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Young Awarded Helmholtz International Fellow Leading Up To Start of Powerful New X-ray Laser

Established in 2012, the award targets researchers as well as science managers based outside of Germany, who have excelled in their research” by providing 20,000 euros to support a research fellowship.

Linda Young, Argonne Distinguished Fellow and a leader in the field of X-ray science, has received the Helmholtz International Fellow Award from the Helmholtz Association, the largest scientific organization in Germany.

As a visiting fellow at the DESY accelerator center in Hamburg, Germany, Young’s appointment will coincide with the early operation of the world’s most powerful X-ray free electron laser, due to come online in 2017 at the DESY European XFEL facility.

It’s invigorating to witness the inauguration of the world’s most powerful X-ray laser and explore possibilities for initial experiments,” she said. I’m excited to collaborate with researchers at DESY as they have a growing community and some of the world’s renowned experts. I’m also looking forward to bringing back potential collaborations to Argonne.”

As a member of Argonne’s Atomic, Molecular and Optical (AMO) Physics group, Young studies the fundamental interactions of atoms and molecules at high X-ray intensities and has been instrumental in advancing the AMO field since joining Argonne in 1984. Her expertise has contributed to the development of science programs at Argonne’s Advanced Photon Source, a U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science User Facility, where she served as X-ray Science Division Director for six years, as well as the Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS) at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and Advanced Light Source at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, where she served on scientific advisory committees. She holds a joint appointment as a professor in the University of Chicago’s Department of Physics and James Franck Institute.

This will not be the first time Young plays an early role in a new X-ray facility. Her research team conducted the very first experiment on the world’s first hard X-ray free electron laser, the LCLS. Young’s experiment used the light source’s X-ray pulses to hollow out” neon atoms by removing their inner shell electrons and leaving the outer shell intact in order to establish how intense X-rays interact with matter.

Young is the second Argonne scientist to receive the award, which is given to up to ten researchers each year across the globe. Nuclear physicist Craig Roberts, Theory Group Leader in Argonne’s Physics Division, received the award in 2012 to study problems at the interface of nuclear and particle physics at the Jülich Research Center, one of Europe’s largest multidisciplinary research institutes, located in Jülich, Germany.

Argonne National Laboratory seeks solutions to pressing national problems in science and technology. The nation’s first national laboratory, Argonne conducts leading-edge basic and applied scientific research in virtually every scientific discipline. Argonne researchers work closely with researchers from hundreds of companies, universities, and federal, state and municipal agencies to help them solve their specific problems, advance America’s scientific leadership and prepare the nation for a better future. With employees from more than 60 nations, Argonne is managed by UChicago Argonne, LLC for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science.

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, visit the Office of Science website.


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