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News & Highlights

Research Highlights

Published: Fri, 11/03/2017 - 12:45pm

The actors are molecules. The plot, broken molecular bonds. JILA Fellow Ralph Jimenez and a team of detector experts at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) are working together to make X-ray movies of a molecular drama.

The team at NIST built a microcalorimeter X-ray spectrometer capable of performing time-resolved spectroscopy; in other words: a camera to film molecules. They use this camera to learn how molecules break their bonds – do the ­electrons rearrange, do the other atoms quake?

The microcalorimeter spectrometer is not the only tool that can film molecules, but it is the smallest. Previously, only huge, multibillion dollar synchrotrons were capable of producing X-rays and probing molecules. Beam time at these facilities has to be reserved in advance, sometimes months, or even years. These long wait times, combined with the expense of building and operating synchrotrons, can limit opportunities for new research.

In contrast, NIST’s spectrometer fits on a tabletop and costs a fraction of an entire synchrotron system. But most importantly, NIST’s spectrometer is easily accessible ­­– it’s like having the ability to film a...

Published: Oct 01, 2005

Graduate students Dave Harber and John Obrecht, postdoc Jeff McGuirk, and Fellow Eric Cornell...

Published: Oct 01, 2005

Gamma-ray jets produced deep within massive stars can blow apart the star when they emerge,...

Published: Oct 01, 2005

For nearly 18 years, JILA Fellow Dick McCray has been studying the brightest supernova to...

Published: Sep 30, 2005

RNA molecules can perform amazing biological feats, including storing, transporting, and...

Published: Aug 09, 2005

Fellow Jan Hall has been working on stabilizing the frequency of lasers since the 1960s. Now, he...

Published: May 11, 2005

Rosalba Perna and colleagues Jonathan Granot of Stanford and Enrico Ramirez-Ruiz of Princeton...

Published: May 01, 2005

Lora Nugent-Glandorf and Tom Perkins have come up with an optical trap motion detector that...

Published: Apr 29, 2005

What really happens inside black holes?

Andrew Hamilton and Scott Pollack, a...

Published: Apr 17, 2005

Markus Greiner, Cindy Regal, Jayson Stewart, and Debbie Jin have found the first-ever visual...

Published: Apr 10, 2005

Jason Jones, Kevin Moll, Mike Thorpe, and Jun Ye have generated the world's first precise...

Published: Apr 10, 2005

Andrew Hamilton and Jason Lisle, who received his Ph.D. in astrophysical and planetary...

Published: Apr 03, 2005

A high-powered JILA collaboration led by JILA Fellows Jun Ye and Chris Greene is making...

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