creating a series of mesmerizing videos, the data gathered at
the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory,
in Menlo Park, California, could shed new light on X-ray lasers,
and how these extremely bright, fast flashes of light take
atomic-level snapshots of some of nature's speediest processes.
"It could also help us find new ways of using explosions caused
by X-rays to trigger changes in samples and study matter under
extreme conditions," says Claudiu Stan of Stanford PULSE
Institute, a joint institute of Stanford University and SLAC.
"These studies could help us better understand a wide range of
phenomena in X-ray science and other applications."
The team injected water into the path of the laser as a series
of individual drops, as well as a continuous jet. As each
individual X-ray pulse hit the water, a single image was
recorded, timed from five billionths of a second to one
ten-thousandth of a second after the pulse. These images were
then strung together to create the movies.
Liquids are commonly used to put scientific samples into the
path of an X-ray beam for analysis. The experiments show in
detail how the explosive interaction unfolds and provides clues
as to how it could affect X-ray laser experiments.
The study was published this week in the journal Nature Physics.
(Reporting by Leela de Kretser; Editing by Chris Reese)
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