Visions 17 - free electron lasers
A new light source generating intense bursts of coherent radiation over a wide range of wavelengths promises to revolutionise our understanding of matter.
Brilliant sources of electromagnetic radiation, from microwaves, through visible light to X-rays, provide scientists with powerful tools for studying and even transforming all kinds of matter.
During the past 40 years, various sources have been developed: the laser is well known; another is a large ring-shaped machine which deflects a beam of electrons moving close to the speed of light in a magnetic field, causing them to emit intense light.
Visions 17 - free electron lasers (PDF, 300 KB)