Largest X-Ray Laser Is Ready:
Science

Largest X-Ray laser is ready: Secrets of the Nanoworld are visible.

The largest most powerful linear accelerator world is done, even the last metal pipe mounted: on outskirts commissioning of the X-ray laser. Now, the buttons are pressed, tested all devices. Does the first electron beam beginning 2017 through the 3.4 km long tunnel system going.

What the new Hamburg major research equipment XFEL is good was built for five years where and 1.22 billion euros were invested in this? It helps in combating the still incurable diseases and environment-friendly energy supply: Mega plagues of humanity such as Alzheimer’s disease and AIDS are may soon be cured. The eco-friendly energy supply of the future is no longer a problem. And even the pure science will benefit. She will find out what happens inside of gigantic celestial bodies, in which unimaginable pressures and temperatures.

It creates the most spectacular large unit in the world, which will be taken on October 6, 2016, in operation. The procedure will take some months before the goal is reached: the production of 27,000 extremely bright X-ray flashes per second, 200 times more than in the next high-performance system, which in the United States stands.

Slow motion film from living cells

To heal still-incurable disease, biologists, physicians and pharmacologists need to know what’s going on in living cells, in which the disease breaks out. This can be not visible make with existing techniques. Before starting the decisive changes in cell, the cell is already killed. X-ray radiation is not over them also. Since there are so many flashes per second can be changes in the nano world, taking place in fractions of a second, how to make visible in a slow-motion movie. That is faster than the death of the cell. If the operations are first known therapies and medication can be selectively developed.

“Enormous discovery potential”

European XFEL the X stands for X-ray, so x-rays, FEL for free electron Laser is the device that has 3.4 kilometers extends underground from Hamburg by the grounds of the German electron synchrotron (DESY) in the Schleswig-Holstein town in Schenefeld. DESY generated already since decades X-rays for research. The Chairman of the DESY Board, Helmut Dosch is DESY main partner of European XFEL has already made his judgment: “The European X-ray laser is one of the most revolutionary large-scale research projects around the world.” It offers “Enormous discovery potential”.

Also for future energy supplies. In spite of all human research, it is still nature, converts the energy in the far more effective, to make them usable, for example, for the growth of plants. Photosynthesis requires only chlorophyll, sunlight and carbon dioxide to produce hydrogen, which is, however, not the final product. Ultimately, it is used to build biomass. You may interrupt the process however and reap hydrogen. Even succeeded, but efficiency is so low that it is by far not economical. Only if the process is made visible is the chance to wrest their secret nature and establish a cheap and inexhaustible energy conversion technology. That should make the XFEL.

Catalyst researchers are facing the same problem. They can only guess what on the surface of this reaction accelerators, if they ensure that two substances, which actually do not like themselves, merge to a higher quality material about hydrogen and carbon dioxide to synthesis gas. XFEL will make this process visible, so that targeted effective catalysts for the chemicals can be developed.

The Interior of celestial bodies

Astronomers can find out what happened at the creation of the universe, as formed huge celestial bodies. In their inner an unimaginable pressure. A high-performance laser, which a second concentrated his energy within the fraction on a sample, which is only a few billionth of a millimeter-sized created in an XFEL experimental Hall.

X-ray lightning moment happens what do in this visible.

Commissioning tests all components of the giant machine, before the first electron beam on the trip will be sent may still be in this year. A pulsed laser in the injector from a piece of Caesiumtellurid beats out the small electrically negatively charged particles. This device, which was completed almost a year ago, produces 27,000 electron bunches that are directed at the 1.8 km long linear accelerator in every second. This consists of a tube that is interrupted by 100 Accelerator units. These are with liquid helium to minus 270 ° C cool. It takes approximately four weeks before the target temperature is reached. The cooling lowers the power consumption of these resonators and increases their efficiency.

Electrons on a zigzag course

At the end of the line, the electron bunches are nearly as fast as light, that comes to just under 300,000 kilometers per second. Now, they are sent in so called Undulators, which force the packages on a zigzag course. At each change of direction, they emit X-ray flashes that regroup to a laser beam. He used five experimental sites. Unique mirror take over the distribution. You are so smooth that the highest elevation is just a millionth of a millimeter. Compared to a 40-kilometer road that means a difference in height, which is as big as the diameter of a human hair.

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