Current Event

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Current Event #2
Tyler Roach

Summary:
The article that I read about Chemical Reactions involved scientists at the SLAC National Accelerator Library at Stanford who were able to view a chemical reaction in real-time using LCLS (Linac Coherent Light Source) and computerized simulations. The reaction that they viewed was the catalyst Ruthenium in crystal-form and Carbon Monoxide gas. First, they zapped the crystal of Ruthenium using a laser. Molecules of Carbon Monoxide started to break away. After that, they probed this state of the reaction using X-Ray laser pulses, and saw that the molecules were still trapped in a near gas state (temporarily) and still interacting with the catalyst, Ruthenium. What does this mean? It means that the scientists at the SLAC were finally able to view a chemical reaction while its taking place. This is a breakthrough in the chemistry world because it has never been able to be done before.

Anders Nilsson, deputy director for the Stanford and SLAC SUNCAT Center for Interface Science and Catalysis said, “We are really jumping into the unknown." Also while conducting the experiment, the scientists found an unexpectedly high share of molecules trapped in this state for far longer than what was anticipated, raising new questions about the atomic-scale interplay of chemicals that will be explored in future research. Scientists across the world can now do so many more experiments involving LCLS experiments. As Nilsson said, "There is potential to probe a number of catalytic-relevant processes -- you can imagine there are tons of things we could do from here."

Reflection:
This article involves a decomposition reaction between the element Ruthenium and Carbon Monoxide gas. This was a breakthrough reaction because it proved to the world that scientists could now watch chemical reactions as they happen, using LCLS. The reason that the scientists used Ruthenium is because it is a heavily researched catalyst. A catalyst is something...
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