Gott in Himmel! German scientists shine an X-ray through solid iron

German scientists have successfully shone an X-ray through iron.

A team of scientists at the PETRA III accelerator in Hamburg-Bahrenfeld made the nuclei of iron atoms transparent using a high-powered X-ray light source and platinum mirrors.

The discovery – bouncing X-rays around the iron to make X-rays travel through  could pave the way for futuristic ‘quantum’ computers.

A team of scientists at the PETRA III accelerator in Hamburg-Bahrenfeld made the nuclei of iron atoms transparent using a high-powered X-ray light source and platinum mirrors

A team of scientists at the PETRA III accelerator in Hamburg-Bahrenfeld made the nuclei of iron atoms transparent using a high-powered X-ray light source and platinum mirrors

The scientists positioned two thin layers of atoms in an optical cavity, an arrangement of two parallel platinum mirrors that reflect X-rays.

The light ‘bouncing’ between layers makes the layer of iron transparent.

The discovery could have important implications for future ‘quantum’ computers.

During the experiment, www.kwatery-w-augustowie.online light is also slowed down from its normal speed of 300,000 metres per second to just a few metres per second.

The scientists, led by Dr.Ralf Röhlsberger, are now looking at ‘whether it is possible to use this effect scientifically. ‘

The team says, ‘A possible application is the storage of information with extremely slow or even stopped light pulses.’ 

The two layers of iron-57 atoms, each approximately three nanometres thick, were kept in position between the two platinum mirrors by carbon, which is transparent for X-ray light of the wavelength used.

This kind of sandwich with a total thickness of only 50 nanometres is irradiated under very shallow angles with an extremely thin X-ray beam from the PETRA III synchrotron light source.

Within this mirror system, the light is reflected back and forth several times, generating a standing wave, a so-called resonance.

When the light wavelength and the distance between both iron layers are just right in proportion, the scientists can see that the iron becomes almost transparent for the X-ray light. 

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