Free-Electron Laser goes over the rainbow

Dec 09, 2010 By Kandice Carter
Terahertz Spectrum

Somewhere over the rainbow of visible light is an untapped goldmine of research potential, where energy sources, novel materials and environmental research are possible. That goldmine may soon be open to researchers using the Free-Electron Laser at DOE's Jefferson Lab.

In August, the FEL delivered more than 50 watts of , opening a new band of the for experiments.

The spectrum comprises all the colors of light separated into bands by wavelength. The FEL was originally commissioned as an and is also a prolific source of terahertz light at long wavelengths. Just above these is the visible band: the familiar rainbow consisting of red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet. On the shorter side of the visible is ultraviolet.

Many research applications will benefit from the ultrafast pulses of ultraviolet light that the FEL can deliver at the wavelength of 124 nanometers (10 eV photon energy). While current sources of this wavelength of light are severely limited, it is highly prized for its potential science and technology development applications, including use as a dating method for samples that are beyond the reach of carbon-14 dating and studying the structure of novel materials, such as high-temperature superconductors.

FEL operators are currently testing the FEL's capabilities and are working to transmit the light to specially equipped labs for experiment.

Explore further: And so they beat on, flagella against the cantilever

Provided by US Department of Energy

5 /5 (3 votes)
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Laser light in the deep infrared

Aug 23, 2006

Free-electron lasers (FEL) are large and expensive, but they can deliver unique light for research and applications. On August 21, 2006, at the Forschungszentrum Rossendorf (FZR) in Dresden, Germany, the second ...

Tapering a Free-Electron Laser to Extract More Juice

Nov 20, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- Researchers from the NSLS and Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) have demonstrated a technique that could be used to significantly improve the quantity and quality of light ...

Free-electron laser targets fat

Apr 09, 2006

Fat may have finally met its match: laser light. Researchers at the Wellman Center for Photomedicine at Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School and the Department of Energy's Thomas Jefferson ...

Recommended for you

And so they beat on, flagella against the cantilever

Sep 16, 2014

A team of researchers at Boston University and Stanford University School of Medicine has developed a new model to study the motion patterns of bacteria in real time and to determine how these motions relate ...

Tandem microwave destroys hazmat, disinfects

Sep 16, 2014

Dangerous materials can be destroyed, bacteria spores can be disinfected, and information can be collected that reveals the country of origin of radiological isotopes - all of this due to a commercial microwave ...

Cornell theorists continue the search for supersymmetry

Sep 16, 2014

(Phys.org) —It was a breakthrough with profound implications for the world as we know it: the Higgs boson, the elementary particle that gives all other particles their mass, discovered at the Large Hadron ...

How did evolution optimize circadian clocks?

Sep 12, 2014

(Phys.org) —From cyanobacteria to humans, many terrestrial species have acquired circadian rhythms that adapt to sunlight in order to increase survival rates. Studies have shown that the circadian clocks ...

User comments : 0