Can you spare a millionth of a billionth of a second?

Femtosecond bannerGot a millionth of a billionth of a second? There’s science that actually happens on this timescale.

Join the SLAC National Accelerator Laborary online for a week of ultrafast science from April 17 to 21. Learn more about how scientists and engineers use electron beams and bright pulses of light from the Linac Coherent Light Source X-ray laser and other advanced lasers to capture some of nature’s speediest processes that occur in just femtoseconds, or quadrillionths of a second.

Join the conversation on social media with #femtoweek.

On the schedule for Monday, April 17:

  • Physicist PHIL BUCKSBAUM, director of the PULSE Institute at Stanford and SLAC, gives a brief introduction to why we study on a femtosecond timescale.
  • In a video interview, RYAN COFFEE, scientist at the Linac Coherent Light Source, explains, “What is a femtosecond?”
  • Accelerator physicist AGOSTINO MARINELLI discusses how we make femtosecond light.

On Tuesday:

  • Learn how we capture femtosecond light with detectors from GABRIELLA CARINI, scientist at the Linac Coherent Light Source.
  • Explore the fourth dimension, from processes that occur in billions of years down to tiny slivers of a second.
  • Find answers to your burning questions about ultrafast X-ray science. MIKE DUNNE, director of the Linac Coherent Light Source – the world’s first hard X-ray free-electron laser – will join us for a Twitter chat. Find us at #femtoweek @slaclab.

On Wednesday:

  • What can you study in femtoseconds? PULSE scientist AMY CORDONES-HAHN describes her work on chemical reactions that turn sunlight into usable energy.
  • Take a virtual tour of the undulators and near experimental hall at the Linac Coherent Light Source.

On Thursday:

  • Read about how SLAC professor SIEGFRIED GLENZER creates extreme conditions like those in the cores of planets and studies nuclear fusion.
  • An ultrafast science factsheet gives an overview of the femtosecond world.

On Friday:

  • What else can you study in femtoseconds? AARON LINDENBERG, associate professor at Stanford and SLAC, talks about how he combines X-ray and electron techniques to understand and engineer novel materials.
  • And, what’s faster than a femtosecond? Researchers at SLAC are already looking at the largely unexplored realm of attosecond science.

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