Water droplets vaporized by world's most powerful X-ray laser
The SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory's Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS) is the world's most powerful X-ray laser. The two-mile-long linear accelerator is used to produce ultrafast pulses of light (30 femtoseconds) in order to take stop-motion pictures of atoms and molecules in motion. The laser's wavelength (0.151nm) is comparable to that of an atom, which provides extremely high resolution imaging capabilities. Here, a pulse of the X-ray laser can be seen vaporizing 40µm droplets of water. Because of the speed of the interaction, imagery is captured in stop-motion over many repeated experiments and combined to produce a video. A secondary, time-delayed pulsed laser is used to illuminated the scene following the primary X-ray laser interaction.
Physics publication: http://www.nature.com/nphys/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nphys3779.html