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For the first time, scientists at Stanford University and the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory have created a silicon chip that can accelerate electrons using an infrared laser to deliver, at less than a hair’s width, the sort of energy boost that takes microwaves several feet.
Until now, the university scientists have relied on a two-mile-long accelerator to deliver electrons through a vacuum pipe. Bursts of microwave radiation launch the electrons at a velocity just shy of the speed of light. The product of this electron projection is a beam powerful enough to help scientists around the world probe the atomic and molecular structures of both organic and inorganic materials.
Writing in the Jan. 3 issue of Science, a…READ MORE