LCLS Soft X-ray Materials Science (SXR)
Stephanie Mack, 20, read and reread the email in disbelief. After spending time during the past two summers in a science internship program at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, she was heading back.
This time she would be at the helm of the world's most powerful X-ray laser, leading an international collaboration as the principal investigator in an experiment exploring how to precisely control the motion of electrons in specially prepared samples of a mineral called manganite.
Menlo Park, Calif. — Researchers using the Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS) at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory have found a way to strip most of the electrons from xenon atoms, creating a “supercharged,” strongly positive state at energies previously thought too low.
Scientists have found a way to distort the atomic arrangement and change the magnetic properties of an important class of electronic materials with ultra-short pulses of terahertz (mid-infrared) laser light without heating the material up. While the achievement is currently of purely scientific interest, the researchers say this new approach control could ultimately lead to extremely fast, low-energy, non-volatile computer memory chips or data-switching devices.