Hacked Gadgets Forum

April 8, 2007

Technique hints promise of a Tabletop X-ray Laser

at 2:46 pm. Filed under Complex Hacks, Insane Equipment

Looks like there might be a breakthrough in x-ray technology very soon. This article is from the free Electronic Products magazine that is one of the Hacked Gadgets engineering magazines offered.

“Removing a major obstacle in the quest to build a tabletop x-ray laser that could be used for biological and medical imaging, a team of researchers at the University of Colorado at Boulder has developed a technique to generate laser-like x-ray beams. The team used a laser to pluck an electron from an atom of argon, a highly stable chemical element, and then slam it back into the same atom to create a boomerang action that generates a weak but directed beam of x rays.

Current x-ray imaging technology is limited by spatial resolution, and the creation of a practical x-ray laser would enable deep imaging of structures and tissues with a high degree of clarity and focus.

The technology overcomes the obstacle of combining the different x-ray waves emitted from a large number of atoms into a beam intense enough to be useful by sending pulses of visible laser light into the gas in the opposite direction of the laser beam generating the x rays. The weak laser beam manipulates the electrons whose emissions are out of sync with the main beam, slamming them back to generate x rays at just the right time, intensifying the strength of the beam by over a hundred times.”