Syncrhronymous Coward writes: Researchers led by Dino Jaroszynski of Strathclyde University have developed a desktop synchrotron particle accelerator that could soon freeze-frame the motion of atoms and molecules, according to this article over at New Scientist. Using a laser, some gas, and a row of magnets, his team put together a source of "synchrotron light", which they say can be easily upgraded to produce intense, ultra-short pulses of X-rays — ideal for probing the intricate structure of many kinds of matter. Instead of a conventional ring of magnets and microwave cavities, they use an experimental technology called plasma wakefield acceleration. The research paper can be found in Nature Physics.
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