Perspectives

Subpicosecond X-ray Pulses

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Science  11 Oct 1996:
Vol. 274, Issue 5285, pp. 201
DOI: 10.1126/science.274.5285.201

Summary

Short pulses of x-rays with a time duration comparable to the dynamics of molecules would make a variety of new structural studies possible. In their Perspective, Eisenberger and Suckewer discuss results reported by Schoenlein et al. (p. 236) in the same issue on a new source of subpicosecond x-rays. A short-pulse infrared laser beam is scattered from a beam of high-energy electrons. The radiation scattered from the electrons is in the form of subpicosecond pulses at a wavelength of 0.4 angstrom.