Volume 90 Issue 5 | p. 41 | Concentrates
Issue Date: January 30, 2012

Atomic X-ray Laser Blasts Ahead

World’s most powerful X-ray laser outdoes itself with a more coherent beam to probe nanoscale materials
Department: Science & Technology
News Channels: Analytical SCENE
Keywords: X-ray laser, Linac Coherent Light Source, coherence, free-electron laser

A femtosecond-pulsed, atomic X-ray laser—beaming at the highest energies reached so far by its kind—could enable new developments in high-resolution spectroscopy, according to a report in Nature (DOI: 10.1038/nature10721). X-ray lasers have been in use since the 1980s, but scientists are forever in search of higher energy, shorter-pulsed, and more coherent beams to probe the atomic-scale distances and motions of molecules. . . .

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