X-Ray lasers. The ones that only existed up till now, required so much power that their infrastructure toop up the same amount of space as stadiums. Now a team of scientists have managed to make it fit, in your living room.
Scientists from the University of Colorado in Boulder have developed a table top x-ray laser device, which is set to shake the way lasers are used for measuring small objects. According to Margaret Murnane, one of the researchers, explained to the BBC:
"Because X-ray wavelengths are 1,000 times shorter than visible light and they penetrate materials, these coherent X-ray beams promise revolutionary new capabilities."
Normal laser beam photons oscillate neatly together, in a property known as coherence, which is a defining feature of lasers. When researchers tried to achieve the same effect with x-rays, they had to, fire short, infrared pulses into clouds of noble gas, and as the pulses propagated, they ripped electrons from atoms as they passed, causing them to accelerate before returning to their atoms. Lots of energy was dumped in from the streams of coherent beams of electromagnetic waves, including x-rays.
Previously, it's only been possible to do that using gigantic particle accelerators—and now, it can be found on the bench tops of a laboratory. [Science via BBC ]