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: IHEP in China has ambitions for Higgs factory

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

IHEP in China has ambitions for Higgs factory

10 hours ago

Who will lay claim to having the world's largest particle smasher?. Could China become the collider capital of the world? Questions tease answers, following a news story in Nature on Tuesday. Proposals for ...

The physics of lead guitar playing

12 hours ago

String bends, tapping, vibrato and whammy bars are all techniques that add to the distinctiveness of a lead guitarist's sound, whether it's Clapton, Hendrix, or BB King.

The birth of topological spintronics

13 hours ago

The discovery of a new material combination that could lead to a more efficient approach to computer memory and logic will be described in the journal Nature on July 24, 2014. The research, led by Penn S ...

The electric slide dance of DNA knots

16 hours ago

DNA has the nasty habit of getting tangled and forming knots. Scientists study these knots to understand their function and learn how to disentangle them (e.g. useful for gene sequencing techniques). Cristian ...

User comments : 0