JRM researchers and their collaborators have published unexpected results in Nature.
This work used short pulses of ultra-intense high-energy X-rays to produce a detailed picture of how radiation interacts with molecules. This was the first time this kind of extreme light has been used to break up molecules, and may help scientists understand the damages from X-ray radiation.
In experiments using either soft or less-intense hard X-rays, it was thought that the induced charge and associated radiation damage of atoms in polyatomic molecules can be inferred from the charge that is induced in an isolated atom under otherwise comparable irradiation conditions. Here it seems that the femtosecond response of small polyatomic molecules that contain one heavy atom to ultra-intense, hard X-ray pulses is qualitatively different: experimental and modeling results establish that, under these conditions, the ionization of a molecule is considerably enhanced compared to that of an individual heavy atom with the same absorption cross-section. The heavy atom tears electrons from the other atoms, something like a molecular black hole.
Week of 25 June 2017
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Kristan Corwin, recently named the to the Ernest K. and Lillian E. Chapin chair and professor of physics, has been named interim associate dean for research of the College of Arts and Sciences by Dean Amit Chakrabarti. A search for a permanent associate dean will begin in fall 2017.