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Shark Science Technology

X-Ray Laser For Creating Supercharged Particles 55

William Robinson writes "Scientists have found way to use X-Ray Lasers to create supercharged particles. The specific tuning of the laser's properties can cause atoms and molecules to resonate. The resonance excites the atoms and causes them to shake off electrons at a rate that otherwise would require higher energies. This could be used to create highly charged plasma."
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X-Ray Laser For Creating Supercharged Particles

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  • by Rakshasa-sensei ( 533725 ) on Monday November 12, 2012 @03:25AM (#41954627) Homepage

    "The resonance excites the atoms and causes them to shake off electrons at a rate that otherwise would require higher energies."

    Sometimes the difference between something significant and something already done lies in the details that stupid people are too quick to gloss over.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 12, 2012 @11:10AM (#41956289)

    Microwave ovens don't use any particular resonance and aren't even near the peak absorption, off by a factor of 10 in frequency from the peak for room temperature water and still off by a factor of 3-4 for boiling water (peak varies from ~100 GHz for 0 C water to ~10 GHz for 100 C water). The frequency used in microwave ovens is determined by what blocks of the spectrum have been allocated for industrial use and economics. It is why in industrial microwave ovens they use 900 MHz, because it is another industrial block and cheaper to make large, high power sources for than 2.4 GHz. For home use, the 2.4 GHz is a little more compact, but cheaper, especially in the past, than jumping up to the 5.8 GHz band. Additionally, putting the food in a metal box so that the microwaves can make several passes without much else to absorb it means that particular efficiency of water is not that important as long as it is much more than the walls (although hot spots when trying to defrost stuff can kind of suck).

    That said, this work here is pretty substantial. If you wanted disparage this work, you could have maybe instead have compared it to the large amount of work on multiphoton ionization work done by (non-x-ray) laser material interaction research, as this doesn't have much to do with heating the atoms There has been a lot of work into how multiphoton absorption can trigger and be used for ionization (or to deal with it when it is counter productive). However, there is still a ways to go on the modeling. A couple different models make different assumptions to simplify the quantum mechanics calculations, and the impact and usefulness of those assumptions is still being looked at. Testing these models at much higher energies and ionizations like here is a major step toward that. Maybe that is why the paper spends some effort comparing results to predictive models. And not to say that further optimizing and experimental refinement of the use of LCLS is not noteworthy.

In seeking the unattainable, simplicity only gets in the way. -- Epigrams in Programming, ACM SIGPLAN Sept. 1982