Making Movies of Molecules - The Science and Application of X-rays Lasers

Friday, 13 February 2015: 8:30 AM-11:30 AM
Room 230A (San Jose Convention Center)
Uwe Bergmann, SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, Menlo Park, CA
Over the past century X-rays have revolutionized medical imaging as well as numerous fields of science. Starting in the 1970s powerful new X-ray sources based on large accelerators --the so called synchrotrons-- have dramatically advanced the scientific use of X-rays. Work at these facilities includes protein crystallography, various X-ray scattering and spectroscopy techniques as well as X-ray imaging and X-ray microscopy. Very recently new X-ray lasers, such as the Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS) at Stanford’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, have come to light. These coherent X-ray sources produce ultra-short pulses with a brightness that is ten billion times larger than even the powerful synchrotron sources. For the first time scientist can now study matter not just at the length scale of atoms and molecules, but also at the time scale of molecular motion. We can now make molecular movies of a chemical reaction in real time. We will describe these machines and present some of the most exciting examples of recent X-ray laser research.