Questions for X-ray Eyes


Before reading:

1.      What is the difference between an atom and a molecule?

2.      Have you ever taken a photograph of someone or something in motion and had it come out blurry? Explain why that blurriness probably occurred.

During reading:

1.      Express the size difference between an atom and an amoeba (give it as a ratio).

2.      What is a chemical reaction?

3.      What occurs during photosynthesis?

4.      Besides being very small, why are individual atoms so hard to image?

5.      What role does wavelength play in imaging tiny atoms?

6.      Describe how a fast camera flash can help “freeze” objects in motion.

7.      What is “probe before destroy?”’

8.      How many X-ray lasers are there in the world? Why are scientists eager to build more?

After reading:

1.      Why are scientists so interested in the water-breaking task of photosynthesis?

2.      What two attributes does an X-ray laser combine and how are they crucial in imaging atoms in motion?


Social Studies

  1. Artificial photosynthesis could be used to produce hydrogen. Describe how scientists hope to use it to produce usable energy for the public. Why is it so important to find such new sources of energy?

  2. Think about fuels now used to generate electricity, to heat homes and offices and to power cars and trucks. Are there uses for which hydrogen would be more (or less) appropriate? Provide evidence to support your argument.