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Like out of nowhere a new memory card is on the market. Every hour a new medicine is published. Short after the discoveries find use in our everyday life. Where do these new products come from? We know nothing about them. The research takes place undetected. Almost secret. The European XFEL is an X-ray laser system that runs from Hamburg-Bahrenfeld to Schenefeld. In the 3.4-kilometer-long tunnel, free electrons reach almost the speed of light with the help of accelerators. They then pass through undulators, which excite the electrons to the X-ray light emission. In an underground experimental hall, an object is illuminated with up to 27,000 flashes per second. A film can be created at a molecular level, showing events that last only a few millionths of a second.

The area is hardly to be discovered on the surface. School, swimming pool, supermarket, bowling center, skyscrapers and sports facilities do not reveal the high technology, which is only 6 to 38 m under them. A researcher in a clean room suit can be found in the wide landscape above the complex. Among them, kilometers of cables snake past equipment.The apparent chaos allows for the most precise research. The contrast between everyday life and one of the most modern research facilities in the world is to be visualized. The circle closes when, at the end of 2017, the first cancer cells in the European XFEL are being screened and scientists are possibly using the results to develop new treatments for sick people above.


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