Hollow Atoms

Hollow Atoms
Physicists have removed the inner electrons from neon with a high energy X ray laser, leaving behind a hollow atom shell. 

The world’s first hard X ray free electron laser started operations with a bang. A single ~100 femtosecond X ray pulse stripped all ten electrons from neon. Scientists were able to control the stripping mechanism and found that they could ionize from the inside out, producing exotic hollow atoms. 

Related Abstract

Gray arrow  Controlling how atoms respond to ultraintense x-ray radiation

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Reporters may freely use this image. Credit format: Image courtesy of Greg Stewart/SLAC (2011).