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Ultrafast X-ray scattering as a probe of quantum dynamics
(University of Edingburgh)
FB 54 ()
New x-ray free-electron lasers such as the LCLS and the XFEL provide ultrashort
bursts of intense X-rays that can be used to study processes in matter with temporal and
spatial resolution. One important goal is to follow the motion of atoms during photochemical
reactions. Recently we recorded the first time-resolved ultrafast X-ray scattering
signal for a benchmark gas-phase reaction, the electrocyclic ring-opening reaction of 1,3-
cyclohexadiene, at the LCLS . A key aspect of the data analysis and the interpretation
of the experiments was accurate ab-initio quantum molecular dynamics simulations based
on the multiconfigurational Ehrenfest method [2,3]. We will discuss the simulations used to
analyse the experiments, but also the general theoretical framework for the analysis of ultrafast
X-ray scattering experiments, including inelastic effects. Prospects for investigating
electron dynamics and other non-stationary states will also be touched upon .