Materials Science 2016+ : From simplicity to complexity
Helmut Dosch, Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron DESY, Hamburg, Germany
The discovery of x-rays in 1895 and of x-ray diffraction in 1912 has truly revolutionized our world and our society. X-ray diffraction has opened our eyes to the molecular structure of all objects around us.
Today, x-rays are exploited at the highest finesse to unravel new insights into the chemical, electronic or magnetic structure of materials and into the molecular structure of biological molecules and systems. Thereby, scientists take advantage of the unique properties of Synchrotron radiation provided at electron storage rings, such as at PETRA III at DESY.
We are currently at the verge of the next revolution in x-ray science: The discovery of lasing in the x-ray regime opened the gateway to femtosecond snapshots of the motion of molecules and electrons in matter allowing life reports from electronic, magnetic and molecular processes in materials. The European X-ray Laser XFEL currently constructed in Hamburg is one of the most advanced concepts based on superconducting accelerator technology which will enable materials scientists to unravel the relevant structural details of complex functional materials which do no longer exhibit long rang order and which may be far away from equilibrium.