Promising pulses

Published: Tuesday 31 December 1996

R w Schoenlein and his collaborators at the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory, US, have reported the generation of ultrashort pulses of X- rays using an infrared laser. The X- rays have a wavelength of 0.4 angstrom and the pulse duration is 300 femtoseconds (one femtosecond is 10-15 seconds). They scattered a pulsed in(rared laser beam with a tightly focussed electron beam to create theX-ray pulses. Though the amount ofX-rays ( the flux) is small, the technique is promising and could result in the development of a new source of ultrashort X-ray pulses with many applications (Science, Vol 274, No 5285).

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