SLAC scientists invent a way to see attosecond electron motions with an X-ray laser

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Called XLEAP, the new method will provide sharp views of electrons in chemical processes that take place in billionths of a billionth of a second and drive crucial aspects of life.

Menlo Park, Calif. — Researchers at the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory have invented a way to observe the movements of electrons with powerful X-ray laser bursts just 280 attoseconds, or billionths of a billionth of a second, long.

A SLAC-led team has invented a method, called XLEAP, that generates powerful low-energy X-ray laser pulses that are only 280 attoseconds, or billionths of a billionth of a second, long and that can reveal for the first time the fastest motions of electrons that drive chemistry. This illustration shows how the scientists use a series of magnets to transform an electron bunch (blue shape at left) at SLAC’s Linac Coherent Light Source into a narrow current spike (blue shape at right), which then produces a very intense attosecond X-ray flash (yellow). (Greg Stewart/SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory)

The technology, called X-ray laser-enhanced attosecond pulse generation (XLEAP), is a big advance that scientists have been working toward for years, and it paves the way for breakthrough studies of how electrons speeding around molecules initiate crucial processes in biology, chemistry, materials science and more.

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A new laser eye surgery fixes your vision without any gnarly eyeball slicing

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As someone who wears glasses, the idea of corrective laser eye surgery is certainly tempting. But then you start reading about how the invasive surgery is actually performed, along with some of (admittedly rare) risks, and suddenly glasses don’t seem so bad. Things could change, however, thanks to research coming out of Columbia University. Researchers there have developed a new noninvasive laser eye surgery which could permanently correct vision — minus any of the less pleasant-sounding aspects of regular laser surgery.

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Austrian and Chinese academies of sciences successfully conducted first inter-continental quantum video call

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The two Academy presidents Chunli Bai and Anton Zeilinger tested quantum encrypted communication between Beijing and Vienna in a live-experiment. The quantum key was transmitted via the Chinese quantum satellite Micius.

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Scientists propose new laser that could make things hotter than the center of the Sun instantly

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A team of scientists from Imperial College London have proposed a laser model that can could heat materials to temperatures hotter than the center of the Sun in just 20 quadrillionths of a second. That’s 10 million degrees Celsius almost instantaneously.

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Researchers develop laser device that may end pin pricks for diabetics

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New laser device allows researchers to read blood sugar levels without a blood sample.

Researchers at Princeton University have developed a way to use a laser to measure people’s blood sugar, and, with more work to shrink the laser system to a portable size, the technique could allow diabetics to check their condition without pricking their fingers to draw blood.

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3D printing breakthrough allows several different metals within one print

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Image of the LD process fabricating several test specimens.

It’s amazing how quickly additive manufacturing technology has been progressing. Laser sintering of metals within the manufacturing industry was a process used by only a few companies, mostly in a research capacity, just a few years ago. Now numerous companies are using laser sintering additive manufacturing machines to print extremely important metal components for a variety of products, from airliners to race cars.

 

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U.S. Navy to add futuristic laser weapon to its arsenal this summer

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The U.S. Navy will turn fiction into reality when it deploys its first laser weapon aboard one of its ships this summer. The solid-state Laser Weapons System promises to be able to incinerate aerial drones and speedboats quickly and less expensive that today’s weapons, which typically relies on a finite supply of interceptor missiles that cost roughly $1.4 million a shot. The laser, on the other hand, can be fired continuously and costs just a few bucks per shot. A prototype will be deployed this summer on board the USS Ponce in the Persian Gulf.

 

 

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New 3D printed materials lighter than water and as strong as steel

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A Nanoscribe 3D printer can print models of the Empire State building in a space the width of a human hair using precision lasers. Watching the machine build through the “lens” of an electron microscope is otherworldly—but the printer’s potential runs beyond microscale model making. (Video)

 

 

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How to turn your smartphone into a digital microscope

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The world is a fascinating place up close.  Through the lens of a microscope you can find details that you would otherwise never notice.  But now you can. There is a simple method for building a digital microscope that uses your smartphone camera, focused by a laser-pointer lens.

 

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