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Capturing Femtosecond Snapshots of Molecular Processes

Unknown Lamer posted more than 3 years ago | from the a-lot-can-happen-in-a-quadrillionth-of-a-second dept.

Science 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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Something about... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36300158)

Taco's small penis.

Re:Something about... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36303474)

How did it go... I'll suck your dick in a femtosecond.

You used to be big (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36300276)

Norma Desmond: I *am* big. It's the *pictures* that got small.

Missed first post (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36300278)

Missed it by a femtosecond.

Differences from Zewail's Lab? (3, Informative)

Rylz (868268) | more than 3 years ago | (#36300316)

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?

Re:Differences from Zewail's Lab? (1)

Beryllium Sphere(tm) (193358) | more than 3 years ago | (#36300394)

This one's x-ray instead of optical.

Re:Differences from Zewail's Lab? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36300500)

Still photons right? Same thing different wavelength.

Re:Differences from Zewail's Lab? (4, Informative)

hey! (33014) | more than 3 years ago | (#36301354)

Still photos, but of shorter wavelength. Shorter wavelength == finer resolution.

Imagine you are blindfolded and are trying to determine the shape of some three dimensional object that you can't touch. You'd get a finer picture of the thing if you probed it with the tip of a pencil than if you felt it through a boxing glove.

Re:Differences from Zewail's Lab? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36304196)

No, it is the x-ray laser used for smaller timescales that is the key here. There are only a few of those around, one of them here at SPring-8 in Japan. This one is scheduled to come online later this year. And no, it is not energy saving :).

femtosecond snapshots in my pants (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36300328)

I have femtosecond snapshots in my pants.

This is hardly new (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36300384)

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

Re:This is hardly new (1)

JoeRobe (207552) | more than 3 years ago | (#36305182)

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 happens on a ps and fs timescale.

pump probe technology (1, Funny)

hierophanta (1345511) | more than 3 years ago | (#36300540)

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

Can we get a sound track too? (1)

N0Man74 (1620447) | more than 3 years ago | (#36300890)

Boom chicka wow wow...

Re:Can we get a sound track too? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36302948)

I believe "giggity" is the customary response in such cases these days...

what a tease (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36301686)

no samples?
*cough* vaporware

Hate to nitpick but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36302822)

It looks like perhaps the poster (and original quoted person) intended the "photographs-photographs" to have an m-dash and some space. It is a bit confusing to read otherwise, and I am sure a logical pause was intended.

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