A beautiful machine integrated within a peaceful forest setting

On World Science Day for Peace and Development, we’re heading to a forest in Switzerland!

Maël Clémence is a PhD student at the Swiss X-ray Free-Electron Laser  (SwissFEL), which is located at the Paul Scherrer Institut (PSI) in Villigen, Switzerland. His #LightSourceSelfie journey starts in the forest on top of the facility where he explains that the SwissFEL was designed to be fully integrated with the natural environment. Maël then uses a popular mode of transport to travel to the facility entrance. He recalls his childhood fascination with light, what led him to fall in love with physics, and his path to the SwissFEL.

For his PhD studies, Maël is utilising the machine’s ultraintense, ultrashort X-ray pulses to study and investigate quantum properties of magnetic materials in extreme conditions. Being at the SwissFEL has enabled Maël to gain a deeper understanding of this beautiful machine and the huge amount of skill and dedication that is required by the teams responsible for building and maintaining it.

The word ‘teamwork’ best describes his job as, on good days and bad, everyone pulls together and supports each other.

You’ll discover one of Maël’s favourite free time activities at the close out of his #LightSourceSelfie. Happy viewing!        

Find out more about the SwissFEL here