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From Storage Rings to Free Electron Lasers for Hard X-Rays


The intensity of X-ray sources has increased at a rapid rate since the late 1960s by 10 orders of magnitude and more through the use of synchrotron radiation produced by bending magnets, wigglers and undulators. Three generations of radiation sources have been identified depending on amplitude and quality of the radiation provided. While user facilities of the third generation were being constructed a new concept of radiation generating devices was being developed that offers an even larger increase in peak and average brightness than had been achieved till then. The new concept of the X-ray Free Electron Laser based on the principle of Self-Amplified Spontaneous Emission will be the basis of fourth generation X-ray source user facilities of this century. The paper will start with a brief history of the development of x-ray sources, discuss some of the differences between storage ring and free electron laser based approaches, and close with an update of the present development of x-ray free electron laser user facilities.

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