condensed-matter physics, and chemistry all have an interest in this problem, albeit to different degrees and from different perspectives. There have been problems in pursuing goals that cut across such a wide range of programs. The committee urges the DOE and other agencies to address problems that cut across present organizational boundaries even if this means inventing new processes for funding and program management.
The development of FELs is of interest for applications other than scientific research, for example, industrial, defense, and medical applications. The committee recommends that the Department of Energy, other federal agencies, and the private sector explore coordination of funding for FEL development.
X-ray and VUV FELs, if developed, will complement and in some cases replace existing photon sources. Existing synchrotron facilities should have an institutional interest in the development of short-wavelength FELs; they already have the expertise to participate or lead in this development. The committee encourages these facilities and their host institutions to use some of their own discretionary research funds to support the next phase of FEL research.
As the decision point for short-wavelength FEL facility construction approaches, a careful examination of existing ultraviolet and x-ray facilities will be needed to determine the optimum balance in providing new facilities, continuing to operate existing facilities, and discontinuing older facilities. Commitment to construction of an FEL facility implies a future need for operating funds, which may have to be provided at the expense of an existing facility.