A free-electron laser (FEL) developed by the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility has generated vacuum-ultraviolet (VUV) light in the range of 10 eV. The VUV light requires the utilization of a vacuum for experiments because it is absorbed by the molecules present in the air.
The generated VUV light paves the way for various research applications that were inaccessible previously. The FEL is likely to enable a procedure for deciding on the age of materials that surpasses carbon dating, which enables scientists to find the age of materials at approximately 62,000 years. On the other hand, radio-krypton dating has the ability to decide on the age of materials anywhere from 100,000 to 1 million years. FEL’s 10 eV light would be utilized to manufacture krypton atoms for the dating procedure.
Associate Director for the Jefferson Lab’s FEL Division, George Neil stated that the facility utilized a hole out-coupling mirror to deliver VUV harmonic light to a VUV photodiode. FEL’s Research Program Manager, Gwyn Williams commented that the laser device is also ideal to study materials and has potential to address issues such as environment and energy.