The world’s most powerful x-ray laser has turned the atom into the «black hole»

© RIA Novosti / Alina Polyanina // DESY/Science Communication LabОбстрел iodine atom heavy duty x-ray laser has turned it into an analogue of a black holeThe world’s most powerful x-ray laser has turned the atom into the «black hole»© RIA Novosti / Alina Polyanina // DESY/Science Communication Lab

. X-ray laser LCLS will allow physicists «catapult» almost all electrons from a single atom in the molecule and temporarily turn it into a miniature analogue of a black hole, attracts electrons with the force of her cosmic counterpart, according to a paper published in the journal Nature.

«The force with which the electrons are attracted to the atom of iodine in this case was much greater than that which would be produced, for example, a black hole with a mass of 10 Suns. In principle, any gravitational field of black holes of stellar mass are not capable in a comparable way to act on the electron, even if it close to bring it to the event horizon», says Robin Santra (Robin Santra) of the German synchrotron center DESY.

Santra and his colleagues created such a miniature black hole, focusing the entire beam x-ray laser LCLS, while the most powerful installation of its kind in the world, on the point with a width of only 100 nanometers. It is approximately equal to the length of the major organic molecules and several hundred times smaller than the width of the beam, usually used in experiments with such emitters.

Due to this, the laser beam power has reached 10 billion gigawatts per square centimeter, came close to the level where they begin to manifest ultrarelativistic effects and the light begins to spontaneously turn into matter and antimatter.

Clash of the impulse with single atoms of xenon and iodine, as shown by the first experiments of physics leads to the fact that they lose practically all their electrons and become fantastically high oxidation state is +48 or +47, resulting in record high positive charge.

The researchers decided to test how this charge can affect the behavior of other molecules and atoms, the iodine combining with the molecules of methane and ethane, which are transparent to x-rays and non-responsive to radiation like rays.

The results of these experiments turned out to be fantastic – irradiation of these molecules with a laser just for 30 nanoseconds has led to the fact that the atoms of iodine in them has become a kind of electrical «black hole» for a moment after they «flashed» the x-ray beam.

These atoms, contrary to expectations of scientists, have lost a lot more electrons – not 46 or 47, 53 or 54 of the particle. This process is not stopped, and the atoms of iodine, like supermassive black holes, began to steal the electrons from other parts of the molecules to disperse and «spit» them in bundles similar to the emissions of real space their «cousins».

As a result, the whole molecule iodomethane actually instantly disintegrated itself after having lived just one trillionth of a second after it starts firing laser. Something like that, scientists believe, may occur by contact of living organisms with x-rays and the study of this process will help us understand how to reduce or neutralize the damage from radiation.

«Iodomethane is a relatively simple molecule that helps us understand what is happening with organic molecules when they are damaged by radiation. We believe that this reaction proceeds more rapidly in utatane and other complex molecules, where iodine gets rid of up to 60 electrons, however, we do not know how to describe. The solution to this problem is our next goal,» — concludes Artem Rudenko from Kansas state University (USA), the first author of the article.