May 25, 2022

The most powerful X-ray laser can emit up to a million pulses per second

The most powerful X-ray laser can emit up to a million pulses per second

A series of upgrades returned the status of the most powerful and fastest X-ray laser in the world to the LCLS-II facility.

Linac Stanford's Cryogenic Particle AcceleratorMenlo Park is now operating at temperatures as low as 2 K, accelerating electrons almost to the speed of light. At the same time, with the help of magnets, he kind of shakes them, creating powerful X-rays. Until the 90s, they were used to study the fundamental principles of physics, three discoveries received the Nobel Prize. With the help of such impulses, it is also possible to observe the work of living cells and the course of chemical reactions.

According to the National Acceleratorlaboratory SLAC, improvements will allow LCLS-II to generate up to a million x-rays per second. This will allow scientists to conduct experiments in minutes that would previously have taken months. For comparison, in 2009 the laser produced only 120 pulses per second.

Then 37 modules were installed on ithelium cryogenic cooling to achieve superconductivity. In April 2022, the installation reached a temperature of 2 kelvin, and on May 10 it was launched. Now scientists will be able to use the accelerator to study technologies in energy, pharmaceuticals and quantum mechanics.

Recall that recently the researchers also described the principle of operation of a device for direct conversion of sunlight into a coherent laser beam without other external power sources and lenses.