Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS)

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LCLS Powers Chain Reaction of Light: A New Tool for X-ray Studies

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.

Backstory: Marc Messerschmidt, Staff Scientist

Marc Messerschmidt, a staff scientist at the Coherent X-ray Imaging (CXI) experimental station at SLAC's Linac Coherent Light Source X-ray laser, describes his daily work, which is far from routine.

SLAC All Access: Atomic, Molecular and Optical Science Instrument

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.

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.

Ribosome Research Takes Shape at SLAC

In a new state-of-the-art lab at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, components of ribosomes – tiny biological machines that make new proteins and play a vital role in gene expression and antibiotic treatments – form crystals in a liquid solution.

Signs at the lab's entryway warn of the potential for contamination – these delicate samples can be damaged by human touch, a sneeze or a dust particle.