Status and prospects of x-ray free-electron lasers (X-FELs): a simple presentation

The first part of this topical review provides the reader with a conceptual background sufficient to understand the mechanism of an X-FEL without using any formalism. The discussion is thus accessible to non-specialized scientists from any discipline. Then, we review the present status of selected X-FEL projects throughout the world. Examples of actual experiments are used to illustrate the potential impact of these new, exciting sources at the forefront of photon technology.


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