the building blocks of life

the building blocks of life

XFEL laser X-ray - a look at the building blocks of life

1w ago
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Scientists would like to understand the spatial structures of complex organic molecules, and observe every stage of a chemical reaction. That's not possible yet. But XFEL, the largest free electron x-ray laser in the world, is about to change that. The device is a kind of combined camera and microscope that opens up whole new molecular worlds. Curretnly under construction in Hamburg, XFEL will be able to generate up to 27,000 X-ray flashes a second. The first components have been put together in a subterranean tunnel that’s seven kilometers long. Technicians and engineers are now testing components like magnets and the first detector for a "molecular cinema". The super-laser is due to enter service in 2017.