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Copper Shock: An Atomic-scale Stress Test

Scientists used the powerful X-ray laser at the U.S. Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory to create movies detailing trillionths-of-a-second changes in the arrangement of copper atoms after an extreme shock.

Research Paints New Picture of 'Dinobird' Feathers

The first complete chemical analysis of feathers from Archaeopteryx, a famous fossil linking dinosaurs and birds, reveals that the feathers were patterned—light in color, with a dark edge and tip—rather than all black, as previously thought.

SLAC X-rays Resurrect 200-year-old Opera

At first glance the beautifully bound 1797 Luigi Cherubini opera Médée looks like an impeccably preserved relic of opera's golden age. However, flip to the final pages of the aria "Du trouble affreux qui me dévore" ("The terrible disorder that consumes me") and you see the problem: Thick smudges of carbon completely black out the closing lines.

For Superionic Material, Smaller is Better

A material that could enable faster memory chips and more efficient batteries can switch between high and low ionic conductivity states much faster than previously thought, SLAC and Stanford researchers have determined. The key is to use extremely small chunks of it.

Study Provides Recipe for 'Supercharging' Atoms with X-ray Laser

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.

Stanford-SLAC Team Uses X-ray Imaging to Observe Running Batteries in Real Time

Most electric cars, from the Tesla Model S to the Nissan Leaf, run on rechargeable lithium-ion batteries – a pricey technology that accounts for more than half of the vehicle's total cost. One promising alternative is the lithium-sulfur battery, which can theoretically store five times more energy at a much lower cost.

X-ray Laser Probes Biomolecules to Individual Atoms

An international team led by the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory has proved how the world's most powerful X-ray laser can assist in cracking the structures of biomolecules, and in the processes helped to pioneer critical new investigative avenues in biology.

Shaken, Not Heated: the Ideal Recipe for Manipulating Magnetism

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.