PULSE (Photon Ultrafast Laser Science and Engineering) is based on a remarkable new venture at SLAC/Stanford – the construction of the world’s first x-ray free electron laser. The construction of this new x-ray source, called the Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS), is funded by the DOE, and its operation is planned to begin toward the end of calendar 2008. LCLS will provide x-ray beams of unprecedented brightness, delivered in femtosecond pulses with full transverse coherence. Pushing the frontiers of LCLS performance will challenge and engage the talents of accelerator, laser, and x-ray physicists for years to come.
Four areas will form the core competencies of PULSE. PULSE builds on, and leverages existing strengths in, atomic physics, chemistry, biology and condensed matter physics. It creates an opportunity of attracting outstanding scientific talent in advance of the beginning of LCLS operations. The coming of the Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS), the world's first hard x-ray laser, and the Ultrafast Science Center will help ensure that Stanford and SSRL will be at the forefront of advances in the studies of ultrafast phenomena using x-rays and electrons. The Center will focus on ultrafast structural and electronic dynamics in materials science, the generation of attosecond laser pulses, single molecule imaging, and the origin of efficient light harvesting and solar energy conversion in molecular systems during the first three years of operation.