17. January 2013
The advantages of SwissFEL: Why X-rays?Large Research Facilities SwissFEL
SwissFEL will generate very short pulses of intense X-ray light with laser-like properties, and will therefore provide new insights into a wide variety of materials. The properties of this special "SwissFEL light" will broaden the scope of experiments that can be carried out at this facility. The SwissFEL should come on-line in 2016.
The reason why wavelength is so important is best illustrated using water waves as an example. Imagine a measurement made using waves in the following way: the object to be studied is placed in front of these waves, and the changes in the wave pattern the obstacle causes are observed. From these changes, the shape of the object can be worked out. In the sea, large obstacles like ships, harbour walls or large rocks cause visible alterations to wave patterns. Smaller objects however, like stones or grains of sand, which are very much smaller than the distance between two wave crests, leave hardly a trace.