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X-ray lasers are no longer science fiction

On Nov. 14, Linda Young, director of the X-ray Science Division at Argonne National Laboratory, will deliver a lecture about the Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS) laser, which helps scientists determine three-dimensional structure of materials at the atomic scale. The lecture, which is free and open to the public, will begin at 7 p.m. in Drake University’s Sheslow Auditorium.

The LCLS laser was built in 2009 at the Stanford Linear Accelerator. It is the first and currently the most powerful X-ray free-electron laser. In her lecture, Young will speak on the machine’s construction and discuss experimental programs that investigate material behavior at pressures equivalent to those at the center of the earth and the sun.

Young holds a Ph.D. in chemical physics from the University of California, Berkeley. She currently is researching the use of strong electromagnetic fields to manipulate electronic and geometrical properties of atoms and molecules, which may result in the design of new materials and recreate the fusion process that powers the sun.

This lecture is made possible through the Distinguished Travelling Lecturer program of the Division of Laser Science of the American Physical Society.

For more information, contact John Gitua, associate professor of chemistry, at 515-271-3760 or john.gitua@drake.edu, or Klaus Bartschat, professor of physics, at 515-271-3750 or klaus.bartschat@drake.edu.