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Chemistry in Action: Making Molecular Movies with Ultrafast Electron Diffraction

Imagine what happens during a chemical reaction at the atomic level. This probably conjures up in your mind a picture of dancing atoms, breaking and forming bonds. This atomistic/physical view of chemistry is a commonly held one but it has only been directly observed in recent times thanks to the development of some powerful technologies like femtosecond pulsed lasers and ultrabright electron sources. In this talk, I will explain how these "molecular movies" are made experimentally and what they mean by referencing some of my contributions to the field of ultrafast chemical physics.