Mr Simone Sala, Physics & Astronomy
X-ray beam mode decomposition
This picture contains a few of the 137 modes in which a partially-coherent X-ray beam has been decomposed. Such a decomposition helps characterize the X-ray beam used in diffraction experiments whose results can this way be processed to obtain an image of the sample which generated them down to nanometric resolution (billionths of a metre). In other words, this kind of analysis makes imaging of nanostructures possible with ever-increasing resolution and contrast. These modes are complex-valued functions describing an electromagnetic wave and here only their amplitude is represented because one cannot easily see a bidimensional complex function in 2D. Finally the colour scales have been adjusted for each individual mode as these show decreasing intensities – the last mode being even 18 orders of magnitude dimmer than the first one &Ndash; and hence would not be all visible otherwise.
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