Self Referenced Diffraction or Herding Schroedinger’s Cat

Wednesday, October 26, 2016 - 3:00pm

Speaker: Mike Glownia, LCLS

Program Description

One of the most famous mind-twisters of the quantum world is the thought experiment known as “Schroedinger’s Cat,” in which a cat placed in a box and potentially exposed to poison is simultaneously dead and alive until someone opens the box and peeks inside. I will show some recent results from pump/probe experiments performed at LCLS and recently published in PhysRevLett.177.153003.  We used a molecular version of the cat (excited and non-excited states of iodine molecules) to produce movies of intramolecular motion derived from ultrafast x-ray diffraction images with a temporal and spatial resolution of 30 fs and 0.3 Å. This high fidelity is due to interference between the nonstationary excitation and the stationary initial charge distributions inside the molecules. The initial state is used as the local oscillator for heterodyne amplification of the excited charge distribution to retrieve real-space movies of atomic motion on ångstrom and femtosecond scales. I will walk through the coherent vibrational motion and dispersion, dissociation, and rotational dephasing dynamics we can were able to observe in the reconstructed data, and I will also show some preliminary results on our ability to use a strong optical laser to manipulate the energy levels of the iodine and control the excited state dynamics.

Self Referenced Diffraction or Herding Schroedinger’s Cat
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