Watching electrons move in molecules

Francois Mauger

Senior Postdoctoral Researcher

LSU Department of Physics & Astronomy

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Electrons are the glue that holds matter together: Their spatial arrangement defines chemical bonds and their time evolution controls reactions. But electrons are light, and they move fast -- so probing electronic dynamics at the spatial and temporal scales of electron motions in molecules is a formidable challenge, one that holds the promise of going beyond the "what happened" of spectroscopy to the "how did that happen" that a movie provides. In this talk I will discuss how new ultrafast sources like X-ray lasers and table-top attosecond sources are opening this frontier, and the state-of the-art theoretical tools that are being used to unravel the data and guide the experiments.