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We present the concept of a novel facility dedicated to massively-multiplexed spectroscopy. The telescope has a very wide field Cassegrain focus optimised for fibre feeding. With a Field of View (FoV) of 2.5 degrees diameter and a 11.4m pupil, it will be the largest etendue telescope. The large focal plane can easily host up to 16.000 fibres. In addition, a gravity invariant focus for the central 10 arc-minutes is available to host a giant integral field unit (IFU). The 3 lenses corrector includes an ADC, and has good performance in the 360-1300 nm wavelength range. The top level science requirements were developed by a dedicated ESO working group, and one of the primary cases is high resolution spectroscopy of GAIA stars and, in general, how our Galaxy formed and evolves. The facility will therefore be equipped with both, high and low resolution spectrographs. We stress the importance of developing the telescope and instrument designs simultaneously. The most relevant R&D aspect is also briefly discussed.
The combination of the collecting power of an ELT with an ultra-stable high resolution spectrograph opens up the possibility to measure for the first time directly the dynamical effect of the acceleration of the Universe. CODEX will also provide unique opportunities for advance in many other branches of astrophysics. The CODEX design is based on an array of several identical spectrographs. It is highly modular and can be easily adapted to a large range of sky apertures and telescope diameters. CODEX is designed to work as a seeing limited instrument. The requirements for the telescope are moderate and clearly identified.
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