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Atom-Billiards with X-Rays

A new Approach to look inside of Molecules

28-Sep-2020

In 1921, Albert Einstein received the Nobel Prize in physics for the discovery that light is quantized, interacting with matter as a stream of particles called photons. Since these early days of quantum mechanics, it is known that photons also possess momentum. The photon’s ability to transfer ...

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Self-imaging of a molecule by its own electrons

Mapping the atomic motion during a molecular vibration

22-Sep-2020

One of the long-standing goals of research on the light-induced dynamics of molecules is to observe time-dependent changes in the structure of molecules, which result from the absorption of light, as directly and unambiguously as possible. To this end, researchers have developed and applied a ...

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How to generate and steer electrons in liquid water

Surprising results reveal a new aspect of extremely strong electric fields in liquid water

08-Sep-2020

Water molecules undergo ultrafast dithering motions at room temperature and generate extremely strong electric fields in their environment. New experiments demonstrate how in presence of such fields free electrons are generated and manipulated in the liquid with the help of an external terahertz ...

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Scientists synthesized light with new intrinsic chirality to tell mirror molecules apart

Let there be… a new light

30-Oct-2019

Light is the fastest way to distinguish right- and left-handed chiral molecules, which has important applications in chemistry and biology. However, ordinary light only weakly senses molecular handedness. Researchers from the Max Born Institute for Nonlinear Optics and Short Pulse Spectroscopy ...

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Forward or backward? New pathways for protons in water or methanol

10-Oct-2019

A collaborative ultrafast spectroscopy and ab initio molecular dynamics simulations study, as recently published by scientists of the Max Born Institute of Nonlinear Optics and Short Pulse Spectroscopy (MBI) and the Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU) in the Journal of the American ...

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How molecules teeter in a laser field

21-Jan-2019

When molecules interact with the oscillating field of a laser, an instantaneous, time-dependent dipole is induced. This very general effect underlies diverse physical phenomena such as optical tweezers, for which Arthur Ashkin received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2018, as well as the spatial ...

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Looking at molecules from two sides with table-top femtosecond soft-X-rays

03-Jan-2019

X-ray spectroscopy provides direct access into the nature of chemical bonds, from which the outcome of chemical reactions can be understood. For this, intense activities both at x-ray source development and implementation of new measurement methods is pursued by key research labs. Researchers at ...

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Electric polarization in the macroscopic world and electrons moving at atomic scales

New route for understanding and tailoring the properties of ferroelectric materials

30-Aug-2018

Femtosecond x-ray experiments in combination with a new theoretical approach establish a direct connection between electric properties in the macroscopic world and electron motions on the time and length scale of atoms. The results open a new route for understanding and tailoring the properties ...

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Concepts for new switchable plasmonic nanodivices

07-Aug-2018

Plasmonic waveguides open the possibility to develop dramatically miniaturized optical devices and provide a promising route towards the next-generation of integrated nanophotonic circuits for information processing, optical computing and others. Key elements of nanophotonic circuits are ...

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Freeing electrons to better trap them

19-Apr-2018

Atoms are composed of electrons moving around a central nucleus they are bound to. The electrons can also be torn away, overcoming the confining force of their nucleus, using the powerful electric field of a laser. Half a century ago, the theorist Walter Henneberger wondered if it was possible to ...

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