Welcome to Laser Pointer Forums - discuss green laser pointers, blue laser pointers, and all types of lasers



Laser Pointer Store

First Hard X-ray Laser Operable

Scribble

New member
Joined
Jul 15, 2008
Messages
18
Likes
0
Points
0
Menlo Park, Calif.[ch8212]The world's brightest X-ray source sprang to life last week at the U.S. Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory. The Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS) offers researchers the first-ever glimpse of high-energy or "hard" X-ray laser light produced in a laboratory.

When fine tuning is complete, the LCLS will provide the world's brightest, shortest pulses of laser X-rays for scientific study. It will give scientists an unprecedented tool for studying and understanding the arrangement of atoms in materials such as metals, semiconductors, ceramics, polymers, catalysts, plastics, and biological molecules, with wide-ranging impact on advanced energy research and other fields.

"This milestone establishes proof-of-concept for this incredible machine, the first of its kind," said SLAC Director Persis Drell. "The LCLS team overcame unprecedented technical challenges to make this happen, and their work will enable frontier research in a host of fields. For some disciplines, this tool will be as important to the future as the microscope has been to the past."

Even in these initial stages of operation, the LCLS X-ray beam is brighter than any other human-made source of short-pulse, hard X-rays. Initial tests produced laser light with a wavelength of 1.5 Angstroms, or 0.15 nanometers[ch8212]the shortest-wavelength, highest-energy X-rays ever created by any laser. To generate that light, the team had to align the electron beam with extreme precision. The beam cannot deviate from a straight line by more than about 5 micrometers per 5 meters[ch8212]an astounding feat of engineering.

"This is the most difficult lightsource that has ever been turned on," said LCLS Construction Project Director John Galayda. "It's on the boundary between the impossible and possible, and within two hours of start-up these guys had it right on."

Unlike conventional lasers, which use mirrored cavities to amplify light, the LCLS is a free-electron laser, creating light using free-flying electrons in a vacuum. The LCLS uses the final third of SLAC's two-mile linear accelerator to drive electrons to high energy and through an array of "undulator" magnets that steer the electrons rapidly back and forth, generating a brilliant beam of coordinated X-rays. In last week's milestone, LCLS scientists used only 12 of an eventual 33 undulator magnets to generate the facility's first laser light.

The LCLS team is now honing the machine's performance to achieve the beam quality needed for the first scientific experiments, slated to begin in September. With its ultra-bright, ultrafast pulses, the LCLS will work much like a high-speed camera, capturing images of atoms and molecules in action. By stringing together many such images, researchers will create stop-motion movies that reveal the fundamental behavior of atoms and molecules on unprecedented timescales.

"The LCLS team saw a vision of a remarkable new tool for science that could be achieved by using the existing SLAC linear accelerator, and they delivered on that vision with remarkable speed and precision," said DOE Office of Science Acting Director Patricia Dehmer. "The science that will come from the LCLS will be as astounding and as unexpected as was the science that came from the lasers of a few decades ago. We do not yet know all that the LCLS will reveal about the world around us. But we can be sure that the new results will excite and energize the scientific communities that we serve."

For additional materials, please see the Fact Sheet, Image Gallery, and Video Interviews.

The LCLS project is a DOE Office of Science-funded collaboration among several DOE National Laboratories, including SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and Argonne, Lawrence Berkeley, and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories; and Cornell University and the University of California, Los Angeles. Pacific Northwest National Laboratory provided additional project management which helped make this project successful.

SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory is a multi-program laboratory exploring frontier questions in photon science, astrophysics, particle physics and accelerator research. Located in Menlo Park, California, SLAC is operated by Stanford University for the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science.

from: http://home.slac.stanford.edu/pressreleases/2009/20090421.htm
 

Cyparagon

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 12, 2007
Messages
9,520
Likes
1,044
Points
113
I can has match lite? no? onlee lead ballooon pahp?

srsly... will it be use as an electron microscope then?
 
Joined
Nov 7, 2008
Messages
5,728
Likes
281
Points
0
Sounds carcinogenic, and generally exceedingly dangerous to living tissue.. As soon as my particle accelerator gets delivered I'll have to get me one of these!
 
Joined
Dec 27, 2008
Messages
413
Likes
5
Points
0
not really bragging but it is just for a bit of history. I also posted this at PL forum.

Funny you should mention that. I (while as an applications engineer at Spectra-Physics) installed the Mode Locked Sync Pumped Dye Laser at SLAC for this project in 1988 & 1989. The laser produced 80ps (pico second) pulses in a train at 41mhz (yes you read it correctly 41 million pulses per second) with less than 10% pulse to pulse amplitude stability. It was installed in a very small shack in a big open field to the east side of highway 84 about .25 miles south were the linear runs perpendicular under the freeway. (the shack is still there, dont know what is in it tho, I saw it at christmas when I went to the bay area) The laser system was used as a clock...that is all. There is a bit o history from me all verifiable
 
Joined
Dec 27, 2008
Messages
413
Likes
5
Points
0
Hemlock Mike said:
Wonder what it will sell for on ebay ??  ;D

Mike
believe it or not...the parts used in the laser system I have seen on ebay at different times. The laser back then was well over $200,000.00 before diagnostic equipment necessary to make it operate about another $50,000.00. It is all based on mode locking a large frame single frequency argon laser at 514nm, then pumping the dye laser and matching the cavity of the ion laser to the dye laser for pulse compression. You start with 160ps pulses and end up with about 80 ps then you can go into a fiber grating pulse compresser and you get sub pico second or femptosecond pulses. More info than you want but what the heck...there it is!
 




Top