HMC Physics Colloquium
Tuesdays at 16:30 in Shanahan Center for Teaching and Learning, Room B460
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Ultrafast X-ray Spectroscopy: Probing Dynamics at Fundamental Length and Time Scales
Nov. 13, 2007
The non-equilibrium world in which we live is characterized by chemical reactions, phase transitions, and other dynamical processes which, ultimately, are mediated by the ultrafast (<10-12 sec) motion of individual atoms and molecules. Our ability to understand and eventually control how matter evolves at the microscopic level is hampered by an inability to ’see’ material dynamics on such ultrasmall spatial (10-10 m) and ultrafast temporal (10-15 s) dimensions. I will discuss how pump-probe techniques using femtosecond (1 fs = 10-15 s) x-ray pulses provides one avenue for resolving ultrafast chemical reactions, phase transitions, etc., on the characteristic spatial and temporal dimensions of atoms and molecules.