Snapshot of exploding oxygen

For more than 200 years, we have been using X-rays to look inside matter, and progressing to ever smaller structures -from crystals to nanoparticles. Now, within the framework of a larger international collaboration on the X-ray laser European XFEL in Schenefeld near Hamburg, physicists at Goethe University have achieved a qualitative leap forward: using a new experimental technique, they have been able to ‘X-ray’ molecules such as oxygen and view their motion in the microcosm.