Scientists at SLAC have been blowing up "buckyballs" – soccer-ball-shaped carbon molecules – with an X-ray laser to understand how they fly apart. The results, they say, will help them interpret X-ray images of tiny viruses, individual proteins and other important biomolecules.
A 2-ton instrument the size of a compact car, now available at SLAC's X-ray laser, makes it possible to capture more detailed images of atoms, molecules, nanoscale features of solids, and individual particles such as viruses and airborne soot.
Researchers have found a new way to probe molecules and atoms with an X-ray laser, setting off cascading bursts of light that reveal precise details of what is going on inside, which could allow scientists to see details of chemical reactions in a way not possible before.
John Bozek, an instrument scientist at SLAC's Linac Coherent Light Source takes us behind the scenes at the Atomic, Molecular and Optical Science Instrument. AMO, which is housed in one of six experimental hutches at LCLS, uses the extremely short pulses of X-rays from the LCLS to study chemical processes at their natural time-scale.
In a detailed study of how intense light strips electrons from atoms, researchers used an X-ray laser, SLAC's Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS), to measure and sort the ejected electrons and discover how this process takes place.
A special issue of a physics publication highlights the contributions of SLAC's X-ray laser and the few similar lasers around the globe in probing the interaction of light and matter at the scale of atoms and electrons.
Crews will install a powerful new instrument, start assembling a new "self-seeding" system that will focus soft X-ray laser pulses into a bright, narrow band of colors, and upgrade several laser systems during two months of routine downtime at SLAC's Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS) X-ray laser.
A new tool at SLAC's Linac Coherent Light Source splits individual X-ray laser pulses into two pulses that can hit a target one right after another with precisely controlled timing, allowing scientists to trigger and measure specific ultrafast changes in atoms and molecules.