Watching the Ultrafast Dance Moves of a Laser Plasma

Great leaps in science and technology have been propelled by recent advances in seeing fast evolving physical phenomena, as they happen. Femtosecond lasers from the infrared to the X-ray region have enabled us to ‘watch’, in real time, atoms dance in molecules and solids on femtosecond and picosecond timescales. Watching such fascinating motions not just in real time but at the spatial locations where they happen, is a bigger challenge. It is precisely this advance that has been made by a team of researchers at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai, York University and the Rutherford Appleton Laboratories, UK.

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