catalysis there.
The announcement for the renewal of the EPSRC Mid-Range Facility at FELIX follows hard on the heels of the opening of a new facility at the same location for research on high magnetic fields. Prof Ben Murdin from the University of Surrey, the UK spokesman at FELIX, said “The photons produced in Nijmegen have allowed us to look at far more complex motions at the quantum level than we would be able to by ourselves, and I am looking forwards to the really exciting new opportunities provided by the unique combination of both the persistent high magnetic fields and the FELIX lasers. We will be able to watch electrons in great detail as they move through materials with the FELIX lasers and have in addition the possibility to control the motion in new ways with the magnets.”
Britta Redlich, the FELIX facility manager at Radboud University said “At FELIX we are delighted to continue this very successful, long-term collaboration with EPSRC. It is wonderful to see that British scientists are looking outwards and able to work with the best available tools wherever they may be, Brexit or not.”
Dr Thornton Greenland (left) and Miss Ella Crane (right) from University College London get a tour of the FELIX Laboratory from Dr Lex van der Meer.