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One of modern science’s most important quests is to understand how the world works at the tiniest and fastest scales – the realm of atoms and molecules. Until a few years ago, all we had were static pictures of this world. But today scientists can make “movies” of molecules moving, bending and bursting apart.

Molecular movie filmstrip.

News Feature

No human cell can function without these tiny machines, which cause disease when they go haywire and offer potential targets for therapeutic drugs.

Illustration of molecular Ferris wheel moving protons
News Feature

Hitting molecules with two photons of light at once set off unexpected processes that were captured in detail with SLAC’s X-ray laser. Scientists say...

Closeup image of molecular movie frames
News Feature

Molecular movie-making is both an art and a science; the results let us watch how nature works on the smallest scales.

Molecular movie frames for the light-triggered transition of the ring-shaped 1,3-CHD molecule.
News Feature

A close-up look at how microbes build their crystalline shells has implications for understanding how cell structures form, preventing disease and developing nanotechnology.

Image of microbe showing areas where its crystalline shell is growing
News Feature

When it comes to making molecular movies, producing the world’s fastest X-ray pulses is only half the battle. A new technique reveals details about...

Illustration of the LCSL "attoclock"
Press Release

Just as Schroedinger's Cat is both alive and dead, an atom or molecule can be in two different states at once. Now scientists have...

Illustration of a molecule splitting into two Schroedinger's Cat states