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Research Highlights

Published: Fri, 11/03/2017 - 12:45pm

The actors are molecules. The plot, broken molecular bonds. JILA Fellow Ralph Jimenez and a team of detector experts at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) are working together to make X-ray movies of a molecular drama.

The team at NIST built a microcalorimeter X-ray spectrometer capable of performing time-resolved spectroscopy; in other words: a camera to film molecules. They use this camera to learn how molecules break their bonds – do the ­electrons rearrange, do the other atoms quake?

The microcalorimeter spectrometer is not the only tool that can film molecules, but it is the smallest. Previously, only huge, multibillion dollar synchrotrons were capable of producing X-rays and probing molecules. Beam time at these facilities has to be reserved in advance, sometimes months, or even years. These long wait times, combined with the expense of building and operating synchrotrons, can limit opportunities for new research.

In contrast, NIST’s spectrometer fits on a tabletop and costs a fraction of an entire synchrotron system. But most importantly, NIST’s spectrometer is easily accessible ­­– it’s like having the ability to film a...

Published: May 04, 2016

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Published: Apr 21, 2016

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Published: Apr 20, 2016

The old JILA molecule factory (built in 2002) produced the world’s first ultracold polar...

Published: Mar 31, 2016

The Ye and Rey groups have discovered the strange rules of quantum baseball in which strontium (...

Published: Feb 10, 2016

Cong Chen and his colleagues in the Kapteyn/Murnane group have generated one of the most complex...

Published: Jan 28, 2016

The Rey and Ye groups are in the midst of an extended collaboration on using the Ye group’s...

Published: Dec 08, 2015

In 2008, Fellow Jeff Linsky and his colleague Seth Redfield of Wesleyan University used spectral...

Published: Dec 03, 2015

Imagine laser-like x-ray beams that can “see” through materials––all the way into the heart of...

Published: Nov 30, 2015

In the future, quantum microwave networks may handle quantum information transfer via optical...

Published: Nov 06, 2015

JILA’s cold molecule collaboration (Jin and Ye Groups, with theory support from the Rey Group)...

Published: Nov 02, 2015

The Regal and Rey groups have come up with a novel way to generate and propagate quantum...

Published: Oct 21, 2015

Scientists often use ultracold atoms to study the behavior of atoms and electrons in solids and...

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