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The School of New Science

The Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS) will enable scientists to explore new chemical structures and processes. But before scientists grab the reins in this novel venture they'll have to go to school—Ultrafast X-Ray Summer School, that is.

The Ultrafast X-Ray Summer School, which is slated to run June 17–20, will hinge upon participant-oriented discussion and interaction focused on the state-of-the-art science that the LCLS will set in motion.

"There is a need to educate both senior scientists and younger scientists to generate a new class of researcher that will utilize this unique opportunity," Chairman Kelly Gaffney said. "And, for at least the next couple of years, this is the only place in the world it will be possible."

The LCLS has properties traditionally utilized in the laser community, but because it generates X-rays, it presents new opportunities. Techniques used in laser science and synchrotron X-ray science typically don’t overlap—but the success of the LCLS will depend on the merging of these fields and the skill sets of each.

LCLS X-rays are expected to provide instantaneous images of atomic and molecular structures, which require a camera with sub-nanometer spatial resolution and a shutter speed of less than a trillionth of a second. This will generate unique opportunities for capturing single bimolecular structures and collecting real-time movies of chemical, physical and biological transformations.

Interested applicants can find registration and program information at the workshop website. Rooms at the Stanford Guest House are expected to fill quickly, so attendees are encouraged to make their reservations soon.

Matt Cunningham, SLAC Today, March 28, 2008