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In this issue:
First Scientific Paper from LCLS Explores Molecules' Interaction with Ultrashort, Ultrafast X-ray Pulses
Reminder: RSB Project Q&A Today
WIS Seminar Today: FitnessĀ TrainingĀ 101

SLAC Today

Wednesday - June 23, 2010

First Scientific Paper from LCLS Explores Molecules' Interaction with Ultrashort, Ultrafast X-ray Pulses

(Photo)
Western Michigan University physicist Nora Berrah with postdoc fellows Matthias Hoener and Li Fang in the LCLS Atomic, Molecular and Optical science instrument hutch in October, 2009. (Photo by Nicholas Bock.)

The first published scientific results from experiments at SLAC's Linac Coherent Light Source are out!

The report, published today in Physical Review Letters, is the first look at how molecules respond to ultrafast pulses of ultra-bright light from the world's most powerful X-ray laser.

The results were surprising, according to lead author Matthias Hoener, a postdoctoral researcher from Western Michigan University who was part of a team led by WMU physicist Nora Berrah. He said they should be helpful to scientists who are trying to figure out how to use the LCLS's strobe-like pulses to make images and stop-action movies of individual atoms and molecules and their behavior.

As Hoener explains it, imaging molecules with the LCLS will require a balance between crisp and bright. If the laser pulses are too long, they'll damage the molecule before the snapshot is taken and the image will be blurry; if they're not intense enough, the image will be faint.

Another challenge: The LCLS forms images by scattering laser light off an atom or molecule. Yet when the LCLS X-rays are tightly focused by mirrors, each powerful laser pulse destroys any sample it hits. So the trick is to gather enough information to compose a snapshot in the split-second before that disintegration takes place.

Berrah's team of 26 scientists from the United States, Germany and Finland spent five days conducting experiments at the LCLS last October. Their goal was to see how the LCLS pulses interacted with simple molecules of nitrogen gas, which consist of two nitrogen atoms bound together.  Read more...

Reminder: RSB Project Q&A Today

(Photo - donut)

Got questions about the upcoming building project and office moves at the lab? The Research Support Building and Infrastructure Modernization Project leaders will be available today in the Panofsky Auditorium breezeway from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. for coffee, donuts and one-on-one conversation. All are welcome to attend.

(Image - WIS logo)

WIS Seminar Today: Fitness Training 101

Riccardo Scala, the owner of a local fitness business, Core Fusion Fitness, will present "Fitness Training 101" today at noon in Panofsky Auditorium. Scala will talk about the benefits of exercise for everyday life, especially for those of us in sedentary jobs.

Scala has degrees in Sport and Exercise Science, and Sports Physical Therapy. He will talk about integrating exercise into your work week, how women should exercise differently from men and how older bodies need different regimes than younger bodies need. He will discuss how a personal trainer can assist in health, wellness and lifestyle changes. Personal trainers are not just for the rich and famous! They can help you change your attitudes not just your body.

During the last 15 minutes of the hour-long seminar Scala will lead a short fitness demonstration outside on the lawn near the auditorium, so wear flat shoes. Exercise clothes are not necessary.

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