Contact: Josh Chamot
National Science Foundation
Caption: This art represents an electron being ripped from an atom by a strong laser field, which stretches its quantum wave function over hundreds of atomic sizes. Just as electrons accelerated in an X-ray tube emit bremsstrahlung radiation, electrons accelerated by a laser can emit rainbows of coherent X-rays in a laser-like beam. X-ray light is "invisible to the human eye but is important for being able to 'see' the fine details and fastest motions of the nanoworld."
Credit: Tenio Popmintchev, JILA and University of Colorado at Boulder
Usage Restrictions: Credit must accompany image.
Related news release: All the colors of a high-energy rainbow, in a tightly focused beam