Scientists Film Droplets Getting Blow Up by X-Rays

“These studies could help us better understand a wide range of phenomena in X-ray science and other applications,” -Researcher Claudiu Stan.

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View the video here.

Researchers in California recently filmed, for the first time, the world’s brightest X-ray laser vaporizing liquid droplets and jets. Scientists at the Department of Energy use lasers to image and study some of the smallest and fastest chemical, biological and physical processes.

“Understanding the dynamics of these explosions will allow us to avoid their unwanted effects on samples,” Claudiu Stan said. “It could also help us find new ways of using explosions caused by X-rays to trigger changes in samples and study matter under extreme conditions. These studies could help us better understand a wide range of phenomena in X-ray science and other applications.”

As the latest videos reveal, the same lasers that provide intricate measurements can also obliterate a liquid droplet in a fraction of a second. Fortunately, the laser captures most of the necessary information before the samples are vaporized.

“Thanks to a special imaging system developed for this purpose, we were able to record these movies for the first time,” explained Sébastien Boutet, a research scientist.

The latest imagery helped scientists build models that give them information they can use to more carefully deploy laser pulses in future experiments.

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