Chemical reactions often involve intermediate steps that are too fast and complex for us to see – even using our most advanced scientific instruments. Combining two X-ray spectroscopy techniques has now been shown to change that.
A team led by SLAC scientists combined powerful magnetic pulses with some of the brightest X-rays on the planet to discover a surprising 3-D effect that appears linked to a mysterious phenomenon known as high-temperature superconductivity.
John Hill watched with eager anticipation as controllers ramped up the power systems driving SLAC's X-ray laser in an attempt to achieve the record high energies needed to make his experiment a runaway success.
After five night shifts of shooting pairs of X-ray pulses through soups of fine sand and gold, Aymeric Robert was tired but exhilarated. The first experiment with an instrument he helped bring into being – the X-ray Correlation Spectroscopy (XCS)...