Using an ultra-bright electron source, scientists at the University of Toronto have recorded atomic motions in real time, offering a glimpse into the very essence of chemistry and biology at the atomic level. Their recording is a direct observation of a transition state in which atoms undergo chemical transformation into new structures with new properties.
Results of a recent experiment conducted at the Large Hadron Collider may have...
Thin films sometimes grow layer by layer, each...
X-ray free-electron lasers (XFELs) produce higher-power laser pulses over a broader...
Scientists from the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory have determined the 3D structure of the chemically active part of an enzyme involved in stuttering. While the discovery is not likely to lead to a cure for stuttering any time soon, it is welcome news to scientists who have been studying this enzyme, known as "uncovering enzyme" or UCE, for decades.
An international team of scientists using a new X-ray method recorded the internal structure and cell movement inside a living frog embryo in greater detail than ever before. This result showcases a new method to advance biological research and the search for new treatments for genetic diseases.
An international collaboration of scientists has discovered a unique crystalizing behavior at the interface between two immiscible liquids that could aid in sustainable energy development. Liquid interface behavior cannot be investigated at atomic level by most modern methods. Only brilliant X-rays at world-leading light sources can investigate this type of important chemical processes.
A X-ray analytical technique that enables researchers at a glance to identify structural similarities and differences between multiple proteins under a variety of conditions has been developed by researchers with the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. As a demonstration, the researchers used this technique to gain valuable new insight into a protein that is a prime target for cancer chemotherapy.
A dramatic leap forward in the ability of scientists to study the structural states of macromolecules such as proteins and nanoparticles in solution has been achieved by a pair of researchers with Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. The researchers have developed a new set of metrics for analyzing data acquired through small angle scattering experiments with X-rays or neutrons.
Baking the perfect loaf of bread is both a science and an art, so researchers are using Canada’s only synchrotron to look at the way bubbles form in bread dough to understand what makes the perfect loaf. Researchers from the University of Manitoba alongside scientists at the Canadian Light Source synchrotron used powerful X-rays on the Biomedical Imaging and Therapy beamline to look carefully at the fine details of dough.
Scientists in Australia have recently demonstrated that ultra-short durations of electron bunches generated from laser-cooled atoms can be both very cold and ultra-fast. The low temperature permit sharp images, and the electron pulse duration has a similar effect to shutter speed, potentially allowing researchers to observe critical but quick dynamic processes, such as the picosecond duration of protein folding.
The study of nanoscale material just got much easier, and the design of nanoscale technology could get much more efficient, thanks to an advance in X-ray analysis. Nanomaterials develop new physical and chemical properties, such as superconductivity and enhanced strength, when exposed to extreme pressure. A better understanding of how and when those changes occur can guide the design of better products that use nanotechnology.
The shrinking size and increasing capacity of batteries in the past few decades has made possible devices that have transformed everyday life. But small isn't the only frontier for battery technology. As the world enters its most energy-intensive era, the search is on for bigger, cheaper, and safer batteries that can capture, store, and efficiently use sustainable energy on a large scale. To determine how best to meet those large-scale energy needs, researchers are probing small-scale, off-the-shelf D-cell batteries.
Low-energy terahertz radiation could potentially enable doctors to see deep into tissues without the damaging effects of X-rays, or allow security guards to identify chemicals in a package without opening it. But it's been difficult for engineers to make powerful enough systems to accomplish these promising applications. Now an electrical engineering research team at the University of Michigan has developed a laser-powered terahertz source and detector system that transmits with 50 times more power and receives with 30 times more sensitivity than existing technologies.
An international team of physicists has proposed a revolutionary laser system, inspired by the telecommunications technology, to produce the next generation of particle accelerators, such as the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). The International Coherent Amplification Network sets out a new laser system composed of massive arrays of thousands of fiber lasers, for both fundamental research at laboratories, such as CERN, and more applied tasks such as proton therapy and nuclear transmutation.
An international team of plasma physicists has used one of the world's most powerful lasers to create highly unusual plasma composed of hollow atoms. The experimental work demonstrated that it is possible to remove the two most deeply bound electrons from atoms, emptying the inner most quantum shell and leading to a distinctive plasma state.
