Battle to Become the Next-Generation X-ray Source

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Science  15 Nov 2002:
Vol. 298, Issue 5597, pp. 1356-1358
DOI: 10.1126/science.298.5597.1356

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Researchers and science funding agencies are pondering a range of new x-ray sources; these machines will generate much shorter x-ray pulses than top-of-the-line synchrotrons do today. Scientists hope to use those shorter pulses--possibly as short as 10 to 100 quadrillionths of a second, or femtoseconds--as ultrafast strobe lights to see not only the atomic structure of molecules but also the dance of atoms as they make and break chemical bonds.