The Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Science Instrument: Behind the Scenes

The Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Science (AMO) instrument is the first of six experimental stations now operating at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory's Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS) X-ray laser. John Bozek, a staff scientist who manages the LCLS Soft X-ray Department, gives a tour behind the scenes at the AMO instrument. Samples used in AMO experiments include atoms, molecules, clusters, and nanoscale objects like protein crystals or viruses. Science performed at AMO includes fundamental studies of light-matter interactions in the extreme X-ray intensity of the LCLS pulse, time-resolved studies of increasingly charged states of atoms and molecules, X-ray diffraction imaging of nanocrystals, and single-shot imaging of a variety of objects.