Discovery paves the way for ultra fast high resolution imaging in real time

Apr 18, 2013 by Rebecca Scott
Image of a shaped bunch of ultrafast electrons. The pattern is meant to look like the iris shutter of a camera, invoking the idea of a fast snapshot. Credit Andrew McCulloch

(Phys.org) —Ultrafast high-resolution imaging in real time could be a reality with a new research discovery led by the University of Melbourne.

In work published in Nature Communications, researchers from the University of Melbourne and the ARC Centre for Excellence in Coherent X-ray Science have demonstrated that ultra short durations of generated from laser-cooled atoms can be both very cold and ultra-fast.

Lead researcher Associate Professor Robert Scholten said the surprising finding was an important step towards making ultrafast high-resolution electron imaging a reality.

He said the finding would enhance the ability of scientists in labs to create high quality snapshots of rapid changes in and specimens.

", which uses electrons to create an image of a specimen or biological molecule has revolutionised science by showing us the structure at micro and even nanometre scales," Associate Professor Scholten said.

"But it is far too slow to show us critical dynamic processes, for example the folding of a which requires time resolution of picoseconds (billionth of a billionth of a second)."

"Our discovery opens up the possibility to dramatically enhance the technology."

Researchers say imaging at this level is like making a 'molecular movie', The temperature of the electrons determines how sharp the images can be, while the electron pulse duration has a similar effect to .

The team has been able to combine these two qualities of speed and temperature, generating ultrafast electron pulses with cold electrons, paving the way for new advances in the field.

Explore further: New method for non-invasive prostate cancer screening

Related Stories

Clocking Ultra-fast Electron Bunches

Jul 30, 2010

(PhysOrg.com) -- Brookhaven researchers have developed a device that acts like a high-tech stopwatch for speedy packs of electrons just trillionths of a second long. This new diagnostic tool could aid in the ...

Moving microscopic vision into another new dimension

Jun 29, 2011

Scientists who pioneered a revolutionary 3-D microscope technique are now describing an extension of that technology into a new dimension that promises sweeping applications in medicine, biological research, ...

Watching Electrons with Lasers

Nov 06, 2008

(PhysOrg.com) -- A team of researchers from the Stanford PULSE Institute for Ultrafast Energy Science at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory has recently moved a step closer to visualizing the motions of ...

Recommended for you

New method for non-invasive prostate cancer screening

3 hours ago

Cancer screening is a critical approach for preventing cancer deaths because cases caught early are often more treatable. But while there are already existing ways to screen for different types of cancer, ...

How bubble studies benefit science and engineering

4 hours ago

The image above shows a perfect bubble imploding in weightlessness. This bubble, and many like it, are produced by the researchers from the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne in Switzerland. What ...

Famous Feynman lectures put online with free access

5 hours ago

(Phys.org) —Back in the early sixties, physicist Richard Feynman gave a series of lectures on physics to first year students at Caltech—those lectures were subsequently put into print and made into text ...

Single laser stops molecular tumbling motion instantly

9 hours ago

In the quantum world, making the simple atom behave is one thing, but making the more complex molecule behave is another story. Now Northwestern University scientists have figured out an elegant way to stop a molecule from ...

User comments : 0