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Research Highlights

Published: Fri, 11/03/2017 - 12:45pm

The actors are molecules. The plot, broken molecular bonds. JILA Fellow Ralph Jimenez and a team of detector experts at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) are working together to make X-ray movies of a molecular drama.

The team at NIST built a microcalorimeter X-ray spectrometer capable of performing time-resolved spectroscopy; in other words: a camera to film molecules. They use this camera to learn how molecules break their bonds – do the ­electrons rearrange, do the other atoms quake?

The microcalorimeter spectrometer is not the only tool that can film molecules, but it is the smallest. Previously, only huge, multibillion dollar synchrotrons were capable of producing X-rays and probing molecules. Beam time at these facilities has to be reserved in advance, sometimes months, or even years. These long wait times, combined with the expense of building and operating synchrotrons, can limit opportunities for new research.

In contrast, NIST’s spectrometer fits on a tabletop and costs a fraction of an entire synchrotron system. But most importantly, NIST’s spectrometer is easily accessible ­­– it’s like having the ability to film a...

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Fellows Konrad Lehnert and Cindy Regal are collaborating on an ambitious undertaking to explore...

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The Greene group has just discovered some weird quantum states of ultracold fermions that are...

Published: Feb 02, 2012

The Ye group has created the world’s first “ruler of light” in the extreme ultraviolet (XUV)....

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We can get valuable information about a material by studying how it responds to light.  But...

Published: Dec 28, 2011

Some stars die dramatically – the light from the supernova explosion of a distant massive star...

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There's something happenin’ here, what it is ain’t exactly clear...

Published: Oct 19, 2011

Graduate student Jennifer Lubbeck (Jimenez Group) spent the summer of 2011 doing research in the...

Published: Oct 19, 2011

Searching for Clues in Quantum Fingerprints

The Nesbitt group...

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