Colloquium on 15 October 2015
Femtosecond Electron Diffraction: Making an Atomic Movie!


Title: Femtosecond Electron Diffraction: Making an Atomic Movie!
Speaker: Nicolas Erasmus (SAAO)
Date: Thursday, 15 October 2015
Time: 11:00 - 12:00
Venue: SAAO Auditorium


Trying to explain macroscopic properties of materials from a microscopic perspective has been the challenge for many physicists, past and present. In the past two decades several technological advancements have resulted in new techniques being developed that now enable the atomic dynamics within materials to be studied on the sub-picosecond time scale. Femtosecond Electron Diffraction (FED) is one of these techniques. By instantaneously disrupting the material with a femtosecond optical pulse, and following the evolution of the sample’s response via electron diffraction patterns in real time, valuable insight can be gained behind the principles and interesting physical properties that occur in several exotic materials.
In this talk I will introduce the principle behind the method, known as a “pump-probe” measurement, that is employed in FED to temporally resolve atomic motion on the sub-picosecond time-scale. I will also show results from our most recent experiments demonstrating the investigating power of FED.
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