Free-electron lasers for short-wavelength radiation are a new light source providing extremely high brilliance radiation. Starting with the VUV-FEL FLASH at DESY, Hamburg in 2005 these sources will become available first for the VUV to soft X-ray regime and, within the next 10 years, for the full spectral range up to the 0,1 nm X-ray regime. FEL radiation features unprecedented properties with up to 10 orders of magnitude higher peak brilliance than existing X-ray sources. In particular, the source will be highly coherent, the X-ray pulses will be extremely short (of the order 100 femtoseconds) and very intense (>1012 photons per pulse). These light sources allow to apply new experimental techniques for short-wavelength radiation, therefore enabling new science to be investigated.
It is the aim of the research courses to provide young and future researchers with the fundamental knowledge about new methods of X-ray research, in order they can establish in this field and can themself contribute to develop a wide area of scientific application of X-ray FEL research, similar to what has very successfully happened in synchrotron radiation research. The courses address students in their final terms, diploma students, PhD students and young research fellows after the PhD.
The structure of the courses is such that the lectures shall provide fundamental information about the different facetts of the topic of the corresponding course. Both, experimental techniques and scientific applications of these techniques shall be discussed. From the lecture the student shall be able to understand the basics, to estimate experimental observables and to deviate results and conclusions of experiments. The courses will be rather compact with only few lectures per day over three days.A poster session will be held to discuss recent results of the participants.
DESY is an international research centre for particle and accelerator physics and for synchrotron radiation research and has recently submitted a proposal to build an European X-ray Free-electron laser laboratory (XFEL). This project has been described in a Technical Design Report (TDR, July 2006), including a detailed description of the scientific applications of X-ray FEL radiation. Germany has agreed to fund part of the XFEL as a European project and has suggested to build the XFEL at DESY, Hamburg. At present DESY operates the FLASH user facility, a FEL based on the SASE principle and designed for radiation in the wavelength regime 6-60 nm (20-200 eV).