Linac Coherent Light Source(LCLS) X- Ray lasers used for viewing the Invisible World
The X-ray Pump Probe instrument at SLAC’s Linac Coherent Light Source uses optical lasers to generate transient states of matter, which are then probed by high-energy (hard) X-rays. (SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory)
In 2009,world's brightest X-ray laser LCLS was launched, generating x-ray pulses a billion times brighter than anything around. By this, scientists can take ultrafast snapshots of the invisible world, ranging from atoms,molecules and other particles. But in order to see the ultra small world like never before, researchers are working tirellesly working towards LCLS-||, the updated version of LCLS, capable of taking the free electron laser field up to another quantum leap. This will involve beams, about 8000 times brighter than LCLS beam at this million pulses per second. LCLS uses an accelerator to fire electrons for creating fast pulses of hard X-rays. At SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, ultraviolet lasers are trained and aimed at the piece of copper, and that optical laser is pulsed about 100 times a second, creating an electron pulse. Those electron pulses are then channeled into the accelerator, which furthur uses big longstanding technology called klystrons. As those electrons are accelerated, making the LCLS really go, called undulators. When electron passes through magnets, it bends, producing X-rays. It is then focussed on different sample materials. The LCLS allows researchers to explore about evolution of molecular structure through time, using bright X-rays, taking snapshots. But the LCLS-|| accelerator is a superconducting accelerator designed to produce high intense burst of x-rays at high repeatation rate. It will range from 120 pulses per second up to 1 million pulses per second, allowing collection of more information over a shorter period of time. The main difference is that LCLS-| will allow us to look at structures, but LCLS-|| will allow us to explore at how the energy flows through those degrees of freedom in that system. Thus it will be able to capture snapshots of atoms, molecules and subatomic interactions at a better resolution.