- Ulla Vainio
Physicist, Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht
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What could one do with an x-ray laser?
At first it might appear like a crazy scientist dream. An x-ray laser? Really? But it is already reality! Several x-ray free electron lasers (XFEL) are currently being built all over the world. One such big machine is already operational, the LCLS in California. These machines are typically one or two kilometers long and cost about 1 billion dollars. They make pulsed laser like radiation in femtosecond time scale in the x-ray wavelength regime. At the moment physicists, chemist and biologists are together trying to use the radiation for example to study structures of bioorganisms. There are still a lot of technical difficulties to be solved. The billion dollar question is, what else could one do with this radiation? Can you think of ways to use this radiation to study something new?