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New X-ray laser for basic research in nanotechnology

Longtime Foresight member Alvin Steinberg brings our attention to: Energy Secretary Dedicates World’s Most Powerful X-ray Laser:

Secretary of Energy Steven Chu on Monday dedicated the Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS), the world’s first and most powerful X-ray laser, at the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory. …

The Linac Coherent Light Source is a new type of scientific facility that promises to revolutionize our view of the atomic world as it performs basic scientific research and drives applications in energy and environmental sciences, drug development and materials engineering. It is able to view matter on a scale of individual atoms, and on time scales fast enough to see atomic motion and changes in the chemical bonds between them, effectively making stop-motion movies of the basic processes of matter and life for the first time.

We are told the facility is free to use and people can propose their projects. Could movies of bonds between individual atoms breaking and forming improve our ability to design and implement molecular manufacturing systems?

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