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Kevin Dorney - Using Light Hammers to Crack the Nano-Quantum Egg Shell

posted Jan 29, 2018, 9:54 PM by Nicholas Johnston

Wednesday, January 31st at 5pm
Gamow Tower, 11th floor,
Commons Room
Free Pizza

Using Light Hammers to Crack the Nano-Quantum Egg Shell
How Ultra-Intense and X-ray Lasers are Changing the Way We Observe Nature’s Smallest, Fastest, and Most Exotic Phenomena

For millennia, there has been a common ideology when it comes to observing nature in its natural state: if you want to watch and understand nature, your presence or observation method better not effect what you’re looking at. In physical sciences, this has led to a nearly uncountable amount of delicate and precise methods to peer beneath chemical, physical, and biological barriers (e.g., the egg shell) to reveal the most intricate processes in the natural world. In this overview talk, I’ll explain how an opposite, counterintuitive approach can yield even richer insights into the nano-quantum world. Instead of gently looking through or around the nano-quantum egg shell, we use ultra-intense, super-strong, and x-ray lasers (i.e., light hammers) to smash the shell to pieces! By carefully sifting through the carnage, we can put Humpty back together again, all the while gaining greater knowledge of how nature works, and how we can use nature’s methods for the betterment of society.

Kevin Dorney