The Matter in Extreme Conditions end station at the Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS) is a new tool enabling ultrafast pump-probe measurements of laser-matter interactions. This instrument combines the world’s brightest x-ray source, the LCLS x-ray beam, with high-power lasers consisting of two nanosecond Nd:glass laser beams and a 25 TW short-pulse Ti:sapphire laser. These lasers produce short-lived states of matter with high pressures, high temperatures or high densities whose properties are investigated with highly accurate x-ray measurements. Here, we report on new results using x-ray imaging, diffraction, and scattering that resolve the short-pulse laser beam propagation and heating of matter.
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