It was thought that it would take an atomic bomb to produce enough power to generate an X-ray laser, but a team of boffins have fired one from a table-top box of tricks. X-ray lasers need astonishing amounts of power and huge equipment to create extremely short-lived yet coherent beams with a wavelength in the tens of …
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xGSV Slightly Perturbed
oBOFH Reg Readers
As I've already told people (before your kindly Admins decided to vanish my post several months after the fact), there is only so much a fleet of hyperintelligent starships can do at this point.
The rest is up to you, chaps. We'll be waiting when you get here.
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xWombling_Free, aboard GSV Takes One To Know One
oGSV Slightly Perturbed; oROU Dinner Is Ready
Xray matchsticks now, eh? I don't think they'll be catching on any time soon.
Wake me for the third reel. Then again, perhaps not.
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xAndreasKoch, aboard dROU 'Dinner Is Ready'
oGSV Slightly Perturbed; oWombling_Free c/o GSV Takes One To Know One
I'll sent a message when they manage to build a lazy gun; you might as well suspend (or hibernate in the case of Takes One To Know One's organic passenger) for a couple of millennia...
True, it's more likely Bremsstrahlung than Cerenkov , but according to this Nature letter the Sellotape can produce 100mW @15keV to 100keV bursts.
[Nature 455, 1089-1092 (23 October 2008) doi:10.1038/nature07378 "Correlation between nanosecond X-ray flashes and stick–slip friction in peeling tape"]
A derivative paper idea postulates that quantum electrodynamic effects from nano materials in Sellotape create the X-ray and RF bursts, making it potentially dangerous to wrap your Christmas presents in a vacuum. Annoyingly for geeks, Duct Tape fails to generate X-rays! [http://www.prlog.org/10173358-nanoparticles-that-form-in-peeling-scotch-tape-produce-rays.html]
And El Reg has covered one or two of them.
However the "desktop" has been the size of a small warehouse and usually worked by pumping a large current through a hollow fibre filled with gas. Strictly a one shot system.
This looks a lot smaller and capable of *continuous* operation
Not likely to be very efficient in terms of wall socket power conversion (electricity -> 500 Mid IR photons -> 1 high energy photon).
The pint-sized can discussed here is being shot at with 80 fs, 10 mJ, 3.9 micrometer laser pulses. The latter comes from a decently sized laser. (Think about your garage if you are really well-off, or your living room if you are not).
If you look up the authors and their competition, you'll find that this kind of X-ray lasing is done for about a decade and in some dozens of labs around the world. They just pushed the energy range a bit farther to the blue.
The number of X-ray photons generated by that room of laser equipment is rather puny, so go and Google for LCLS if you want to read about spectacular amounts of X-rays.
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