Ulla Vainio Posted over 4 years ago What could one do with an x-ray laser? You are right. I just threw the number out my hat based on my gut feeling and was hoping to come back and correct it today before anybody reads it once I realized that it was overestimated quite a bit.. More reasonable estimate is actually around 300 000 dollars per day. Per hour that would be then around 12 000 dollars. But, actually, since the machine is not operated every day (like Christmas), the costs per day are higher. Anyway, my gut feeling was off by a factor of ten. But if you then add to this the actual technical equipment needed for the experiment and also the personnel who do the experiment, I believe for most experiments the costs are higher. The estimate here is based on the yearly operation cost estimate of European XFEL. For comparison, at a synchrotron one pays 300 - 3000 euros per hour for measurement time, depending on the synchrotron.