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Capturing Femtosecond Snapshots of Molecular Processes 22

umarkalim writes "Staff Scientist Apurva Mehta says, 'For 40 years at Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource, we have been taking very high-resolution photographs-photographs of atoms in molecules and crystals and of electronic structures. But now we want to make movies.' He and his colleagues are developing a new 'pump-probe' facility that promises to expand SSRL's capabilities and complement those of SLAC's X-ray laser, the Linac Coherent Light Source."
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Capturing Femtosecond Snapshots of Molecular Processes

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  • by Rylz ( 868268 ) on Tuesday May 31, 2011 @03:05PM (#36300316) Journal

    This looks like it may simply be an implementation of the process described [] by Ahmed Zewail in the 90's, which also operates on femtosecond time scales. Perhaps this "pump-probe" deal is what makes this approach novel?

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Time resolved X-ray crystallography has been done on biological samples for some time, using synchrotron radiation and a laser-excitable sample. This is done routinely at Argonne's Advanced Photon Source and at ESRF, in Grenoble. For a sample publication, from 1998, see

    • by JoeRobe ( 207552 )

      Hardly news? This experiment (mostly the LCLS, but hopefully the SSRL soon) is working on a picosecond (SSRL) and femtosecond (LCLS) timescale. The paper to which you refer is looking at nanosecond timescale information. Three to six orders of magnitude in time resolution. This means they can begin to look at motions of atoms and small chemical groups rather than only seeing motions of large (i.e. slow-moving) molecular subunits. Lots of interesting stuff happens on a ns timescale. A lot more stuff ha

  • 1. pump probe technology... [insert obvious joke here]
    2. ???
    3. profit!
  • Boom chicka wow wow...

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