Using a low-cost apparatus designed to quickly and accurately measure the properties of handheld laser devices, NIST researchers tested 122 laser pointers and found that nearly 90% of green pointers and about 44% of red pointers tested were out of compliance with federal safety regulations. The NIST test apparatus was designed so that it can be replicated easily by other institutions.
Using laser light to read and write magnetic data by quickly flipping tiny magnetic domains could help keep pace with the demand for faster computing devices. Now experiments with SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory's Linac Coherent Light Source X-ray laser have given scientists their first detailed look at how light controls the first trillionth of a second of this process, known as all-optical magnetic switching.
Efforts to eliminate contamination has allowed users of scanning electron microscopes (SEMs) to measure the exact features of a sample, not the sample features plus a layer of contamination. But contamination persists, which is why researchers at NIST are working to elevate microscope accuracy by eliminating the gradual buildup of carbonaceous material on a sample, introduced by the action of the charged particle beam.
The ultrafast, ultrabright X-ray pulses of the Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS) have enabled unprecedented views of a catalyst in action, an important step in the effort to develop cleaner and more efficient energy sources. Scientists at the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory used LCLS, together with computerized simulations, to reveal surprising details of a short-lived early state in a chemical reaction occurring at the surface of a catalyst sample.
A current optical-sensing technology can launch and guide a single light wave, called a surface-plasmon-polariton (SPP) wave, that travels along the flat interface of the sample to be analyzed. However, only one wave can be used, allowing the analysis of just one substance. Researchers at Penn State University have designed a thin film that can create additional channels for the SPP waves.
When a crystal is hit by an intense, ultrashort light pulse, its atomic structure is set in motion. Researchers in Germany have used intensive ultraviolet laser pulses of only a few femtoseconds duration to cause this change in titanium dioxide, a semiconductor. They report that they can observe how the configuration of electrons and atoms changes, confirming that even subtle changes in the electron distribution caused by the excitation can have a considerable impact on the whole crystal structure.
The adsorption of ions in microporous materials governs the operation of a diverse range of technologies. Until now, however, researchers attempting to improve the performance of these technologies haven't been able to directly and unambiguously identify how factors such as pore size, pore surface chemistry, and electrolyte properties affect the concentration of ions in these materials as a function of the applied potential. A team of researchers has demonstrated that a technique, known as small angle neutron scattering, can be used to study the effects of ions moving into nanoscale pores.
Engineers and scientists from the University of Sheffield have pioneered a new technique to analyze PCBM, a material used in polymer photovoltaic cells, obtaining details of the structure of the material which will be vital to improving the cell's efficiency.
With SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory's Linac Coherent Light Source X-ray laser, timing is everything. Its pulses are designed to explore atomic-scale processes that are measured in femtoseconds. Determining the instant in time at which the laser strikes a sample, either by itself or in concert with another laser pulse, can be vital to the success of an experiment.
From providing living cells with energy, to nitrogen fixation, to the splitting of water molecules, the catalytic activities of metalloenzymes—proteins that contain a metal ion—are vital to life on Earth. Using ultrafast, intensely bright pulses of X-rays from SLAC’s Linac Coherent Light Source researchers were able to simultaneously image at room temperature the atomic and electronic structures of photosystem II, a metalloenzyme critical to photosynthesis.
The Art Institute of Chicago teamed up with Argonne National Laboratory to help unravel a decades-long debate among art scholars about what kind of paint Picasso used to create his masterpieces. The results add significant weight to the widely held theory that Picasso was one of the first master painters to use common house paint rather than traditional artists' paint.
More than eight years of effort by Advanced Photon Source (APS) physicists, engineers, and technicians culminated on Jan. 21, 2013, with the production of the first X-rays from the prototype of a novel superconducting undulator (SCU), which has been installed in the APS electron accelerator and storage ring at Argonne National Laboratory. It is the first such SCU operated at a third-generation synchrotron X-ray facility.
Using modern technology, a Virginia museum is working to unwrap the story behind one of the earliest surviving Egyptian mummies. The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond partnered this week with a medical imaging center to complete a CT scan on Tjeby, its 4,000-year-old mummy, in hopes of piecing together more information about the mummy itself and better understanding the early history of the mummification process.