Forthcoming Events

24.01.2018 - 26.01.2018, DESY Hamburg
04.02.2018 - 09.02.2018, Hotel Galvez, 2024 Seawall Boulevard, Galveston, TX, US
13.02.2018 - 15.02.2018, Hilton New Orleans Riverside in New Orleans, LA, USA


GAP-Biophotonics with Jean-Pierre Wolf-visited by the Grand Conseil of Geneva
ERC Consolidator Grant for Hans Jakob WörnerAttosecond X-ray spectroscopy of liquids ...
ERC Consolidator Grant for Fabrizio CarboneVisualizing the Conformational Dynamics of Proteins ...
Swiss national 'Future Day' offered children a glance into their possible professional futures
The world's shortest laser pulse- pulse duration of 43 attoseconds (Hans Jakob Wörner)
Sicherer durchs Gewitter fliegen- flying safely through lightning (Jean Pierre Wolf)
Successful Gender and Science Meeting 2017- 80 participants, lively discussions, and inspiring talks, news item on D-PHYS
ERC Starting Grant for Ulrich LorenzVisualizing the Conformational Dynamics of Proteins ...
Ambizione awards for three current and former MUST researchers- Axel Schild, Arianna Marchioro and Dmitry Momotenko
OSA - Women of Light: A Special Program for Women in Optics, with Ursula Keller

An ultrafast X-ray source in a laboratory format

Researchers at ETH Zurich and the University of Geneva have succeeded for the first time in using a laboratory X-ray source to demonstrate how two highly fluorinated molecules change within a few quadrillionths of a second, or femtoseconds.

In nature, some processes occur so quickly that even the blink of an eye is very slow in comparison. Many basic physical, chemical and biological reactions take place on the ultrafast time scale of a few femtoseconds (10−15 s) or even attoseconds (10−18 s). In molecules, elementary particles, such as electrons or photons, move in a mere 100 attoseconds (10−16 s). When electrons in a molecule jump from one atom to another, chemical bonds dissolve and new ones arise within a fraction of a femtosecond. The ability to track processes of this kind on the atomic scale in real time is one of the key reasons for development of major new research facilities such as the SwissFEL free electron laser. Now, researchers from the ETH Zurich and the University of Geneva have found a way to study ultrafast processes of this kind in the laboratory, using a soft X-ray source.

Reference: Pertot, Y., C. Schmidt, M. Matthews, A. Chauvet, M. Huppert, V. Svoboda, A. von Conta, A. Tehlar, D. Baykusheva, J.-P. Wolf and H. J. Wörner (2017). Time-resolved x-ray absorption spectroscopy with a water window high-harmonic source. Science. (10.1126/science.aah6114) Pertot-2017 (1.13 MB)

Also: see our Highlights page

Download Pertot-2017.pdf (1.13 MB)
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