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Super-laser ready to fire

The European XFEL, the most powerful X-ray laser in the world, has officially opened in Hamburg.

Launched at an event on 1 September, the laser will be able to generate up to 27,000 extremely bright and short light pulses a second. This is 200 times more than other X-ray lasers, Germany’s Desy centre for nuclear research, which leads the XFEL consortium, said in a statement.

The laser was launched eight years after Germany signed a deal, put together a consortium and provided a budget of €1 billion to create the facility. Eleven countries are involved in the consortium, including France, Italy, Poland, Russia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.

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