The x-ray electron-free laser is the perfect example of new technology and old perceptions converging on that narrow boundary between science and science fiction. Firing pulses of a trillion x-ray photons at molecular-sized samples in time scales on the order of million-billionths of a second (femtoseconds), researchers are aiming for the Holy Grail of ultra-fast x-ray science – single-particle three-dimensional (3-D) imaging with atomic resolution.
Understanding the effects that these ultra-intense x-ray pulses will have on their potential targets will take the team work of the Advanced Photon Source at Argonne and the Argonne Leadership Computing Facility (ALCF), both of which are U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science User Facilities.
The Argonne article by John Spizzirri detailing this fascinating and important project can be read here.
Argonne National Laboratory is supported by the Office of Science of the U.S. Department of Energy. The Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States, and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, please visit science.energy.gov.