Home > Astronomy, Astrophysics, General Astronomy, X-Rays > X-ray Laser Takes Aim At Cosmic Mystery

X-ray Laser Takes Aim At Cosmic Mystery


Scientists have used powerful X-rays from the Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS) at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory to study and measure, in atomic detail, a key process at work in extreme plasmas like those found in stars, the rims of black holes and other massive cosmic phenomena.

The results explain why observations from orbiting X-ray telescopes do not match theoretical predictions, and pave the way for future X-ray astrophysics research using free-electron lasers such as LCLS. With its brilliant, ultrafast X-ray laser pulses, LCLS allows scientists to create and measure atomic processes in extreme plasmas in a fully controlled way for the first time.

“Measurements conducted at the LCLS will be important for interpreting X-ray emissions from a plethora of sources, including black holes, X-ray binaries, stellar coronae and supernova remnants, to name a few,” said Gregory V. Brown, a physicist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory who participated in the research.

Full Story: http://www6.slac.stanford.edu/news/2012-12-12-cosmic-lcls.aspx
Also: https://www.llnl.gov/news/newsreleases/2012/Dec/NR-12-12-01.html

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