New Light Source Project
aiming for unique studies of microscopic motions in matter of all kinds

26 May 2010
NLS Conceptual Design Report available for download
- (8MB pdf)

IMPORTANT NEWS
Professor Jon Marangos response to the
STFC Council prioritisation announcement.

Download PDF response here


NLS Facility

To advance the frontiers of science and technology new tools with new capabilities are periodically required. One frontier for many areas of science is to measure structural dynamics in real time, i.e. to make movies of the motions of atoms and molecules as they undertake the fundamental changes that underpin physical, chemical and biological processes.  Free electron lasers (FELs) are the first tools that science has had that can offer both simultaneous nanoscopic spatial resolution and femtosecond temporal resolution. The present operational (e.g. FLASH (Hamburg)) and planned (e.g. XFEL (Hamburg), LCLS (Stanford)) FEL facilities offer the first opportunities for that new science. The current generation of FELs are, however, limited in the reproducibility of the X-ray pulses that they will produce and in the time structure of the pulse train. To overcome these limits, and so to allow structural dynamics measurements in the femtosecond range to be fully realised, we propose to build a high repetition rate coherent FEL, a new class of machine which produces fully controlled X-ray pulses.


The key science drivers that define the NLS project are:

IMAGING NANOSCALE STRUCTURES.
Instantaneous images of nanoscale objects can be recorded at any desired instant allowing, for example, nanometer scale resolution of sub-cellular structures in living systems.

CAPTURING FLUCTUATING AND RAPIDLY EVOLVING SYSTEMS.  
Rapid intrinsic evolution and fluctuations in the positions of the constituents within matter can be characterized.

STRUCTURAL DYNAMICS UNDERLYING PHYSICAL AND CHEMICAL CHANGES. 
The structural dynamics governing physical, chemical and biochemical processes can be followed by using laser pump- X-ray probe techniques.

ULTRA-FAST DYNAMICS IN MULTI-ELECTRON SYSTEMS.
New approaches to measuring the multi-electron quantum dynamics, that are present in all complex matter, will become possible.

To address this science the following characteristics are required from the photon source:
Photon energies from THz to X-ray
Short Pulses
Full Coherence
High Brightness
High Repetition Rate

These light source parameters needed are achievable through a combination of linac based FELs and advanced conventional laser technology.  A technical design study has been completed to the stage of an outline design and a conceptual design report is in preparation.

The New Light Source (NLS) Science Case and Outline Facility Design Report is available via the link [NLS Case].