The winners of the first installment of Science Challenge returned to HiLASE Centre and the neighbouring ELI Beamlines on Thursday the 26th of January 2023. During the day-long programme, which was one of the prizes for winning the competition, they visited the centres’ laboratories and experienced the work of a scientist for the day.
First, together with Jan Kaufman, team leader of Laser Shock Peening (LSP), they visited the experimental hall where they applied this technology on a test sample. This included the preparation of the machines and the sample, the LSP process itself and all safety precautions. They had already been trained in laser safety the previous day by Helena Vohníková (laser safety specialist at the HiLASE Centre).
Subsequently, the group of finalists prepared to enter the clean laboratories. First, optical engineer Ondřej Denk gave them a tour of the laboratory where the BIVOJ high-energy slab laser system is being developed. Then, Ph.D. student Martin Cimrman took over the tour and presented the PERLA thin-disk laser system.
This was followed by a joint lunch with Jan Brajer, Head of the Industrial Laser Applications Department of the HiLASE Centre, and Roman Hvězda, Director of ELI Beamlines. The students spent the afternoon at ELI Beamlines, where they toured the laboratories and other facilities.