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World’s most powerful X-ray laser has created a molecular black hole

DESY/Science Communication Lab

Credit: DESY/Science Communication Lab

The black hole allows researchers to analyze its retail behavior.

Finally, the researchers succeeded in creating a “miniature” of a black hole. When X-ray energy is directed towards a molecule, it removes all of its electrons, so it creates a hole that attracts the electrons of the atoms around.

This effect is produced only on a molecular scale, due to the X-ray laser called Linac Coherent Light Source. It generates pulses known as strong x-rays (they have a very high energy).

The researchers used a common object, the mirrors, to straighten all the energy in a single point, with a diameter of 100 nanometers. [The human hair has a width of about 70,000 nanometers].

Xenon isolated atoms and methyl iodide and iodine benzene molecules were illuminated by the laser. This indicates that X-rays have removed the electrons from the iodine coatings.

The process went as planned, but the X-rays made another change occur and the researchers noticed that the iodine atom (which normally contains 53 electrons) continued to absorb electrons from the carbon atoms and Hydrogen around.

At the end of all the processes, the molecule exploded.

It is hard to say what effects will be in the future, given that we know very little about the reactions that happen at the molecular level.

The good news is that even though the process behind the formation of a molecular black hole is dramatic, it may not have happened so far on our planet. This results will help scientists to better understand the danger that radiation can cause and so they can come up with solutions.

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