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Because what could possibly go wrong�scientists create a BLACK HOLE on Earth
Nothing could go wrong reassure experts.
Using the world�s most powerful and advanced X-Ray laser, experts have managed to create
a �MINI BLACK HOLE� in a laboratory which could lead to numerous revolutionary developments
The machine used extremely bright, intense, fast flashes of light in order to capture
atomic-level snapshots of nature�s fastest processes known to us.
According to experts, a single pulse managed to strip away everything but a few electrons
out of one atom from the INSIDE out.
This resulted in a void that began to pull in electrons from the rest of the molecule�just
as black holes feeds on a spiraling disc of matter in space.
This new breakthrough is expected to advance the imaging of viruses and bacteria, something
that could eventually lead to the development of better medicines in the near future.
The so-called �molecular Black Hole� was developed by scientists from the Kansas State
The results, published in Nature, give scientists fundamental insights they need to better plan
and interpret experiments using the most intense and energetic X-ray pulses from SLAC�s Linac
Coherent Light Source (LCLS) X-ray free-electron laser.
As reported, the laser which created the molecular black hole (LCLS), is used to image individual
biological objects, including viruses and bacteria.
�For any type of experiment you do that focuses intense X-rays on a sample, you want
to understand how it reacts to the X-rays,� said Daniel Rolles of Kansas State University.
�This paper shows that we can understand and model the radiation damage in small molecules,
so now we can predict what damage we will get in other systems.�
As explained by SLAC, the experiment, led by Rolles and Artem Rudenko, took place at
LCLS�s Coherent X-ray Imaging instrument (CXI).
The device is able to deliver X-rays with the highest possible energies achievable at
LCLS, known as hard X-rays, and records data from samples in the instant before the laser
pulse destroys them.
So� How intense are those X-ray pulses?
�They are about a hundred times more intense than what you would get if you focused all
the sunlight that hits the Earth�s surface onto a thumbnail,� said LCLS staff scientist
and co-author Sebastien Boutet.
Scientists used mirrors in order to focus the X-ray beam on a spot which is around 100
NANOMETERS in diameter�that�s around one thousand times SMALLER than the width of a
As reported by SLAC, �scientists observed three types of different samples, individual
xenon atoms, which have 54 electrons each, and two types of molecules that each contain
a single iodine atom, which has 53 electrons.�
Interestingly, based on previous studies experts expected electrons from the outer parts of
the atom to drop into voids inside the atom.
While this did occur, the process did not end there.
SLAC reports that the iodine atom also sucked in electrons from neighboring carbon and hydrogen
atoms, losing a total of 54 electrons, resulting in a level of damage and disruption which
is higher than expected, and greatly different in nature.
Artem Rudenko, the co-author of the study, said: �We think the effect was even more
important in the larger molecule than in the smaller one, but we don�t know how to quantify
We estimate that more than 60 electrons were kicked out, but we don�t actually know where
it stopped because we could not detect all the fragments that flew off as the molecule
fell apart to see how many electrons were missing.
This is one of the open questions we need to study.�
Mike Dunne, director of the LCLS, concluded: �This has important benefits for scientists
wishing to achieve the highest-resolution images of biological molecules to inform the
development of better pharmaceuticals, for example.